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Thread: Chesapeake empire marches on

  1. #201

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    I'm still bummed that one of the few areas in the city that had some real character, with tree-lined streets and outdoor eating, has now been destroyed by all of this.

  2. #202

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Fri February 15, 2008

    McClendon calls Shell buy last of puzzle

    By Richard Mize
    Real Estate Editor

    Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s real estate shell game — buying and selling property for its growing campus while keeping its exact plans hidden — went literal with its purchase of a Shell service station for a stunning $3 million.

    A service station. About 2,000 square feet. Built in 1969. On less than one-third acre.

    For $3 million. The county estimates its value at about $200,000.

    Chesapeake bought the property from a family trust comprised of children and grandchildren of grocer Jack W. Owens, who died in 1995. Owens planned but never built a third supermarket on the spot in the 1940s when Nichols Hills was in its early years.

    Owens bought land in the area, "out in the country” then, to get in front of where Oklahoma City was growing, said Howard Berry III, a grandson. By 2007, all that remained was "just that one little postage stamp-size property,” which Chesapeake started trying to buy several years ago, he said.

    "There was some negotiation that went on,” said Berry, a trial attorney.

    Chesapeake's habit of paying record-breaking prices for property it wants around its headquarters at Classen Boulevard and Western Avenue is renowned. The energy giant's penchant for buying property to trade for other property, likewise, is well known.

    What isn't known are the plans for the Shell at 6405 N Western Ave., not far from company's headquarters. It's almost surrounded by previous Chesapeake acquisitions.

    Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake chairman and chief executive officer, wouldn't say.

    "This was the last piece to the Nichols Hills puzzle,” he said Thursday evening. Asked to elaborate, he said, "I am sorry. It's just not time yet. Too many moving pieces still.”


    Next door to the Shell is Nichols Hills Plaza, which Chesapeake bought for a then-record $27.5 million two years ago. Chesapeake also owns other commercial property nearby.

    Also close is Nichols Hills City Hall, 6407 Avondale, which Chesapeake wants to get in a swap for the Christian Science Church at 1203 Sherwood Lane, which the company bought for $10 million in June. Nichols Hills officials are considering the offer.

    Chesapeake probably didn't buy the full-service station, a rarity, to continue operating as a service station — although McClendon's personal investment in POPS, a soda pop-theme diner and gasoline station on old Route 66 in Arcadia, might make some wonder — and Chesapeake company trucks are seen fueling at the Shell.

    The Shell is still open, but for how long isn't clear. Operator Don Bolen has a lease, but he could not be reached for comment Thursday.

    As a service station, the property probably would fetch $350,000 to $400,000, said Kenneth Spencer of Spencer Real Estate, which brokers gasoline stations, convenience stores and truck stops across the state.

    To compare, Spencer said he has listings for larger stations in Chickasha, Anadarko and Verden priced at $650,000. The Valero at Second Street and Kelly Avenue in Edmond, he said, is for sale for $1.1 million.

    For the Shell, to service a loan to buy it for $3 million would take payments of about $30,000 a month, he said. Presumably, however, Chesapeake, itself worth more than $20 billion, paid cash.

    Chesapeake is "definitely buying locations to add to its campus,” Spencer said.

    The Shell service station is on a prime spot, indeed. Jack Owens thought so when he bought it decades ago, his grandson said.

    The Harvard-educated Owens, who operated Jack Owens Super Markets at what is now NW 12 and Harvey and NW 30 and Hudson, was an innovative grocer who thought ahead, Berry said. He entered the family grocer business in 1930 after college and later owned Club House Market, a meat wholesaler.

    Berry said his grandfather knew the land was a good investment because of the direction Oklahoma City was growing in the 1940s. But he probably never dreamed that one-third acre would bring millions.

    "He just kept that one little old piece. When he died, it went into a trust for the family,” Berry said. "It all had to do with being in the exact right spot.”

  3. Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Brzycki View Post
    Chesapeake's habit of paying record-breaking prices for property it wants around its headquarters at Classen Boulevard and Western Avenue is renowned. The energy giant's penchant for buying property to trade for other property, likewise, is well known.
    It's like a ruthless, real life game of Monopoly.

