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OKC Central Chat transcript, May 31, 2013

The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer took questions from readers in today's OKC Central Live Chat. You can join Steve's Q&A's on Fridays at 10 a.m. and submit your questions about the happenings in and around downtown Oklahoma City.
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: May 31, 2013 at 11:20 am •  Published: May 31, 2013
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The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer took questions from readers in today's OKC Central Live Chat. You can join Steve's Q&A's on Fridays at 10 a.m. and submit your questions about the happenings in and around downtown Oklahoma City. Below is an unedited transcript of the chat.

Steve Lackmeyer 10:00 a.m. Good morning everybody!
Andrew 10:00 a.m. When do you expect something to be announced on the development at 10th & Hudson.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:01 a.m. We'll likely see some intriguing announcements within the next several months. Look for a mix that is far more than housing.
Andrew 10:01 a.m. This is a little off topic from Central OKC, but what do you think is the best way to stop the metro areas sprawl? Maybe an Urban Growth Boundary? If that is the answer, what is the likelihood that OKC will ever see one?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:03 a.m. There would be have to be a sea change in the city's political leadership and the way our community approaches growth.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:08 a.m. I'm set to ask that question next week.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:08 a.m. Folks, be patient... having wireless challenges.
Gary T 10:10 a.m. Happy Friday Steve and as always, thanks for taking our questions. With all the recent activities, what are the chances the downtown school looks at putting in a storm shelter in the school?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:11 a.m. This is definitely a question I'll be asking.
Gary T 10:11 a.m. I remember seeing plans for a renovation/addition to the Tiffany Apartments on Expressway and May. Do you know if that deal fell through or is it still being worked on?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:11 a.m. To my knowledge, the project is stalled. I'll see if Richard Mize is working anything on it
Gary T 10:12 a.m. Rand Elliott's office is just north of all the developments going on in Deep Deuce. Do you see him expanding into that triangle area any time soon?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:12 a.m. I don't think Rand Elliott is looking to expand his offices, but that whole area is in play and we'll be seeing a lot housing development soon.
Gary T 10:12 a.m. Once the Santa Fe Train Station is acquired as the hub for the city, what do you think will be done in there first? Basic clean up? Rebuilding crumbling areas in the building?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:13 a.m. I'm sure both will be done simultaneously. Look for this matter to be resolved by fall.
Gary T 10:13 a.m. It looks like the Salvation Army has filed for a permit to start construction on their new home at 10th & Penn. How long do you think construction will take and do you think the city will start construction on the Central Park prior to the Salvation Army office in that area shutting down?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:13 a.m. I'm just guessing on this one, but a project that size will take at least a year to build.
Gary T 10:14 a.m. Do you think the Farmer's Market area could thrive even if the boulevard was raised creating more of a divide?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:14 a.m. I think it would be more challenging. The bigger issue is whether the city will invest in the area's crumbling infrastructure.
Gary T 10:14 a.m. Are the Producer's Co-op and the Lumberyard two seperate properties? Could a developer buy the Lumberyard with frontage to the boulevard without having to do anything with the Co-op?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:14 a.m. Of course they could. But will this happen?
Gary T 10:14 a.m. I'll be honest, I was really frustrated with the first three hotel/convention center renderings until I saw the one placing the hotel fronting Robinson with the larger convention space under Hudson. Do you think a lot of people felt the same way?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:19 a.m. I sense the last concept, which is being pursued, is a lot more popular with folks than the previous three. But remember, Oklahoma City putting together a deal for such a hotel is far from a sure thing. Most experts have cautioned Oklahoma City will need to chip in at least $50 million to make this deal work.
Nick 10:19 a.m. Good morning Steve!
Steve Lackmeyer 10:19 a.m. Good morning!
Guest 10:19 a.m. How's progress coming along at The Rise? Do they have an Opening Date set?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:20 a.m. The hotel/motel liquidators store is emptied out. The developer is still saying construction is set to start soon.
Guest 10:20 a.m. Any word on new residential areas along 23rd St? Can 23rd St (Uptown) become more popular then Bricktown as far as bars/restaurants/music?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:20 a.m. No. Yes.
