The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer took questions from readers during his weekly online chat on NewsOK.com. You can join Steve's Q&As on Fridays at 10 a.m. and submit your questions about downtown Oklahoma City.
What would be the one business you would want to see downtown that is not there and why?
I wish the answer were a locally owned shop. But truth be told, I've got to look at what provides the greatest spark for residential development. And that, my friends, would be a Super Target. Why can't one be built in or near downtown? Think about it — the closest Super Targets are several miles away. And there is a very affluent population downtown already. It's growing. Add in Heritage Hills, Mesta Park and the other historic neighborhoods, and you get several thousand rooftops hungry for such a retail presence. It would address so many needs — hardware, home goods, clothing, groceries — yet wouldn't overlap the specialty retailers, including Native Roots Market, that are already downtown.
Which is the least surprising: KD giving $1 million dollars to the relief efforts or the people of the city donating more items than can be loaded in a truck at a time?
It's a tie. I could have predicted both. I love this city.
Do you believe Bricktown has not experienced its true economic potential due to a lack of parking and public transportation in the downtown area?
No. I've observed development of Bricktown since the 1990s. Bricktown has not experienced its true potential due to the inexperience and lack of vision of some of its most significant property owners. Parking is only an issue in that the Business Improvement District actually encourages maintaining paid surface parking lots as opposed to developing them because the BID assessment is less for undeveloped property.