OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (May 12, 2010) – Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFMI), the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket, is coming to northwest Oklahoma City. The site was announced jointly today by officials from Whole Foods Market and Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) “After many months of speculation, we are pleased and excited to officially confirm the much anticipated plan to build a Whole Foods Market store in northwest Oklahoma City,” said Aubrey K. McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake. “Whole Foods Market is a leader in the expanding natural and organic foods business. The Whole Foods Market brand has been built on consistently selling the highest quality natural and organic food products and maintaining high standards of quality, customer service and community involvement. The fact that we have attracted one of the most coveted retailers in the country to our community validates the revitalization we have experienced in Oklahoma City the past ten years.”
Whole Foods Market recently signed a lease enabling Chesapeake to move forward with the construction of a 35,000 square-foot store along North Western Avenue between North Classen and N.W. 63rd Street to anchor the next phase of Chesapeake’s development activities around its 50-acre Oklahoma City headquarters.
“The addition of a Whole Foods Market to the Classen, Western, Grand and N.W. 63rd Street district contiguous to our corporate headquarters campus signifies a major step forward in our vision to create the most vibrant and dynamic urban environment for our employees and neighbors to live, work and play in Oklahoma. Without question, Whole Foods Market is the perfect complement to the upscale local retailers and restaurateurs in Classen Curve, south of the site where the new Whole Foods Market will be built,” said McClendon. “We are taking the retail, entertainment and business environment to a new level in Oklahoma City while simultaneously furthering a mission of sustainability and healthy living with the addition of a Whole Foods Market.”
Scheduled to open by year-end 2011, the new Oklahoma City Whole Foods Market will be the largest natural and organic supermarket in the state. In keeping with Whole Foods Market’s recently announced national initiative to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2010, the supermarket in Oklahoma City will be built to strict green building standards. The Oklahoma City store will incorporate an energy efficient design, alternative refrigerants and advanced eco-friendly systems.
“Whole Foods Market has watched Oklahoma City’s transformation these past ten years with great interest. The area around Chesapeake’s distinctive and beautiful campus, combined with Aubrey’s vision to create an eco-friendly, aesthetically beautiful and people-pleasing environment at Classen Curve, caught our attention,” said Walter Robb, chief operating officer and co-president of Whole Foods Market. “We look forward to bringing our innovative, dynamic food shopping experience to Oklahoma City. As people who have followed our growth know, we do not take a cookie-cutter approach to our stores, but instead will design and build this store with products and ingredients sought out by the Oklahoma City community. We appreciate the genuine warmth we have experienced in Oklahoma City and look forward to serving the community.”
Tom Blanton of Blanton Property Company in Oklahoma City represented Chesapeake in the transaction.