Downtown Oklahoma City civic leaders watch pace of housing, hotel development

Downtown Oklahoma City's housing, hotel development scene has changed.
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: February 25, 2013 at 8:31 pm •  Published: February 26, 2013

Likewise, I'm beginning to hear some worrying about the pace of new housing. The question being asked is whether too much, too soon, or opening all at once, can end up being too much of a good thing.

It's an ironic position for Oklahoma City, which couldn't throw enough money at developers to build housing or hotels downtown 20 years ago.

For now, no one is suggesting a moratorium. But some civic leaders are hoping that the quality of these projects can be upheld by the city design review committees, which are tasked with regulating new construction and exterior renovations of existing buildings.

When it comes to housing, the prevailing consensus among those I talk to is that as long as the projects are no more than 250 units each, with at least a few months between each opening, the market seems ready to absorb additional growth. But when a broker comes along with a suggestion a developer might want to build 1,000 units at once, that's when the remainder of the downtown real estate community gets worried.

Such growth, and such worries, is a new dynamic for Oklahoma City — one that leaders 20 years ago surely would have welcomed.


by Steve Lackmeyer
Reporter Sr.
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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