Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Chesapeake Transforms OKC Neighborhood

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Chesapeake Transforms OKC Neighborhood

Article excerpt

Longtime Meadowbrook Acres resident Erich Carlson has seen the neighborhood change over the years from a sleepy and slightly unkempt enclave off N. Classen Boulevard to an up-and-coming area on the edge of Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s seemingly ever-expanding campus.

Five years ago, Carlson's mid-century, two-story home was insulated from a business district to the north by a few blocks of single-family homes. Now it backs up to the edge of Chesapeake's upscale Classen Curve shopping development.

Carlson said he doesn't have much use for the goods at high-end clothing and home decor boutique Anthropologie or fancy cheese from gourmet grocer Whole Foods that are part of the shopping center.

"My wife went there once just to check it out, but well ... we aren't rich," Carlson said.

Situated just south of the Classen Curve, Meadowbrook Acres has historically been known as Oklahoma City's Little Bohemia. Some original summer cottages that were part of the small vacation community that sprung up near Belle Isle Park and Lake at the end of the Oklahoma Railway Co.'s interurban line in the early 20th century are still visible on some streets.

"It's an interesting little community, very eclectic," said Meadowbrook Acres resident Regan Markley, who lives in a house adjacent to the Classen Curve in a stone cottage built in the 1930s.

Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s real estate arm paid more than $2.2 million to buy one row of homes in the Meadowbrook Acres neighborhood next to the Classen Curve shopping center, shelling out as much as 10 times the market value. The company has plans to close a section of NW 58th Street south of the shopping center to add more parking to the development, as well as at least two additional stores, according to records submitted to the Oklahoma Planning Commission.

The last 1,187-square-foot home on the block at 1126 NW 58th St. sold to Chesapeake for $831,500 in August 2011, according to property records. That's about 10 times the county assessor's listed market value of $83,617 for the home. …

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