Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Something has me stumped. Can someone explain how Chesapeake has been able to demolish everything between I-44 and Nichols Hills without ever showing their cards, ever alluding to an overall plan, anyone ever knowing about it until the buildings are gone, ever actually presenting a masterplan to the city, or anything of that sort?

First of all, let me say I'm not suggesting a conspiracy, I'm truly stumped. What has me stumped is how you ca drive down 63rd and every time it's a new experience seeing another mid-rise office building gone, and you're asking yourself, "Wait, I know there was an apartment complex right there last week?? I had a friend who lived there. What on earth??" It's bizarre.

If you scour the city council agendas you will never find any mention of Chesapeake. So what is the process for this? For instance, Chesapeake demolished the funeral home long before they ever announced Whole Foods, even though it was a done deal long before. Why wait so long to make these plans public? I don't get it.

There's a great old brick office building, built in the style of most OKC Public Schools (so I guess it's an old school), that now has yellow tape around it and boarded up windows. In fact, if anyone drives by it tomorrow, they'll probably be scratching their heads wondering where it went. Or maybe someone will send me an email telling me it's already gone. Or maybe it's being gutted and renovated instead. But there's no way to tell! We'll never know, until it's finished! (I'm hoping that my writing style at this point conveys a sense of facetiousness) To be clear, I think it is going to be renovated, and not torn down.

Very frustrating, though. How are they able to get away with forcing people out of their homes left and right, demolishing virtually an entire chunk of the city in the middle of the night, and then waiting until the building permit is already in-hand to announce what it's going to be, if we're lucky? I mean, there's normally a long drawn-out process where we get to see what developers are planning. The city typically has to approve construction projects. We do not have "commercial use by right" zones like some other cities (to my knowledge), which don't require an approval process as long as there's no zoning change. We have a review process that is important in this city.

Right now, all we know is that Chesapeake has the "Triangle at the Curve" under construction now (Whole Foods, likely other big tenants), and has applied to demolish some more houses in the neighborhood behind Classen Curve for more Balliet's parking. Also, most interestingly, Stanton Young (as a long-term OCURA guy, probably one of the most informed people about development in this town), filed a suit against Chesapeake to derail plans to build 5-story condos behind his Nichols Hills mansion. Chesapeake's response: We have no such plans. Riiiiight... (the case was dismissed)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Has anyone been able to find a direct reason why Chesapeake wants to build such a sprawled out campus? I find it funny that a natural gas company does something such as this when, in my opinion, it would appear to be much cheaper and efficient to simply consolidate your resources to an office tower. I've driven around the area a couple times and each time it's confusing to see what's been built, what's being demolished, etc.

It's funny you mention this to because they do certainly fly under the radar.