Call it superstition, call it prudence, but for whatever reason, for months those overseeing the construction of the 50-story Devon Energy Center declined to discuss what is being hailed as an extraordinarily safe job site.
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Grand opening set
Civic leaders and media will gather Tuesday for an invitation-only grand opening of Devon Energy Center.
For Larry Nichols, executive chairman, the opening marks more than four decades since he and his father, John Nichols, started with a four-person office at Liberty Tower (now known as Chase Tower).
“It’s a pretty historic moment,” Nichols told The Oklahoman in a recent interview. “It’s a delight to get all of the employees back in one building, to have a better sense of community where we can communicate effectively. It’s a big difference in efficiency.”
The opening comes on the heels of Devon announcing it is shutting down its operation in Houston and moving about 300 jobs to the new headquarters in Oklahoma City. Nichols said that thanks to not just the company’s own investment, but also the investments made by city residents with the MAPS programs, the job of convincing employees to move to Oklahoma City is easier.
“Back in 1999, when we bought Pennzoil, it was exceedingly difficult to get anyone to move here,” Nichols said. “We’ve had a significant number say they wanted to be considered before sundown that day (when Devon announced its intention to move jobs from Houston earlier this month).”