OKLAHOMA CITY-Aubrey McLendon, founder, former chairman and CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corp. announced his retirement earlier this year, effective April 1. While the leader will be stepping down in the middle of controversy and an SEC investigation, articles in the Daily Oklahoman point out that the commercial real estate market will definitely be impacted with the changes going on at the natural gas company.
According to a recent report issued by Grubb & Ellis/Levy Beffort, Chesapeake controls about 7% of the city’s office market, seemingly snapping up just about everything during the 200s. However, the Daily Oklahoman reports that the company has slowed its acquisitions and has even sold some of its commercial real estate assets at a loss.
A little more than a decade ago, Chesapeake was a still relatively obscure energy company with offices on Western Avenue. After buying properties in the late 1990s for expansion of its core campus, the company started gobbling up office properties. One expert points out that the peak of Chesapeake’s ownership came about in January 2012, after it purchased Harvey Parkway – at which time it owned one million square feet in addition to its one-million-square-foot office campus. The Oklahoman reports that the buying spree halted during the summer of 2012. Furthermore, Chesapeake has announced plans to streamline operations and has put its 20-story office building in downtown Fort Worth up for sale.
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