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OKC Central Chat transcript, Aug. 16, 2013

The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer took questions from readers in today's OKC Central Live Chat. You can join Steve's Q&A's on Fridays at 10 a.m. and submit your questions about the happenings in and around downtown Oklahoma City.
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: August 16, 2013 at 12:34 pm •  Published: August 16, 2013
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The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer took questions from readers in today's OKC Central Live Chat. You can join Steve's Q&A's on Fridays at 10 a.m. and submit your questions about the happenings in and around downtown Oklahoma City. Below is an unedited transcript of the chat.

Steve Lackmeyer 10:01 a.m. Good morning.
Gary T 10:01 a.m. Good morning Steve and Happy Friday to you!
Gary T 10:01 a.m. When can we expect construction on the Metropolitan on the NE corner of 6th and Oklahoma by the Bomasada group start construction?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:03 a.m. From what I'm hearing, the Bomasada Group is still on track to have an application to Downtown Design Review heard in September, with construction likely to begin in early 2014. Everything I am seeing and hearing with The Metropolitan indicates it is a very real deal that will be done.
Gary T 10:03 a.m. I heard there are plans for the Rock Island Plow Building going to design review next month. What can we expect from that project?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:05 a.m. The Rock Island Plow Building, like the Hotel Marion on Broadway, will end up being what I'll call a "community contribution" by the owners/developers. Because of the costs involved, they won't be big windfalls, or necessarily even break-even ventures. That said, downtown's last two boarded up buildings are set to be redeveloped this next year.
Gary T 10:05 a.m. If GE is looking to do their campus in OKC, how much space will they need? Will it be like the reaserch center with several five story buildings? Multiple 1-2 story buildings? Other?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:05 a.m. We don't know yet.
Gary T 10:05 a.m. When can we expect for the Firehouse project in DD to break ground? Have you heard if more are being proposed?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:05 a.m. I am not aware of any similar projects. I don't know the latest timetable either.
BethanySooner 10:05 a.m. Steve, last week you mentioned that there was a proposal for two towers on the Stage Center site. Was the two tower design based on this particular location, or do you think the developer might stick with this configuration for a different location?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:06 a.m. Different sites require different designs, different concepts. So your question is pretty difficult to answer.
Gary T 10:06 a.m. What are your thoughts on the OKSEA project in DD? Would you like to see this be more permanent?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:08 a.m. Permanent? Probably not. There's certainly a higher and better use for the property long term. But short term? It's hard to argue this isn't a higher and better use compared to the unused parking lot that is currently at NE 4 and Harrison. That said, I am picking up some criticism of the shipping container concept on Twitter from folks who say it a sign of architectural laziness, that it won't look good. I tend to think what we've seen so far is actually pretty cool.
Gary T 10:08 a.m. I saw construction is getting ready to start on the OHC Embassy Suites. Several months ago on okctalk, you hinted that there might be more built on this block than shown in the rendering. Is that still the case?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:08 a.m. Long term? Yes.
Mike 10:09 a.m. Will Nichols be successful in vetoing the peoples' vote on the streetcar (The most popular MAPS3 project.)? If so, can voters retaliate by blocking his pet project, the most unpopular convention center?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:12 a.m. No. He has no veto to cast. He is not on the MAPS 3 citizens review board and he is not a city council member. But is he an influential voice? Absolutely. As for the convention center being his pet project, that idea is pure fantasy. I think a lot of assumptions in this debate are often made that have little connection to reality.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:12 a.m. I realize that answer won't win me any more popularity with some folks. I'm OK with that.
BethanySooner 10:19 a.m. Do you think/know that subsequent towers will be built for a single tenant, such as Devon, or do you think it will be mostly spec office space?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:19 a.m. Neither. We're looking at a large anchor with additional for-lease space.
Fantastic 10:20 a.m. Hey, Steve! I asked a while back about the two buildings on the North End of the Canal (don't remember the names, one I think is the Red Ball Building? They are where Zio's is). I remember a redevelopment plan in 2008 that was never realized which included retail at the Canal level. I also saw the active use of the buildings recently singled out in a Bricktown strategic plan as being extremely important... when will we see movement on them? And is it possible to see retail? I still believe the North End of the Canal could be a fantastic retail corridor!
Steve Lackmeyer 10:21 a.m. Harding and Shelton renovated those buildings, but the overall development had to be scaled back when the national economy collapsed in 2009. I agree with you on retail, but I am not sure that the Bricktown ownership as it exists currently has the experience, depth and expertise to make it happen.
Guest 10:22 a.m. Good Morning Steve, will you be attending the Walkability Meeting at OCU on Aug 21st? They will be discussing the Uptown District and lowering the speed limit to make it pedestrian friendly.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:23 a.m. I hope to.
BethanySooner 10:23 a.m. Regarding the owner of First National, do you think if he had been sentenced to prison that this property would have gone into receivership and been purchased by another developer? It's amazing that someone could rip people off for millions of dollars and get a 30 day jail sentence.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:24 a.m. There is still a lot of confusion going on with First National in regard to how much involvement Aaron Yashouafar has with the landmark, what the ownership situation is, and what's next. As for whether jail time last fall might have led to different outcomes ... anyone can speculate, but yes, it's feasible that could have changed things.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:25 a.m. FYI - Angad, gig's up. You're typing gibberish into dead air.
