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Thread: Chesapeake empire marches on

  1. Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Yeah, I'm sure not feeling sorry for the guy.

    He's got the money to build a north section that matches the south section. Please.

  2. #77

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    I am not feeling ’sorry’ for the guy either. He is a zillionaire. I would love to keep it all the same. BUT. Re-invent the plaza by building an equal design made in the 70s on the North end. Not gonna happen. If he does, more power to it! I dont like seeing my local joints going to the wrecking ball either. Who does? I would be thrilled if an architect could come up with a design to expand and build up on the south end and make it look ten times better. Then equally match that with the North end. This would keep Crescent Market and NH Drug! It would be very tough to match the materials and combine both sides. I just dont think it will happen. I Just want it to look great. I am more concerned over property where a 100 yr old church resides

  3. Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Rand Elliott is McClendon's go-to architect. My heart lies in preservation, but if Rand has anything to do with it, I think you are going to like it.

  4. Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    He's right that Elliot wouldn't be the guy, but I have no doubt whatsoever that there are many architects capable of designing something that compliments the historic south section of the Plaza.

    Not everything has to be modern.

  5. #80

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    I agree that Elliot's modern style would be completely inappropriate for any project in Nichols Hills plaza. I don't care for much of his work; it is a little too contemporary for me. However, Rand Elliott is also the guy who designed the entire Chesapeake campus, which is extremely traditional. Elliot is capable of a traditional style, and if he is the architect chosen for NH plaza, I would hope he follows the traditional style and techniques he stuck so closely to when creating the Chesapeake campus.

  6. #81

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    The architecture students at the University of Oklahoma were invited to present plans for Nichols Hills Plaza. Everything I saw was very traditional. Lots of tudor styling, which fits with Nichols' plan for Nichols Hills. I would expect Aubrey to be very careful with the design for the Plaza, as it will be a showpiece. The last I heard, though, his plan for three stories, with residential living on the top floor was shot down. The residents of Nichols Hills have a very hidebound, resistant to change faction which can be effectively vocal.

  7. Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    There are some odd ducks in that neighborhood. I'm sorry and I may have a bias, but that OU plan was BS.

    Rand Elliott is also the guy who designed the entire Chesapeake campus, which is extremely traditional.
    Like I said, go-to architect.

  8. Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Meh, I don't think the Chesapeake campus is that traditional. It's a very modern take on the Georgian style, and even it would look to modern for NHP. It's gotta be tudor, and there's no reason why it can't be and look really classy.

  9. #84

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Well its official- Pemberton's lease expires in 2 1/2 yrs. and he is pissed about it. Goodbye to Crescent Market and NH Drug....also goodbye to the church at Sherwood and Grand Blvd. A church that is almost 100 yrs old....Im going to barf. Ya- I also want the tudor style.....He plans on matching the plaza with the character of NH. So hopefully it will be tudor.

  10. #85

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    The church is going to become the new NH City Hall and police station. I haven't heard whether they're going to demolish the church or renovate it. It will allow the old city hall, police and fire to become part of the NH Plaza. It may not be a bad thing, as you can bet City Hall will be architecturally correct and well done. Aubrey is also slowly acquiring the condos on Grand and Sherwood and those will become part of the plaza as well. They are a bit of an eyesore, so I won't be sorry to see them go. I'm guessing the Plaza will be a showplace.

  11. Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Why would Chesapeake buy up a church to become a landlord for the city of NH? It sounds like they really are just holding on to it for future razing.

    That being said, I really am tired of seeing them sprawl out like they are. Yes it's a nice campus and all, but I'm really sick of them just plowing over everything up there. That's why people invented the skyscraper folks....so you don't take up valuable land be stretching your arms all over the place. It's just so wasteful and from a resources perspective, isn't logical. The amount of money they have to spend on maintaining all that exterior and roof work is insane compared to rent in a highrise. Build a real HQ already guys!

  12. #87

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    They will be razing the church. Its sick. The church has a wood roof and is beautiful. It is over looked because of its position at Grand and Sherwood. He will most likely destroy any buildings on the properties he buys and I doubt he will incorporate any structures into his plans. He certainly wont be keeping town hall. lol. Take some pics because all of it will be gone in 2 yrs. I do hope that NH will fight over the church, being historical....NH almost became a historic district and city, but too many NEW homes blocked it from happening. I hope it doesnt turn into Aubrey-ville. The horror...the horror.

