OKC Central: Basketball court, Spokies bike rentals are part of new era for Downtown Oklahoma City Inc.

Steve Lackmeyer: Oklahoman business columnist Steve Lackmeyer takes a look at recent efforts by Downtown Oklahoma City Inc.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: May 29, 2012

Downtown Oklahoma City Inc. was born in 2001 with the best of intentions to better promote the city's center and oversee a business improvement district created to fund maintenance, marketing and security.

In the years since, the organization has had plenty of ups and downs in which it was run by four different directors in its first decade, oversaw the renovation of The Underground pedestrian tunnels, established district branding and also sometimes encountered criticism from various property owners uncertain about its mission and work.

The organization saw its biggest makeover under the current president, Jane Jenkins, who oversaw two staff restructurings and a move from Oklahoma Tower to more visible digs along the atrium at Leadership Square.

Her staff these days is younger and more engaged with the downtown scene, both online with social media and in person, whether at rooftop receptions at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art or gathering at Joey's Pizzeria along Film Row.

Such engagement, in turn, is helping fuel a new wave of improvements long sought by downtown's growing residential community.

Working with the Oklahoma City Planning Department, the organization this month launched Spokies, an operation that allows for bicycle rentals with stations in Bricktown, MidTown, Deep Deuce, the Arts District and the Central Business District.

If the empty racks are any indication, Spokies might just be one of those successful additions that can be grown year after year.

Heeding call for hoops

Another visible effort, one that deviates from the early days of Downtown Oklahoma City Inc., is the recent construction of downtown's first public basketball court at Reno and Hudson avenues southwest of the Myriad Gardens.

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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If you go


The new downtown basketball court, at the southwest corner of Hudson and Reno avenues, is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.

Spokies bicycle locations are at the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, the southwest corner of the Cox Convention Center, the southwest corner of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Bricktown and at the Plaza Court Building in MidTown. Another station is planned to be added later this year at the new Level apartments at NE 2 and Walnut Avenue in Deep Deuce.

To learn more about Downtown Oklahoma City Inc., go to www.downtownokc.com.

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