Week in review
BY Staff Reports
Sunday, October 14, 2012
10/14/12 at 3:17 AM
Jim Norton purchases Momentum Chevrolet of BA
BROKEN ARROW - Sonic Automotive has parted with its last Tulsa-area dealership, selling Momentum Chevrolet of Broken Arrow to the Jim Norton auto group after nine years in the market.
The Broken Arrow dealership now has its third name, Jim Norton Chevrolet, in just more than a year.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Sonic Automotive Inc., the nation's largest car dealership chain, bought three metro Tulsa dealerships nine years ago - Speedway Chevrolet, Riverside Toyota and Riverside Chevrolet.
But it wasn't long before the company started looking for buyers for the three dealerships. Mike Fowler of the Norman-based Fowler Auto Group bought the former Riverside Toyota and Chevrolet dealerships last month.
Norton, a longtime Tulsa-area car dealer, closed his purchase of the Broken Arrow dealership in late September.
- KYLE ARNOLD, World Staff Writer
Quality Jobs incentives draw trading firm capSpire
Commodity trading and risk management consulting firm capSpire will be eligible for as much as $4.77 million in 21st Century Quality Jobs Program rebates on taxable payroll for hiring up to 30 highly paid employees at its downtown operations, officials said Monday.
They said capSpire plans to hire those workers over a three-year period. Recruiting has begun for jobs at the 11 E. Fifth St. office.
"We are in the process of hiring qualified individuals to provide CTRM software development, consulting and support services here in Tulsa," CEO Lance Laubach said in a statement.
The 21st Century Quality Jobs program, started in 2009 and modeled after the original Quality Jobs incentive effort, focuses on highly trained positions. Qualified companies must pay at least three times the average wage in the county where they are situated.
Don Hackler, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, said capSpire's rebate rate will begin at 6.22 percent of taxable payroll for "ramp up" of the first 10 jobs in the expansion. The rebate will accelerate to 10 percent once the company exceeds those initial standards, he said.
Fayetteville, Ark.-based capSpire works for numerous customers in Oklahoma, including Tulsa-based SemGroup Corp. and NGL Energy Partners LP, as well as ConocoPhillips and Atlas Pipeline Partners, according to reports.
- ROD WALTON, World Staff Writer
ZOMM CEO braves pitch on 'Shark Tank' reality show
Some famous sharks got a taste of Tulsa-based ZOMM on network television recently.
ZOMM CEO Henry Penix appeared on an episode of "Shark Tank," an ABC network reality show that challenges startups to pitch their product to a panel of wealthy entrepreneurs or "sharks," who may choose to invest their own money in the product.
Although the sharks, including media and sports tycoon Mark Cuban, praised the ZOMM Wireless Leash - the company's signature smartphone accessory - they expressed concern with ZOMM's financial situation and chose not to invest.
"You went for a home run, and you got a triple," Cuban said. "Even a single would have won the game. Your dream is killing you. You went too big."
In a telephone interview Monday, Penix said he was pleased with the experience overall, even though parts of the aired segment were rough on his company.
Penix said the show's producers contacted ZOMM to ask for its participation. He said he would have liked to have asked for an investment of $15 million, but that was "outside the parameters of the show."
As a result, he lowered it multiple times - including hours before the taped interview in Los Angeles - to $2 million, still the highest amount asked for on "Shark Tank" to date.
- ROBERT EVATT, World Staff Writer
Valmont building new plant at Riverview Park
Utility pole maker Valmont Newmark is planning a new facility near Tulsa that could bring 70 jobs to the area by the area by the end of 2013.
Valmont has started construction on a 123,500-square-foot manufacturing facility just outside the Tulsa Port of Catoosa at the Riverview Industrial Park.
The company hopes to have the plant online by the end of next year, said Roger Snavely, manager of Valmont's plant in north Tulsa.
The facility will make electric line transmission poles and mostly employ welders and fitters, he said.
- KYLE ARNOLD, World Staff Writer
QuikTrip opened a new store on on the former site of the old Camelot Hotel at I-44 and Peoria Avenue on Thursday. It is near the site of the original QuikTrip store. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World