Business Writer Steve Lackmeyer's Friday OKC Central chat featured a discussion with Richard McKown, developer of Level in Deep Deuce. McKown spoke about urban design and challenges facing developers downtown.
Q. My first question this morning is in regards to the staining on some of the white panels at Level. What steps can be taken to mitigate the rust stains running down? Will this impact what color you choose for the Level West development?
A. “We are using a different exterior stucco system for Mosaic, aka Level West. The rust stains will be remedied very soon on Level. They are bothering us more than they are bothering you, I assure you. This profession is always a learning experience.”
Q. It seems like all the apartments in the DD area are at capacity and the ones being built will probably be filled up before they open. At what point do you think the supply will outweigh the demand? Have there been studies to show what the demand is for rental units near downtown?
A. “It's a game of musical chairs. You don't want to be the guy standing when the music stops. The thing that is impossible to predict is job growth and opportunity in Oklahoma City. So if Oklahoma City continues to attract the best and the brightest to bring their talent and treasure and invest in our city, then the demand will continue to grow. If we give up and settle to become an average city that stops investing in its core, then we will be back in the brain drain of 20 years ago. And the demand will disappear. I believe in Oklahoma City. I believe in the leadership of Oklahoma City. I believe in a leadership that has been visionary in investing in the city's identity. I believe we need to rally around that leadership and keep all the boats afloat.”
Q. What is the status of the restaurant in Level? I was told by one of their employees it would open this summer.
A. “It won't open this summer. It's supposed to start construction this summer. It's an “urban” Johnnies with a pub component. It's a new concept. They've applied for a building permit. It could be open by late fall. Hopefully.”