  4. #204

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    I didn't see this in the paper, but in checking the county assessor's site I found that CHK bought the rug shop on 63rd between Mamasita's and the gas station. The transaction was finalized in November last year.

    So, the Shell station was the only remaining commercial tract in that area, except for the NH Bank building but I wouldn't be surprised if they haven't already come to some sort of understanding with Jeff Records over that property.

    Also, I notice lots of sales in the condos all around NH Plaza at pretty inflated prices. It's tough to track the onwership on-line but there has been lots of recent activity and I know CHK already owns a lot of those condos in the various complexes just east of Grand.


    I understand why McClendon wants to keep his plans under wraps until he has acquired everything, however CHK is a publically held corporation that is sinking hundreds of millions in real estate in that area. Seems like they have a duty to the shareholders to disclose what the heck they plan to do, at least in broad terms.

  5. #205

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Brzycki View Post
    I didn't see this in the paper, but in checking the county assessor's site I found that CHK bought the rug shop on 63rd between Mamasita's and the gas station. The transaction was finalized in November last year.

    So, the Shell station was the only remaining commercial tract in that area, except for the NH Bank building but I wouldn't be surprised if they haven't already come to some sort of understanding with Jeff Records over that property.

    Also, I notice lots of sales in the condos all around NH Plaza at pretty inflated prices. It's tough to track the onwership on-line but there has been lots of recent activity and I know CHK already owns a lot of those condos in the various complexes just east of Grand.


    I understand why McClendon wants to keep his plans under wraps until he has acquired everything, however CHK is a publically held corporation that is sinking hundreds of millions in real estate in that area. Seems like they have a duty to the shareholders to disclose what the heck they plan to do, at least in broad terms.
    Maybe he is expanding the residential boundries of N.H. so he can make more room for the mansions of the NBA players. They gotta live somewhere.

  6. #206

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Here's an updated graphic of the NH Plaza area.

    CHK owned properties are shown in yellow. Green indicates properties they are in the process of acquiring (made an assumption about NH Bank):


  7. Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Basically, they have a HUGE opportunity if:

    They plan it right
    Cities and residents agree
    It is something that the public can enjoy

    I think it would be well worth it if Chesapeake said, you know, we're going to create a really special mixed use, urban district where there will be plenty of retail and office space for people who want to work and shop in the area still but at the same time it will take this neighborhood to the next level.

  8. #208

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Quote Originally Posted by shane453 View Post
    Basically, they have a HUGE opportunity if:

    They plan it right
    Cities and residents agree
    It is something that the public can enjoy

    I think it would be well worth it if Chesapeake said, you know, we're going to create a really special mixed use, urban district where there will be plenty of retail and office space for people who want to work and shop in the area still but at the same time it will take this neighborhood to the next level.
    I think it will be a Utica Square-type shopping center and hopefully it will be urban and has a residential component i.e. lofts and townhomes. I think whatever it is it will be GRAND. That whole area could end up being way better than it ever was, maybe someday it will be connected to downtown via streetcar/light rail:

  9. #209

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    BG918 - where did you find that rendering? That kind of light rail system would be amazing for the city...any chance of it actually coming to pass?

  10. #210

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Quote Originally Posted by mheaton76 View Post
    BG918 - where did you find that rendering? That kind of light rail system would be amazing for the city...any chance of it actually coming to pass?
    It's based off the Fixed Guideway Study with some changes I made myself. Basically a "best case scenario" for rail in OKC. The red line would be the starter connecting OUHSC to Auto Alley and Bricktown, the Ford Center, and new blvd. (which will have ROW for rail) and the proposed convention center and park along it. The commuter rail connects Norman and Edmond to downtown, with another future line connecting to the airport.

    The others, the green and blue lines, would be built if the red and commuter lines were successful. But then if Aubrey McClendon and CHK create something spectacular in Nichols Hills around 63rd and Western then that will bring a higher chance of connecting it to downtown via streetcar or light rail using the old trolley ROW along Classen. Those lines would run through the densest neighborhoods in OKC north of downtown, connect the central city to neighborhood districts like the Asian District, Paseo, and Crown Heights and potentially serve destinations like Oklahoma City University, Penn Square Mall, and Nichols Hills.