  13. #88

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Like others, I am worried about all this. Has Chesapeake renovated anything they've purchased? All I've seen them do is bulldoze things. Plus as previously mentioned, that is one of the very few areas of town that already have character and doesn't need a total re-do.

    Having said that, I think NH Plaza is the one place a Utica Square type development could actually work.

    I know CHK & McClendon mean well but they don't have any experience in these types of developments and they wouldn't be the first to completely ruin something with good intentions.


    It's simply amazing to me that a company can acquire hundreds of properties in the middle of the city's most affluent area and the only thing discussed by the press is the things already under construction. The public deserves to know their intentions!

  14. #89

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Quote Originally Posted by MalibuSooner View Post
    Like others, I am worried about all this. Has Chesapeake renovated anything they've purchased? All I've seen them do is bulldoze things. Plus as previously mentioned, that is one of the very few areas of town that already have character and doesn't need a total re-do.
    And just to add fuel to the fire Chesapeake is not containing it's efforts to the Nichols Hills area. Pop's is now scheduled to open in August as a new Route 66 "icon", about the same time the folks at Hillbillies are evicted by the new property owner you know who.
    Chesapeake has been buying lots of property in the Arcadia area, which is nearly the geographic center of Edmond and the only area left for significant expansion of that city. I don't think Audrey McClendon is going to be content with being a tree farmer, I suspect lots of PUD in his future.

  15. #90

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Yes, there was an article a couple of months ago about McClendon buying thousands of acres all around town, but specifically in east Edmond and the NE part of the county. He said it was a big part of his personal investment strategy.

    CHK also owns lots of property south of their HQ on Western -- another area I would hate to be homogenized.

  16. #91

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    What is this company doing anymore? Real estate or Natural Gas. Pick your poison CHK.

  17. #92

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    From the Oklahoman on 4/22/07:



    Forest fire, prairie blaze: McClendon burns up county land inventory

    By Richard Mize Real Estate Editor





    AUBREY K. McClendon has found his bonanza underground, in natural gas fields from the mid-continent to West Texas to the Gulf Coast and Appalachia, but lately his other interests have come to the surface at home in central Oklahoma.

    McClendon, chairman, chief executive and co-founder of Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Energy Corp., is gambling on the risky trifecta that historically has led to riches for forward-thinking, and lucky, Oklahomans — and rags for those out of step with the times:

    First, energy. Now land and cattle.

    Land rich, cash rich

    The future looks rich for the already wealthy McClendon, holder of one of Oklahoma’s largest personal fortunes.

    In the past decade, McClendon, 47, has acquired some 12,000 acres of farm land and raw woodlands north and east of Oklahoma City, most in Oklahoma County, some in Logan County, most of it the past few years.

    County records show that his Arcadia Farm LLC, formed in March 1997, has paid more than $70 million for just more than 9,000 acres in Oklahoma County alone.


    By last week, Arcadia Farm had acquired 107 separate parcels of land, ranging in size from a 1.2-acre commercial lot at 11000 NE Highway 66 in Edmond for $575,000 on April 11, 2005, to a dozen 160-acre parcels in Edmond, Deer Creek, Luther and Jones bought in 2004-2006, records show.

    It’s a huge investment, especially since almost all of it is classified as agricultural land, but it represents less than 5 percent of McClendon’s personal wealth, estimated last year by Forbes magazine at $1.6 billion.

    Arcadia Farms LLC

    McClendon said it started in 1997 with 850 acres at Westminster and State Highway 66 in Arcadia, where his first high-visibility commercial enterprise outside his leadership of Chesapeake Energy is scheduled to open with a splash — and some fizz — this summer.

    “POPS” will be a combination tourist stop, gasoline station and cafe, complete with a collection of 12,000 pop bottles of all hues and brands, in a Route 66-inspired design by Oklahoma City architect Rand Elliott.

    Meanwhile, signs of McClendon’s other, quieter enterprises, land investment and pasture leasing, are popping up at crossroads and on fence lines across north and east Oklahoma County: “Arcadia Farm, LLC. No trespassing! ... Arcadia, OK,” announce the signs, which are white, black and blue with a headshot of a bovine.

    Personal investments

    “I’m really reluctant to talk about something like this. It’s not ... Chesapeake. It’s done through me, personally,” he said, trying to discourage a story about his land buys.