Waffleton 10:22 a.m. With all of the development downtown and surrounding, what needs to happen next for us to see a high-rise residential tower? Or with the space we have to grow out a little around downtown and the new "Union" park do you think there will ever be a true demand for anything other than mid-rise developments?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:24 a.m. I believe Oklahoma City will see mid-rise towers (under 20 stories) built downtown over the next few years. The most likely sites are around the Civic Center Music Hall and in Core to Shore. Curious as to what "Union park" you're referring to
Naptown12713 10:24 a.m. Per your reporting on last week's blog, you mentioned that in due time that the mystery tower and potential another tower could be coming to fruition. As for my question, what potential impact will each one could have on the visual appearance on the skyline...i.e..Skyline Changer or Skyline Filler.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:25 a.m. I think both. And keep in mind, I'm sticking with previous suggestions that we may be looking at more than one tower over the next few years. The skyline is growing, and will continue to grow.
TylerB 10:25 a.m. Morning Steve! When and where is the Greyhound Bus Station near the future downtown elementary school moving? Also, is the metro bus station going to stay on 4th and Hudson?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:27 a.m. Renovations on an old restaurant at I-40 and Eastern are underway as part of the plan to turn that into the new Greyhound terminal. Look for a switch in locations this next year. Discussions are taking place about the future of the Metro Transit operations being moved to the future transit hub, but no definite action is planned as of yet.
Tyler 10:27 a.m. Hi Steve, this is Tyler. I honestly want to apologize to all for starting the waffle house joke and want to put an end to it. I appreciate your work. What city in the United States would you most compare to OKC and why? Thanks again and no more waffle house.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:29 a.m. That's cool. Welcome back. I struggle in comparing Oklahoma City to other cities. We're really unique in how we started (one day, one gunshot fired to start the Land Run). We're very unique, and I think we ought to embrace that and quit worrying about how we measure up to others.
Larry 10:30 a.m. What's your book about?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:30 a.m. The history of the central Oklahoma YMCA. Quite a great story. It should be out next year.
Alex Phillips 10:30 a.m. What's good Steve? Who do you think the OKC Thunder will draft in the upcoming NBA Draft?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:30 a.m. I have no idea - best to ask this of Berry or Darnell.
Matt 10:30 a.m. I notice that you posted on twitter about the door-to-door contractor scam. Have you heard of any bad stories involving cons or scams post-tornado?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:31 a.m. Not personally, but I've not been tracking that story. Trust me, they're out there.
Ernest 10:31 a.m. When will the DT Greyhound station be closed? Has the relocation station on Reno been selected yet? If yes, which station?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:31 a.m. See my previous answer.
John 10:31 a.m. How crazy is it that nobody recognized Bob Stoops for 30 minutes? Crazy.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:32 a.m. We're Oklahomans - we tend to let our celebrities have some privacy as they go about their normal lives. It might just be that people thought, "Hey, that's Bob. It's sure great that he's out here. I guess I'll just let him be - we both have a lot work to get done..."
Kerry 10:33 a.m. Was the Kirk Humphreys resignation from the MAPS 3 Convention Center committee widely known before hand, and did he specify why he was resigning?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:35 a.m. It shouldn't have been a surprise. The city staff has, for whatever reason, had a track record of scheduling and posting these meetings at the very last minute. Humphreys has been in Eufaula a lot working on the Carlton Landing development with son Grant, and the last minute nature of these meetings often left him unable to attend. He was, by the way, one of the only dissenting voices on the committee when it came to discussions of the site selection and design.
Alex Phillips 10:36 a.m. Steve, what do you do in your free time?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:37 a.m. Sleep. I have kids.
Nick 10:37 a.m. Steve, regarding 10th and Hudson development, will hear of what's planned before Thanksgiving?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:37 a.m. maybe
Buddy 10:37 a.m. what's new, up and coming, in the OKC retail scene?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:37 a.m. Entertainment and more clothing stores for downtown.
Buddy 10:37 a.m. I'm told Ruth's Chris is coming to Classen Curve where they are moving earth behind 501. Anything else going on there besides that?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:38 a.m. That's rumor No. 6 on Ruth's Chris. They're clearing sniffing around OKC, but I'm not aware of any deals being done yet.
