New big-name stores may soon call the Oklahoma City metropolitan area home. Negotiations to sell Chesapeake-owned Nichols Hills Plaza, Classen Curve and neighboring properties are nearing a close, according to sources close to the process.
Ohio-based company, Glimcher Realty Trust, is promising a renaissance of sorts in an area where stores have been closing. Glimcher has confirmed to News 9 that it is working to acquire 290,000 sq. ft. of retail that includes all of Classen Curve, the triangle-shaped development where Whole Foods is located, neighboring undeveloped land and Nichols Hills Plaza.
"It's going to be fantastic to see what happens here," shopper Steve Faulkner said.
Glimcher is a company that owns 25 properties across the country, featuring high-end shops and restaurants. Current store owners in Nichols Hills Plaza tell News 9 they are excited for the change.
"[The] last couple of years have been very challenging," Saturn Grill owner Joseph Royer said.
Royer says Chesapeake's sky-high rent has been forcing business owners to throw in the towel over the last few years.
"To me, it was silly to get into the real estate business when they were doing so well in oil and natural gas," said Royer. "They (Chesapeake) were not the best landlords I've ever had."
Glimcher tells News 9 it is too early to be discussing new tenants just yet. However, a company spokesperson says people should not to be surprised to see names the Glimcher already partners with -- such as Nike, The North Face, Brooks Brothers, Crate & Barrel and Madewell.
"I definitely would like to shop at those stores," one shopper said.
Currently, Classen Curve is underdeveloped. Nichols Hills Plaza is roughly half vacant, which threatened the City of Nichols Hills with a deficit over less tax revenue. Sources close to the negotiations tell News 9 a deal may be reached in a matter of days or weeks.
Chesapeake began selling property around its Oklahoma City campus in 2013 after former CEO Aubrey McClendon left the company.