And that’s just fine. Because this is one scoop I personally don’t think is fully cooked, and I’m not at all certain we’re about to see Continental Resources moving its headquarters to downtown Oklahoma City.
First, here’s a link to my competitor’s scoop: http://www.dolanmedia.com/view.cfm?recID=647913
And now, some background on why I’ve not gone with a similar story to date, even though I’ve been hearing the same talk of Continental Resources since the day The Oklahoman broke news of the sale of Devon’s current headquarters to Ford Price.
My job would be A LOT easier if I could rumors for stories. That having been said, I’ve got some very good sources indicating what Bailey has in the JR story.
I respect Bailey – she’s done good work. But I guarantee you she doesn’t know if it’s actually Continental moving in, just as I don’t know whether it’s Continental moving in.
Two weeks before the Kerr-McGee Headquarters sale went down in 2007, I had impeccable sources tell me Chesapeake was buying Kerr-McGee Tower. The deal didn’t make sense to me at the time, and the same sources were being careful in saying it wouldn’t be Chesapeake moving into the tower.
I didn’t go with a story at that time because I didn’t have enough good info – and sure enough, while it was Chesapeake that bought KM Tower from Anadarko, they turned around and sold it to SandRidge.
Harold Hamm, founder of Continental, has been a very big booster in Enid, currently home to Continental.
Consider this story from May 8, 2009:
ENID — While many growing oil and gas companies have abandoned small Oklahoma towns for metropolises such as Houston in recent decades, Continental Resources executives say they like Enid just fine.
“It’s a great place to live. It has a nice downtown square and great quality of life,” said Harold Hamm, Continental’s chairman.
The community of about 50,000 also has a “long, storied history with oil,” Hamm said, noting it has been the home of Champlin Exploration, Eason Oil Co. and Knox Oil Co., among others.
Hamm said history is important because it meant he had a deep pool of talent to draw upon when he came to Enid in the 1960s and began establishing his oil businesses.
Few traffic woes
Hamm’s management team shares his enthusiasm for Enid.
John Hart, Continental’s chief financial officer, said he lived in Dallas 11 years and doesn’t miss the daily commute.
“The traffic there meant less time with family and kids,” he said.
“People in Houston understand that. We’ve been fairly successful in the past in attracting people out of Houston. We’re able to attract the right people and don’t have the turnover some companies have.”
J. Warren Henry, vice president of investor relations, said one of the wonderful things about Enid is Continental employees have a chance to get involved in community projects in ways that make a difference.
Regardless of whether a person is talking about raising money for the local YMCA, public schools, or the Enid Symphony — Continental Resources is involved in all those projects and more, he said.
“In some ways, it’s a chance to be an incubator for change,” Hart said.
“And my sense is people really appreciate it,” Henry said.
Chance to be heard
Jack Stark, senior vice president of exploration, said recent college graduates seem to be attracted by the relatively flat management structure at Continental which gives them a chance to make decisions and directly present ideas to senior management.
“Nobody here is surprised when Harold (Hamm) comes in and sits in their cubicle,” Henry said. “There is an opportunity for students to come out of college and get responsibility immediately.”
With the above story just a year or so old, a move to OKC would be a radical change in direction. Something isn’t adding up here, and that’s why I say reporting rumors of Continental Resources moving to Devon’s current headquarters might prove to be a bit risky for the JR. But then again, consider the rather weak denial by Continental’s spokesman – he’s denying the company has bought the building. He’s not denying anything else.
My gut tells me that as with the Chesapeake buying KM Tower story, there may be some twists, turns and surprises on this one as well. I’ve spent a lot of time hunting it down. There’s a part of this story that is still a mystery to many people.
In chronological order:
1969: (earliest) I was a wee one, watching the New York Mets on their way to winning the World Series.
Early 1970s: First visits to Empire State Building, Radio City Music Hall
1974/75?: A hippie teacher gave my class a choice when we arrived in Manhattan on a field trip to the Museum of Natural History – proceed to the museum or catch Chicago playing a free concert in Central Park. We naturally chose Chicago – nothing better than hearing the band play “Saturday in the Park” in the park
that inspired the song.
Mid-1970s: Visit to San Francisco and Fisherman’s Wharf.
1976: First visit to Oklahoma City. Half of downtown is being torn down, Sheraton Century Center Hotel set to open, listening to father talk to others about big plans ahead. Still an odd thing for a kid to see. Was always fascinated by the “Chock’Full’o'Nuts” coffee shop (I think it was located where Leadership Square is now). The coffee shop and building didn’t survive long enough for me to check out when my family moved out the following year.
