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MAPS 3 convention center site is being questioned

A debate that has been ongoing mostly behind the scenes about the selected site for the MAPS 3 Oklahoma City convention center is starting to go public.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: September 25, 2012

Downtown is changing rapidly, and factors weighed into site selection just a year ago are looking very different. Consider that in Bricktown alone, the hotel room count is looking to go up exponentially. I've reported that four additional hotels are formally announced for development this next year. I'm tracking at least two more yet to be announced. By most accounts, Bricktown's room count may very well top that of the central business district by the time any new convention center is built.

Ideas on development prospects around the future park also are in flux, with far more interest being expressed for new residential projects rather than the commercial and office activity predicted during planning for the area a few years ago.

A third site that could be reconsidered is currently an Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. substation south of the Chesapeake Energy Arena that was unanimously rejected by the MAPS 3 subcommittee, but once heavily pushed by Mayor Mick Cornett.

Don't be surprised if this discussion goes public at a meeting of the MAPS 3 convention center subcommittee that convenes at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at 420 W Main. With some of the world's most respected park, transit and convention center planners being hired by the city, and dynamic changes continuing throughout downtown, reopening discussion of a site for the most expensive of all the MAPS 3 projects may prove inevitable.

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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