A 21st-century version of the Oklahoma Land Run will take place next month in Oklahoma City.

In what could be one of the largest public land auctions in modern state history, close to 800 acres of surplus land owned by the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority will become available for sale.

A total of 68 parcels will be up for grabs across 11 counties: Tulsa, Creek, Rogers, Craig, Oklahoma, Wagoner, Murray, Canadian, McClain, Grady and Lincoln, said Jessica Brown, director of strategic communications for the Oklahoma Transportation Cabinet.

Dakil Auctioneers Inc., will conduct auctions beginning at 10 a.m. June 9-10 (registration is at 9 a.m. both days) at its facility at 200 NW 114th St. in Oklahoma City. Available land totals more than 790 acres, with the largest tract being roughly 71.2 acres on the west side of the Creek Turnpike near 22500 E. Omaha St. in Broken Arrow.

“It’s a great opportunity using an auction house because we can push many more parcels at one time,” Brown said by phone. “It’s much less time consuming.”

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The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority regularly auctions surplus properties it acquires during right-of-way property acquisitions. Typically, the OTA purchases these smaller pieces of land as part of a larger purchase or if the property would not have access to a public road once construction is complete.

OTA said it strives to keep its property inventory to a minimum with a review process of current and future needs, and it employs several methods to sell surplus property, including direct sell and sealed-bid auctions. To expedite returning land to consumers, OTA recently began using a public auction house, with its first such event occurring in May 2021.

“Looking at these parcels of surplus property, we have to go through a process to make sure this property is not something we will need in the future,” Brown said. “Once we’ve made that determination, we can start to move it to auction.

“We try to do that as often as possible because we don’t want to be in the land business. It needs to go back to the public. It needs to get back on the tax rolls, quite frankly, so people can use it.”

Oklahoma has 624.4 miles in its 11 turnpikes, excluding the Gilcrease Expressway, which is under construction and scheduled for a late summer completion.

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority System generated $357.6 million in toll revenues in 2021, according to Brenda Perry of the Oklahoma Transportation Cabinet.

Oklahoma Transportation Cabinet agencies include the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, OTA and the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission.

The land roster for June’s public auction in Oklahoma City includes property from the Creek, Turner, Will Rogers, Kickapoo and Bailey turnpikes, with some tracts as small as about a tenth of an acre.

“I think it’s a grand opportunity for people to purchase land in Oklahoma,” Louis Dakil, owner and president of Dakil Auctioneers, said by phone.

“In my 38 years of selling properties in Oklahoma, I have never seen the influx of people from other states into our state, whether it’s urban, rural, agricultural, industrial, whatever it is.

“I don’t know why people are moving here, but it’s just an influx.”

Next month’s event will be much larger than OTA’s public auction in 2021, when about 146 acres of surplus land generated roughly $3.5 million in sales, the OTA said.

“There’s always interest in real estate. … It seems like people for some reason are investing more into real assets and real estate because it is tangible,” Dakil said. “A lot of people are getting away from the roller coaster stock market, or the oil and gas industry, or other investments.”


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