1977: Watched the Biltmore Hotel blown to bits. Also saw the Sheraton open, construction begin on the Conncourse underground pedestrian tunnels.
1980-1982: Spent summers working as a gopher (messenger boy, errands, etc) for downtown CPA firm. Downtown was thriving. Loved making bank deposits at the Great Banking Hall. Century Center Plaza, believe it or not, was even pretty lively, and enjoyed lunch breaks playing Pac Man in the game room. Made a couple of errand runs to the Skirvin. It was dark, it was gloomy, it was boring. I was young and stupid.
1984: Spent a week in downtown Dallas at the National Republican Convention. No parents. Just me and a bunch of other high school and college students. Downtown Dallas was surprisingly lacking in things to do, and I didn’t get a chance to visit West End.
1987: My first visit to West End. If you were a college student in Oklahoma City in the late 1980s, you averaged at least a dozen trips a year to West End and always found a friend’s couch to crash on at night. West End had EVERYTHING. Live music, shops, restaurants, clubs, and what seemed like thousands of beautiful women out and about all the time.
1990: College trip to San Francisco, shortly after the earthquake. Wow is all I can say. An amazing amount of clean up and recovery had occurred in a very short time.
1992: First visit to downtown Kansas City. Didn’t like the core, but sure was impressed by the Plaza. Also went to St. Louis – also not very impressed. Spent a lot of time in New York City – the decade-long revival of the city was already underway and it was great going to Radio City, 30 Rock and all the places that make this one of the world’s greatest cities. Christmas time in New York City is truly magical, and should be a part of anyone’s “bucket list.”
1993: Visits to Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Miami in Florida. First glimpse at how the more beautiful the locale is, you can expect a shambles in the urban core of each location.
1994: Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville. Not impressed at all by Knoxville. Nashville and Memphis stood out even though they both had pretty seedy looking downtowns. They still had great history and architecture. Beale Street was awesome.
1995: Little Rock, Ark. Not as dull as I expected it to be.
Late 1990s: Visits to downtown Denver, San Antonio, Austin, Fort Worth, Waikiki, and Boston. Impressed by all. Impressed by Sundance Square in Austin, rubber-tired trolley system being used effectively in Denver, and the historic preservation in San Antonio. Got to see impact of the Big Dig in Boston, and loved visiting Italian district in Boston. Also enjoyed my last look at the New York skyline with the World Trade Center. The beauty of Hawaii is diminished by the numerous examples of horrid urban planning in downtown Waikiki.
Last visit to West End during its heyday -Marketplace was full, Hard Rock Cafe was open, light rail was coming online.
Early 2000s: First time I extensively toured downtown Tulsa. Incredible potential, wonderful Art Deco architecture – all being neglected by a city that can’t seem to get its act together. Also impressed by Old Town in Wichita, went through Topeka, but I can’t remember a single detail from that stop
2005: Yet another visit to downtown Denver.
2006: Went back to West End. It was dead. Cautionary tale for Bricktown? I’ve asked this many a time. Hopefully lessons will be taken to heart.
2007: Toured small downtowns across the state. Some of my favorites included visiting a bookstore and coffee shop in Miami that we would dream of having in downtown OKC, an incredible upscale steakhouse in downtown Poteau where the owners had a great residence upstairs, seeing downtown Stillwater come alive, seeing Main Street principles followed in Durant and Okmulgee.
2008: Albany, New York. Stunning old architecture. Not a bad looking city.
2009: Yet another visit to Dallas. Sad to see aspirations for world class city status frozen by the “Great Recession.” Skyscraper construction halted throughout downtown, Victory development looking dead.
2010: Oklahoma City.
David Morris definitely has the advantage over me in that he doesn’t have kids – so I regret not getting to the Block Party Friday night. Looks like it was a blast.
To see more of Dave’s videos, visit his blog at http://blog.newsok.com/davemorris/
I guess I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog this week. It’s not to say things aren’t happening, and I’ll try to do some catching up the next couple of days.
In the meantime, yet another music video for you to end the week.
Will you never rest?
Fighting the battle of who could care less
Everyday you wake up late
Sometimes I wish I was that way ….
A glance at the Oklahoma City Council agenda shows the former Thunder player is being appointed the MAPS 3 parks subcommittee. I remember hearing reports that Mason arrived in town almost immediately after the team’s relocation to OKC was announced … the man clearly has a passion for the city, and I’m looking forward to seeing his art gallery and shop when it opens in MidTown.