    But the purchase of 12,000 acres — in so many relatively small parcels, about 85 acres on average in Oklahoma County, with none larger than a quarter-section, or 160 acres — is hard to ignore.

    McClendon said he owns and operates three ranches in southern Oklahoma but that he has bought the acreage near Oklahoma City strictly as an investment.

    His purchases include grazing land leased to cattle raisers, as well as thickly wooded parcels. Oklahoma County’s 25,000 beef cows and calves and its 600 or so cattle raisers haven’t noticed much difference, since no grazing land has been taken out of production. Woodlands unsuitable for grazing remain undisturbed.

    McClendon said his favorite property is in the Cross Timber, the belt of postoak, blackjack, hickory, chinkapin oak and other hardwoods that novelist Washington Irving famously called “forests of cast iron” after a tour of the prairie with Army rangers in 1832.

    Historic proportions

    McClendon’s purchases have other rings of history to them, as well.

    Anton Classen, Charles Colcord, G.A. Nichols, I.M. Putnam, E.K. Gaylord — all land investors or developers with broad business interests and all considered visionaries — came to mind for historian Bob Blackburn when he was asked about the magnitude of McClendon’s acquisitions.

    Classen, for example, in the years before the turn of the 20th century, was buying land in numerous parcels where Oklahoma City’s Gatewood neighborhood is now, as well as along Classen Boulevard near what would become the popular Belle Isle Lake area, Blackburn said.

    “He was buying all that land in 1897, 1898, 1899, and the city caught up with him,” said Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society. “If you were going to buy land at the right time, Anton Classen bought it at the right time.”

    It was the same with Putnam, for whom Putnam City schools are named, Colcord, a contemporary and business partner of Classen, Nichols, a dentist who developed Nichols Hills, and Gaylord, founder of The Oklahoma Publishing Co., publisher of The Oklahoman.

    Each was a “visionary who could see the direction things were going” with “the foresight to see the city expanding,” Blackburn said. Most of the men, like McClendon, invested in land in their 30s and 40s. “They had a combination of skill sets, the networks and the capital to make it work,” Blackburn said.

    Control issues?

    McClendon’s main target for investment dove-tails nicely with what, by all accounts, is Edmond’s future: land ownership in the path of long-term growth east of Interstate 35, where developers see mostly homes on large wooded acreages, not small lots in typical residential additions.

    McClendon has bought so much land so fast that some people wondered if he was trying to do personally what Chesapeake Energy has done around its corporate headquarters at NW 63 and Western in Oklahoma City: control development by buying everything in sight.

    Chesapeake has made no secret of its aim to improve its neighborhood by owning it. As for McClendon, he has publicly repeated the old saw about the rancher who didn’t want to own everything, just all the property next to his — but he did so in the context of Chesapeake’s expansion.

    Asked if he meant to control land development at the edges of the metro area, especially east of Edmond, by buying land and sitting on it, McClendon said, “It’s not that complicated, really. I started to buy land out there because I think it was more attractively priced than land west of Edmond.”

    Plus, he acknowledged, it’s prettier.

    “I’m not trying to influence anybody,” McClendon said. “I just thought it was an attractively priced asset. ... Now it’s not so attractively priced. I’m not buying much these days. A lot of people have started to come in and buy. The cat’s out of the bag, so to speak.”

    McClendon’s acquisitions got the attention of everyone in the land development business, said home builder Jeff Click, vice president and secretary-treasurer of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association, which has both builder and developer members.

    “Naturally, there’s a curiosity as to Mr. McClendon’s long-term strategy among those who pay attention to land transactions, particularly with the land he has purchased in the outskirts of town,” Click said.

    “But if you look at what he’s done in the past and what is taking place at present, particularly with the Chesapeake campus ... combined with the contributions and other investments he’s made in this city, it’s more of an anxious anticipation, in my view.

    “Real estate is a proven, long-term investment historically. If he chooses to hold his investments, it’s difficult to question him based on the success of his strategies in other endeavors, aside from the fact that real estate is proven to be a sound long-term investment.”

    One-man land rush

    Did McClendon buy so much land so fast that his own demand priced him out of the market?

    He “started the movement” to invest in land east of Edmond, but price inflation was already under way, said Pat Patterson, a Realtor who sold McClendon that first 850 acres in Arcadia 10 years ago.

