SandRidge Energy Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tom Ward is looking ahead at growth that will include a tripling of the downtown workforce and construction of a building equal in size to the 29-story SandRidge Building.
Ward unveiled a new logo Friday and announced to employees that the company's switch from natural gas to oil production is complete. He also estimated his company will employ just fewer than 2,000 downtown within five years.
“In our five-year plan, we look to have another building on the east side of the headquarters,” Ward said in an interview with The Oklahoman. “It should be close to the same amount of square feet we have in the existing building, and it will be home to approximately 800 employees.”
Ward added the building might not be as tall as the current 29-story SandRidge Building, however, due to a larger footprint facing Broadway between Robert S. Kerr and Dean A. McGee Avenues.
The new building will be in the next phase of the SandRidge Commons development, which began three years ago after the company's acquisition of the former Kerr McGee headquarters at 123 Robert S. Kerr Ave. In visiting with his employees Friday, Ward called the purchase “the only good real estate project I've done in my life.”
Ward said the company originally was looking to establish a base on the north side of the city when it was time to leave Valliance Tower at Northwest Expressway and Interstate 44 because 85 percent of the workforce lived nearby. He said he also liked the idea of something “close to my house,” but the $25 million Kerr McGee headquarters deal was too good to pass up.
Ward estimated it would have cost as much as $150 million to acquire land and build a new headquarters.
He believes the west lobby of the SandRidge Building should re
Demolition of the old Petroleum Club office building and garage at 120 Robert S. Kerr Ave. will begin later this year, and the unnamed “amenities building” that will take its place will be up in 2014.
The company's purchase of the Broadway-Kerr Garage from the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority, meanwhile, is set for January.
Excited by growth
Ward said he is excited to see the growth nearby from Devon Energy Corp. and the pending arrival downtown of Continental Resources from Enid. He said the same oil plays boosting their companies' growth will likely give birth to other startups — companies he believes might consider downtown as a home as well.
Ward said SandRidge Commons is designed to accommodate his company's growth — and create a welcoming environment to the community and
“We can grow the company into the best energy company in the world,” he said.