Energy Guy 10:38 a.m. Have you heard anything about a group of developers with a license to build a World Trade Center in downtown OKC?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:38 a.m. No.
Kyle 10:39 a.m. Happy Friday Steve! Besides the convention center hotel, do you anticipate any full service hotels coming to OKC in the near future (i.e. mainline Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, Westin, JW Marriott, etc)?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:39 a.m. A full service Embassy Suites is set to be built in the Oklahoma Health Center at NE 8 and Lincoln. But all in all, it's cheaper to develop limited service hotels and that's where all the interest is.
Buddy 10:39 a.m. Nichols Hills Plaza is now completely empty except for CK and Co. and the stuff across the parking lot. What is going on there? What a shame that has all been destroyed by Chesapeake and then walked out on.
BethanySooner 10:42 a.m. Steve, assuming the proposed parking garage is built in north Bricktown, where do you think the city will build the next garage?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:42 a.m. That's a difficult question to answer. I'm not sure there are any good sites left.
Energy Guy 10:43 a.m. Also, I understand that the OKC Airport Trust is contemplating a mixed-use development in the special trade zone, as well as a unified car rental facility. What can we expect regarding the mixed-use development?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:43 a.m. Not sure. Certainly this area deserves an update story...
Elise 10:43 a.m. Hi Steve. The Urban Growth Boundary idea would be a fantastic way to define this town in so many ways. It's too bad an unbroken ring of open prairie doesn't carry the same wow weight as mountains or the ocean.
Soccer fan 10:43 a.m. Have you been out to an OKC FC game yet?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:43 a.m. Nope.
Guest 10:44 a.m. Steve, what is the latest on reopening Coach's by the Ball Park?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:44 a.m. Silence so far.
Carl Sullivan 10:44 a.m. Steve, what is the latest on reopeing Coach's near the ball park?
DGofOKC 10:44 a.m. Hello Steve, I read your transcript every week, however this is my first time posting a question. Do you think NE 4th east of I-235 to MLK will be developed in the near future, furthermore it would be great to see Reno cleaned up as well between the same area.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:50 a.m. Folks, are you seeing my answers popping up?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:52 a.m. DG, I'm going to answer this again in case the post got lost. I think it's just a question of when NE 4 gets redeveloped. The city's planning department did a study with area leaders and property owners for the area, and the revival of the adjoining John F. Kennedy neighborhood is going great. The corridor is gaining importance with the expansion of the Oklahoma Health Center and the growth of the eastern fringe of downtown.
Waffleton 10:52 a.m. Once the new CC is built what will become of the old myriad? What are the odds city leaders try and preserve just the areana protion and demo the east and west exhibit halls for new development? Would it be fesible to just demo the whole block and build a new arena to the south of the Peake?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:54 a.m. Some folks want to see the whole block torn down and redeveloped. Others want to see the old arena retained and just the exhibit halls torn down and replaced with development. Expect this discussion to continue as plans emerge for the new convention center.
okcretro 10:54 a.m. sorry if i missed these questions, but when are the drum room and Lulu lemon plan on opening?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:54 a.m. I don't know. These are questions for our retail reporter, Jennifer Palmer.
Gary T 10:54 a.m. Once the new park is built, will the areas adjacent be rezoned for just residential or just retail/commercial purposes?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:55 a.m. I think we'll see a mix.
Nick 10:55 a.m. Are you still not worried about Mystery Tower? There was a lot of smoke to this fire, but weeks continue to come and go with nothing new to report. Do you know if the deal is almost done?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:55 a.m. I am absolutely not worried.
okcretro 10:55 a.m. Steve i believe my grandfather was ahead of it when it first opened. Do you want any information on him?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:55 a.m. Sure.
Elise 10:55 a.m. Any more news on the potential renovation to the old jail house?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:56 a.m. No. There seems to be a quiet tug-of-war at City Hall over this property. It's on my list to update.
BethanySooner 10:56 a.m. Once the city purchases Santa Fe Station, what will happen to any businesses that are currently occupying it?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:56 a.m. I don't know...
Biff 10:57 a.m. Steve, any word on the location of the Enogex/Centerpoint HDQ?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:57 a.m. Nope.
