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Lackmeyer: Thunder, win or lose, doesn't determine downtown Oklahoma City's future

Smaller shops opening along Automobile Alley are probably more typical of downtown retail to come.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: May 4, 2013
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The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer took questions from readers Friday in his weekly online chat. You can join Steve at 10 a.m. on Fridays and submit your questions about the happenings in and around downtown. To see the complete chat, go to NewsOK.com

What new and exciting retail development does the city have to look forward to?

We're continuing to see a lot of smaller clothing and gift shops opening up along Automobile Alley. This is actually very healthy and far more exciting than say a Nordstrum's opening up in Core to Shore (sorry folks, it's not going to happen). Retail by its very nature is changing. The kind of retail that is opening up along Broadway is, according to those I speak to, the future for downtown shopping.

What, if anything, do you see happening with the lots north and northeast of the Calvary Baptist Church in Deep Deuce?

We will almost certainly see more housing built to the north and east of the former Calvary church. Much of the property was recently bought by Level developer Richard McKown, with the remainder of the block being owned by the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority. As an aside, the renovation of the old church into the Dan Davis Law Firm is nearing completion and the project is pretty impressive.

Any idea when we will see dirt start moving for the Central Park?

The Core to Shore park project is almost certainly not going to follow the timeline of opening in 2014 as pushed by Mayor Mick Cornett. The Salvation Army has yet to start construction of their new campus at NW 10 and Pennsylvania Avenue, and that move has to take place for the organization to move from its current location in the heart of what will be the park. To top it off, the construction of the adjoining boulevard is delayed at least a year as well. Will we even see construction of the park begin in 2014? Maybe?

Is anyone trying to fill Classen Curve and Nichols Hills Plaza?

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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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