Chesapeake’s Mysterious Master Plan for Campus Expansion Faces Uncertain Future

  • Joe Wertz

Over the past decade, Chesapeake Energy spent millions on hundreds of Oklahoma City properties.

Homes, land and buildings were purchased. Many were razed. Company-owned shopping centers, restaurants, sleek CNG fueling stations, condos, a hotel, and a heliport were discussed. Chesapeake was tight-lipped, and no one — not the city, public, nor the energy company’s campus neighbors — ever knew all the details of the company’s master plan for campus expansion.

The real estate vision was driven by company founder and CEO Aubrey McClendon, The Oklahoman’s Steve Lackmeyer and Brianna Bailey report. And with McClendon’s recent ousting and imminent retirement, there is growing concern that the energy giant’s new, budget-minded leaders won’t want to play master planner.

“What I’m curious about,” OKC City Councilman Ed Shadid tells the paper, “is whether the new board would have the same enthusiasm for Oklahoma City real estate that is tangential if not completely unrelated to the oil and gas industry.”