From the Dallas Business Journal by Nicholas Sakelaris
In a sign of the times for the Barnett Shale, Chesapeake Energy sold its Fort Worth headquarters to Hines and will consolidate its employees onto the 20th floor, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Taking the other 19 floors will be Pier 1 Imports, the Fort Worth-based home décor retailer that originally built that building and used it as its headquarters, the Star-Telegram reports. Pier 1 is taking over 313,000 square feet of space and the building will be renamed the Pier 1 Imports Building. Terms of the sale to Hines were not disclosed. Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake put the building on the market in 2012. Earlier this year, Chesapeake announced that it expected to sell off $650 million in real estate and non-drilling related assets in 2014. “Through this sale, Chesapeake continues its strategy of divesting non-core assets to optimize operational efficiency and focus on our business of energy exploration and production,” Gordon Pennoyer, a Chesapeake spokesman, told the Star-Telegram.
Chesapeake, which ran its Barnett Shale drilling operations out of that building for the past decade, got hit hard by the drop in natural gas prices that hit in 2008 and never really recovered. Chesapeake at one time had 400 people working there, the Star-Telegram reported. Last year, Chesapeake confirmed it had laid off 86 people from its Barnett Shale operation. Chesapeake pulled its name off the building last week. “We are delighted about this new affiliation with Hines and look forward to a long partnership,” Alex Smith, Pier 1’s president and CEO, told the Star-Telegram. “Pier 1 has been associated with Fort Worth for more than 50 years and our associates are committed to our community.”