Nick 10:57 a.m. Piggybacking on Kerry's question; how does Gary Marrs get nominated to a CITIZENS advisory committee?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:57 a.m. He's a resident of Oklahoma City and not an elected official.
Nick O 10:58 a.m. Any updates on the Peloton Wine Bar that Schlegels is building behind their shop on Broadway?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:58 a.m. Nope. This is the first I've heard about it!
Chris 10:58 a.m. Steve, I apperciate your hard work. I am very excited about the elementary school being built downtown and I believe it will entice more familys to move into the city, but where will those kids go for middle and high school pending they are not accepted into a charter school?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:59 a.m. That's the question that actually faces parents of kids in public school throughout the metro. The elementary schools tend to be pretty good, even in some parts of the OKC system. But then....
Guest 11:00 a.m. How fast can you type? What's your WPM?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:00 a.m. Back in college I tested at 80 wpm. Not sure what I do now.
Nick O 11:00 a.m. I've alway's wanted to know is there any housing in the tower located behind the Gold Dome at 22nd and Classen? Or is it just office space?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:00 a.m. That's all housing. Pretty cool too.
Energy Guy 11:00 a.m. Regarding the World Trade Center OKC, I understand that there are a few Texas and Massachusetts developers that have secured a license from the WTCA, and am curious if you have heard anything else?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:01 a.m. Yes. One was once rumored for Crossroads Mall. I just don't know that we're really going to see many more developed.
JimBob 11:02 a.m. Steve, I just joined the chat and hope that this isn't redundant. But any word on possible new restaurant at the Bricktown Ballpark to replace Coach's?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:02 a.m. No. But I'll inquire about it.
Terrell Owens 11:02 a.m. Do you think MLL (Major League Lacrosse) will expand to OKC?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:02 a.m. It's always possible. It's a sport that is played here (though not nearly as much as football)
Nick 11:02 a.m. Do you know what the Good Egg Group is up to? Word on the street is something new is in the works...
Steve Lackmeyer 11:03 a.m. Keith Paul is always up to something. We'll all look forward to seeing what he surprises us with next.
Guest 11:03 a.m. There are many wide medians in this city that look terrible. The one on Robinson between 23rd and 13th looks great. Are there any plans to make the others look this good,and if not, who can we contact to push for this? We've lost lots of old trees in the city that need to be replaced.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:03 a.m. Contact the city's action center.
Guest 11:03 a.m. Some of your answers pop up but not all.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:04 a.m. Sorry guys. Cover it live is acting flukey on me today.
Nick O 11:04 a.m. Any updates on the Pollacks new concert venue at the Airpark? It seems as if the Innervisions group has gone silent since they announced the venue...
Steve Lackmeyer 11:04 a.m. Yeah. I'll believe it will take place when I see it.
M 11:04 a.m. Any news when WSKY Lounge will open in DD?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:04 a.m. No. But they're close.
Terrell Owens 11:04 a.m. Just want to say that I'm a big fan of OKC and all that is going on. Get your popcorn ready for a bigger, brighter OKC!
Steve Lackmeyer 11:04 a.m. I agree!
Nick 11:05 a.m. Steve, I wanted to apologize for my question last week that seems to have caused quite a ruckus. In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have used the word backlash, but I think the question was pertinent. Anyway, I read this morning that you're taking a break from OKCTalk.com, which saddens me because your contributions, at least for me, are most welcome. Anyway, sorry for the dust up.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:07 a.m. Thanks. OKC Talk is a great community forum. A couple of participants were trying to cause me headaches, casting me as saying things I had not, manipulating discussions, etc. And with my current workload, I just don't have time to keep up with that. I'll just say this: when you see an anonymous poster being critical of a person, claiming that person said things, etc., pretend it's an anonymous caller with a crazy voice.
Nick O 11:08 a.m. I've seen them doing construction back there and it looks pretty interesting! https://www.facebook.com/pelotonwinebar
DGofOKC 11:08 a.m. Steve thanks for answering. I am seeing your post popping up. I look forward to discussing more about the future of OKC with you.
Energy Guy 11:08 a.m. Any news on the GE research facilities, since Michael Ming has been announced as the local lead?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:08 a.m. Norman and OKC are competing for the facility.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:08 a.m. Folks, I've got to go now. Have a great weekend!
by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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