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.
There has been speculation that an office tower might be built on the Stage Center site and that several other locations are being looked at. Can you name what those locations are, or at least the general areas?
If another tower is to be built downtown (and I’m pretty convinced one or more will be built), I would be shocked if it’s not built at the current home of Stage Center. The site is just too prime, too ripe for development.
I also still suspect we will likely see an expansion of the Devon Energy headquarters on the site of the old Carpenter Square Theatre at Main and Hudson someday. From there, it gets a bit tricky. The Chase bank drive through at Broadway and Robert S. Kerr Avenue was designed for a different era, and all those lanes are not really needed very much. Ditto for the Bank of Oklahoma drive-thru(at NW 4 and Robinson). I once thought the triangle at E.K. Gaylord and NW 4 might be home to a tower; it has since been bought by an affiliate of SandRidge Energy.
From here, the question gets more difficult. Do we see office development in Core to Shore? Or maybe north of NW 5? Or do we tower development around the Civic Center?
Rick Dowell, meanwhile, has always had a plan to build a mid-rise residential tower along NW 5 west of Walker Avenue.
Do you know of any developments that are going on in the Paseo?
John Belt is not going to rush in with a half-baked concept for the old Paseo Plunge site. But I suspect he's getting closer to making up his mind. I also see dramatic development taking place along Walker Avenue leading into Paseo from NW 23. We already know about The Rise being developed by Jonathan Russell and renovation of the old garage door building by Keith Paul. Expect more to come.
Are there any plans for renovations of the upper floors of the building that houses Spaghetti Warehouse?
Some of Bricktown's most respected developers have dreamed of adding housing to the upper floors of Spaghetti Warehouse for 20 years. It's an ownership issue.
Do you know of any new projects that show clear improvements in architecture quality? What can be done about drab architecture elsewhere?
Devon Energy Center is a huge step forward architecturally. And despite controversy over the demolition that took place at SandRidge Commons, the new construction underway with the Braniff Building, what's planned with the amenities building, and another building on Broadway can't be dismissed as anything short of sleek, contemporary and eye-catching. The designs that came out this week for the new Holiday Inn Express in Bricktown are getting a lot of praise. And a lot of folks say anything done by Brian Fitzsimmons is likely to be a potential award-winner.
There are a lot of Mexican restaurants in Bricktown. What kind of restaurant do you think would do well in Bricktown that isn't there currently?
I'm still heart broken that Sammy's Pizza came so close to becoming a reality and then fell through. Bricktown needs a good pizza place. Ditto for seafood.
My understanding is the Sammy's pizza restaurant was under-collateralized and there was a disagreement between tenant and landlord that couldn't be overcome.
As an aside...if someone were to open a genuine Jewish deli like the ones I loved as a kid in New York ... I'd write a long column in tribute of that person.