The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer took questions from readers in today's OKC Central Live Chat. You can join Steve's Q&As on Fridays at 10 a.m. and submit your questions about the happenings in and around downtown Oklahoma City. Read the complete chat transcript here.
What ever happened to talk of Grand Prix racing coming to OKC?
I spoke to the two competing groups about a year ago and they indicated they still wanted to make a race a reality. I've heard more from the group led by Mike McAuliffe who wants to do a race by the zoo. I'm not sure either effort, however, will be successful due to the mixed track record of similar races that have taken place across the country.
Do you think the Grand Prix might be waiting for some incentives?
That's certainly a part of the equation. But I'm not sure if that's why a race hasn't taken place. Consider that the Baltimore Grand Prix, launched the same year the Oklahoma City Council said no to a $7.1 million incentive request for a race downtown, went bankrupt and had all sorts of problems.
Do you ever see a day where the canal is extended into the business district?
There was an effort to do just this during the planning for the MAPS 3 campaign. Parties in Bricktown went to quite the effort to pitch such an extension, but Mayor Mick Cornett shot it down. it's hard to visualize such an effort taking place again.
Are there any plans for the restaurant space on the east side of Myriad Gardens?
I did a story before the Myriad Gardens restaurant was designed and built, quoting some of the city's most successful urban core restaurant operators as warning city officials were misguided in seeking to build a restaurant for "white linen cloth" fine dining. They were warned not to proceed without an operator on board. The city went ahead with the construction, and the restaurant remains empty. Note that the designer for the MAPS 3 Core to Shore park a block south of the Myriad Gardens has a cafe planned for the park. And she pretty much repudiated how the city went forward with the Myriad Gardens restaurant as she explained how the cafe in the Core to Shore park wouldn't be a waste of taxpayer dollars.
Is there still plans to put up the ferris wheel down along the river?
The Humphreys have not indicated they've changed their plans for the old Downtown Airpark, and the Ferris Wheel was a part of those plans.
Anything new with Crossroads Mall? Are the owners just hanging on to it?
I've been hearing a plan will be announced soon. We'll have to wait and see.
Have you heard of many traffic complaints since the relocation of I-40?
Traffic is still a challenge because the highway is not complete and the engineers made assumptions about the boulevard schedule and design that now have to be tweaked.
What is going in across from Cafe 7 on Corner of Robinson and Park? Southside of Park and West side of Robinson?
I hear it's a clothing store.
Any updates on the Preftake's block?
The run-down store fronts are looking more run-down. That's about it right now. That and Pizza Town closed.