  11. #211

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    The properties I outlined above comprise about the same area as Utica Square.

    My best hope is that they'll put in a high-end open air shopping district and have mostly parking underground. It would be great to see some unique restaurants, perhaps an art house theater and lots of green space with water features.

    I doubt they'll include much housing in that development (perhaps some as 2nd floor units above retail), as they own tons of land east of Western and I think that's where they plan to concentrate the living units, both north and south of 63rd.

    I'm also sure they want to redevelop a lot of the existing retail/commercial property they own on Western north of 63rd (and south as well, for that matter).

  12. #212

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    BG 918- That is an excellent scenario for rail service! Well done. My only suggestion would be that the initial line should start at the airport, work its way up to the fairgrounds, then over to the Farmers Market area and continue moving east as the red line you have indicated. That way, business and leisure travelers into OKC could get on the train and not have to rent a car or take a taxi. And people coming from the west side of the city could park around Meridian, etc. and hop on the train there to take it downtown. That initial airport-downtown route was very successful in St. Louis and set the stage for the expansion of the system.

  13. #213

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Brzycki View Post

    I doubt they'll include much housing in that development (perhaps some as 2nd floor units above retail), as they own tons of land east of Western and I think that's where they plan to concentrate the living units, both north and south of 63rd.

    .
    Pete et al- I'm curious if anyone is aware of the zoning/use changes the city proposed at public forum in 2006 regarding the area from Grand (south) to Wilshire (north) and N. Western (west) to essentially the railroad tracks (east). Their efforts are of some interest in regards to the above paragraph.

  14. Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    I think Aubrey and Co. have higher visions than Utica Square. They're probably looking at something the quality of Country Club Plaza (KC) or Highland Park Village (HP/Dallas).

  15. #215

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    You can look up specific zoning at this site:

    City of Oklahoma City | Zoning Locator

    Apart from the NH Plaza properties, almost everything else CHK owns is in OKC city limits. And as you can see from this map overlay, most the property within the boundaries you described is zoned I-2, C-3 or O-2. There is some R-1 (single family homes) but I would expect CHK to expand their PUD when as a part of their longer term development project:


  16. #216

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    A fine presentation of the way the area is currently zoned but not was I driving at.
    To be a bit clearer, in 2006 the city of Oklahoma City released at public forum a "land use study" of the area I cited and based on their assertion of nonconformity of use to the city's master plan proposed changes. At a later forum the city of Oklahoma City suggested changes in a fairly concrete form and stated the intent to consider feedback, perhaps on the basis of feedback modify their plan and then proceed to attempt to implement the changes. In this usage "proposed" means essentially "here are our thoughts", suggested means "here's what we want to see done", "implement" essentially means codify. Amongst the suggested changes were in some cases changes in current usage and restrictions on current zoning, that is to say that what is allowed under current zoning may no longer be allowed under the same zoning. Furthermore zoning categories that were granted as recently as 2004 would no longer be granted by modification of master plan. This process now appears to be in limbo. So consider it this way- regardless of Chesapeake's intent in the cited area and regardless of the intentions of others who still own property
    in the area the city of Oklahoma City has independently and publicly expressed a desire to change the direction of patterns of use and to some extent zoning in the cited area. I'm asking if anyone is aware of this, it seems to me to be of interest
    in a discussion of potential changes to the area and particularly to the area I cited.

  17. #217

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Quote Originally Posted by John View Post
    I think Aubrey and Co. have higher visions than Utica Square. They're probably looking at something the quality of Country Club Plaza (KC) or Highland Park Village (HP/Dallas).
    Good. Utica Square is nice but it's still just a shopping center. Creating something more than just a shopping center should be the goal of CHK. I wonder if Rand Elliot will be involved? Him and McClendon seem to have a good relationship.