    McClendon has created his own land mini market, said Patterson, a rural land specialist associated with Century 21 Mark V in Edmond.

    “Some people have bought land and turned around and sold it to Aubrey — flipped it to him,” he said.

    Now “it’s pretty rare that anything comes up (available) out there.”

    Patterson said raw land in the Cross Timber with no water or utilities and limited access is selling for $10,000 to $15,000 per acre — four to six times what it fetched 10 years ago.

    “Land has gone up tremendously all over Oklahoma, (especially) in close to Edmond and central Oklahoma,” Patterson said.

    “I’ve been dealing in land since 1976, and I’ve never seen it go up as fast as it has in the past five years.”

    Patterson said he knew of land that might have sold for as little as $350 per acre going for $6,000 an acre now, although he acknowledged that was an extreme.

    “It’s not just one thing. But anytime oil does well, land does well,” he said.

    The same goes for natural gas, McClendon might point out.

  18. #93

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Quote Originally Posted by bombermwc View Post
    Why would Chesapeake buy up a church to become a landlord for the city of NH? It sounds like they really are just holding on to it for future razing.

    That being said, I really am tired of seeing them sprawl out like they are. Yes it's a nice campus and all, but I'm really sick of them just plowing over everything up there. That's why people invented the skyscraper folks....so you don't take up valuable land be stretching your arms all over the place. It's just so wasteful and from a resources perspective, isn't logical. The amount of money they have to spend on maintaining all that exterior and roof work is insane compared to rent in a highrise. Build a real HQ already guys!
    McClendon bought the church for the city of NH so that he could have the old city hall, police station and fire station since it is immediately adjacent to Nichols Hills Plaza. I assume it will be a trade, as he cannot be the city's landlord. He would be unable to build a commercial building on that site because of zoning. I got the news from the city of NH police chief, so I assume it's legit.
    Last edited by betts; 07-12-2007 at 12:56 PM. Reason: punctuation

  19. #94

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    CHK owns the Shamrock station on the NW corner of 63rd & Western and the NH police/fire/town hall sits between it and the south section of NH Plaza.

    If they are in fact swapping out that property for the church they just purchased, I'm sure they'll be running Crescent Market out of it's existing space, because it's in an L-shape that turns it back on the civic properties (shown in yellow -- CHK holdings in pink). I'm sure they are trying to pull the development all the way to the intersection:


  20. #95

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    BTW, I'm sure CHK is actively trying to acquire that rug shop just south of the municipal buildings and just west of the Shamrock station.

    If they do, they will likely completely blow up that whole corner and I have to say that wouldn't be a bad thing. It would be great to see a big entry plaza with a water feature instead of this:


  21. #96

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Quote Originally Posted by betts View Post
    McClendon bought the church for the city of NH so that he could have the old city hall, police station and fire station since it is immediately adjacent to Nichols Hills Plaza. I assume it will be a trade, as he cannot be the city's landlord. He would be unable to build a commercial building on that site because of zoning. I got the news from the city of NH police chief, so I assume it's legit.
    So-I am assuming his intentions are to build a new town hall ect so he can blend it into his new Aubrey Plaza? But because of politics he couldnt buy the town hall outright. So in the end he is making the church a donation to NH? So NH can do what it pleases with the church and grounds?- sounds like a great deal to me. Heck of a local.

  22. #97

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Aubrey is also slowly acquiring the condos on Grand and Sherwood and those will become part of the plaza as well.
    Do you mean Nichols Hills Manor (on the SE corner of Grand & Sherwood - first picture below) or Sherwood Arms (just east of NH Manor - second photo)? CHK already owns the latter.




  23. #98

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Here's another graphic that shows the CHK holdings in blue.

    I know several of the condos at 1143 NW 63rd have sold for close to $200K recently but can't confirm it's Chesapeake that is doing the buying. Very likely, though:


  24. Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Quote Originally Posted by MalibuSooner View Post
    I know CHK & McClendon mean well but they don't have any experience in these types of developments and they wouldn't be the first to completely ruin something with good intentions.
    Pei Plan anyone??

  25. #100

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    BTW, as much as I'd hate to see Crescent Market go out, a redeveloped NH Plaza would be a great site for the city's first Whole Foods.

    If not directly in the Plaza, perhaps on the other side of Western where CHK also owns property.

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