  18. #218

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Do you think they will completely tear down/remodel NH plaza. The costs of that on top of the inflated prices they paid for the properties would be ridiculously expensive. Im guessing that doesnt matter, but it would make no business or financial sense. I suppose though that if you can play a real life game of SimCity, then go ahead.

  19. Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Quote Originally Posted by onthestrip View Post
    Do you think they will completely tear down/remodel NH plaza.
    I'm pretty sure that's what they have planned. Starting with the portion South of Avondale.

  20. #220

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    I agree with Pete back in post 204 about CHK shareholders being kept in the dark about this. I love Aubrey, but he's treating these real estate acquisitions as if he's the CEO of a private company. I own CHK and bought more after I saw Aubrey picked up 100,000 more shares a couple of weeks ago. But honestly, it's about time for a report to shareholders (the owners), as to what is planned, why, etc. Don't get me wrong, Aubrey is one HELL of an executive and I have full faith and confidence in him as CEO. But sometimes it's okay to ask reasonable questions. I've been wondering about this for some time now.

  21. #221

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Do you think they will completely tear down/remodel NH plaza.
    I do.

    The southern part of the complex effectively has it's back to 63rd street sits in the middle of the proper they are acquiring.

    I doubt they would have spent so much for the land if they didn't plan to completely re-work all the structures. And I'm sure Rand Elliott will be their man, as he's their go-to architect.

    I'm quite sure they have very grand plans (no pun intended ) -- I just hope we start to see something happen soon.

  22. #222

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Now the question is, will it all be Georgian-style architecture like the CHK campus? If so people will think they relocated OSU...

    I'd personally like to see something modern that distinguishes it from the CHK campus. And definitely urban with storefronts coming up to wide sidewalks and on-street parallel parking along Western, NW 63rd, and Avondale.

  23. Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    I'd think they'd keep it similar to the current style of NH Plaza, but bigger and better. An English Tudor type village. I believe they're keeping Coach House as is, so you'd think they would keep the style of the south Plaza.

  24. #224

    Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    Chesapeake Land Co. buys Bekins facility for $2.45 million
    The Journal Record
    February 19, 2008

    OKLAHOMA CITY – Chesapeake is growing north, south, east and west and recently purchased an industrial building south of its main campus. Chesapeake Land Co. LLC purchased the vacant Bekins Moving and Storage facility at 5600 N. Western Ave. for $2.45 million.

    The seller was 5600 N. Western LP. County records from 2007 show the market value for the building at just over $618,000. The one-story, 20,125-square-foot industrial storage warehouse was built in 1961 on about 1.4 acres facing Western Avenue, and just north of Interstate 44.

    Tim Strange, managing director with Sperry Van Ness Oklahoma, handled the transaction for the seller. David Bohanon, of Marcus & Millichap, represented the buyer. Bekins relocated to 3501 N. Santa Fe Ave. in the past few months. Bekins was founded in Iowa in 1891 and has offices around the world. “They moved out in anticipation of the sale of the property,” Strange said.

    Chesapeake has been tight-lipped about plans for its real estate acquisitions. Strange said he also does not know what the company has planned for the site. The Bekins building sits on a triangle-shaped block bordered by Interstate 44, Western Avenue and Grand Boulevard. Chesapeake also owns other buildings and vacant land surrounding the Bekins building along Western Avenue. The purchase is one of the latest for Chesapeake, which also bought a Shell station at 6405 N. Western Ave. for $3 million; a Conoco Save-A-Stop/ND Foods at 5022 N. Western Ave. for $1.2 million; and a light industrial building, with about 1 acre of vacant land, at 900 NW 58th St. for $2 million in late January.

    Strange was involved in a previous sale to Chesapeake when in 2005 he represented the seller of the Glenbrook Centre West, at 1140 NW 63rd St., who sold that building to Chesapeake for $8.5 million.


    Chesapeake Land Co. LLC purchased the vacant Bekins Moving and Storage facility, shown here at 5600 N. Western Ave., for $2.45 million. The seller was 5600 N. Western LP. (Photo by Jennifer Pitts)

  25. Default Re: Chesapeake empire marches on

    I have no problem with that purchase.

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