Larry 10:26 a.m. Who should pay for the Tulsa/OKC rail link?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:26 a.m. I'm not sure. Who pays for the Turner Turnpike? Who pays for I-35 and I-40?
Guest 10:26 a.m. Steve, why aren't there more restaurants or any apartments along Lake Hefner's Shores? Is all the land owned by the city?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:27 a.m. Yes, a lot of the land is owned by the city. The East Wharf development was done after Randy Hogan struck an agreement for that city-owned land as well.
Nick 10:27 a.m. Morning, Steve! The Journal Record has an article up talking with Andy Burnett regarding complications regarding the parking addition that was set to happen for the Century Center garage. Can you shed light on what's going on?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:28 a.m. I think the story spoke for itself. These deals are often complicated.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:29 a.m. I look forward to the newsroom being downtown in about one year.
BethanySooner 10:29 a.m. I was wondering if a significant - 100 units or more - housing development was in the works for the Film Row area or just to the north or south by a couple of blocks.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:29 a.m. Maybe. But nothing that I'd say is a done deal.
Guest 10:29 a.m. Has the city ever thought or talked about damming the Oklahoma River at NE 4th or NE 10th Street to create a more boating friendly recreational area?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:30 a.m. I've heard some informal discussions, but nothing I'd say would indicate it's set to become a reality.
BethanySooner 10:30 a.m. Will we see some of those Main Street parking lots that are west of Walker developed any time soon?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:31 a.m. Some of those lots are in better local ownership than they were - which makes such an outcome more possible. The large lot just to the west of the Character First Institute (the old Holiday Inn) was bought this last year by attorney Dennis Box, who has done some great redevelopment across the street.
Nicki 10:32 a.m. What is the status of Midfirst/Midland Mortgage moving to new buildings? I heard that they are no longer going to buy the Chesapeake buildings because Chesapeake is moving companies they are selling off to them. Are they looking at possibly moving downtown?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:33 a.m. Well, now, isn't that interesting? It certainly challenges some assumptions made the past several months.
BethanySooner 10:33 a.m. Is there currently an organization such as Great Wolf Lodge that is seriously looking at building near the boat houses, or is this just a hope at this point?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:34 a.m. It's more than a hope. The Boathouse Foundation is very interested in either attracting Great Wolf Lodge to the river or interesting other developers into pursuing a similar resort. Is it a deal ready to go forward? No. But is it pure fantasy? Heck no.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:34 a.m. I do think we will see a Great Wolf Lodge type resort eventually built along the river.
Guest 10:34 a.m. Did you catch the news about the high speed travel that Tesla Car inventor Elon Musk is proposing to travel from LA to San Fran in 30 minutes? Wouldn't Oklahoma be a great place to test such ideas with the amount of open land we have available?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:35 a.m. That would be fun.
Gary T 10:35 a.m. How does Brown's Bakery get away with their building being in such disrepair when all the other buildings around them are getting fixed up? Do they just not care?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:35 a.m. They care. I've spoken to them. They even have some ambitions for the property. But so far they've not made great progress in pursuing any changes.
Guest 10:36 a.m. When is Maywood Phase II due to present before design review committee? I haven't seen them on any of their agendas, but you have said that construction is due to start soon. How can that happen if they haven't been reviewed?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:36 a.m. Maywood Phase II? Do you mean the second phase of the 4th Street Apartments? If so, those designs were approved last month.
Nick 10:36 a.m. How was the Mode Development received at the DDRC meeting yesterday?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:36 a.m. It passed and I'll have an update soon.
Alex 10:36 a.m. Have you tried Back Door BBQ yet? 23rd St is really coming along with all these new restaurants. When will we see more bars and retails stores pop up in the area?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:38 a.m. Yeah, I've tried it, and it was very good. I love how Chris Lower created a place that looks like it's been around for a half century. It's a great pairing with Grandad's next door.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:38 a.m. More unique bars (not nightclubs) and some retail will be added into the mix.
Kim 10:38 a.m. Last week you mentioned something about an 80's story? can you elaborate what it was about and when we might see it?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:39 a.m. Not yet. Soon.
John 10:39 a.m. Any updates on the Pump Bar? Are they still moving forward with the concept? What is all the dirt they are moving around behind this site?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:39 a.m. I'll have an update soon.
Ronaldo 10:39 a.m. What is the status of the Boulevard?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:41 a.m. It's being reviewed by the Federal Highway Administration. Don't be surprised if the boulevard isn't opened until 2015 or 2016.
Guest 10:41 a.m. When is the Ambassador scheduled to open?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:42 a.m. The web page for the hotel says this December. Looking at it, however, I suspect we're likely looking at sometime next spring.
Ronaldo 10:42 a.m. What is the status of the convention center? Are they still negotiating to buy the original site? Have they figured out the costs of building an underground convention center?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:44 a.m. Purchase negotiations continue. My understanding the cost analysis is underway
Guest 10:44 a.m. Steve, what do you know about the nice apartments on 12th St. in Midtown and were renovated?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:46 a.m. Are you talking about the 430 NW 12 apartments? If so, I had a story about them on Sunday. (Be sure to watch the video) http://newsok.com/midtown-draws-young-entrepreneurs-as-area-matures/article/3870963
Guest 10:46 a.m. Once all the apartment construction ends/runs out of land in Deep Deuce, what district can we expect that construction to move to?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:47 a.m. MidTown still has ample room for development, and that's probably where we will see momentum shift to as Deep Deuce reaches completion.
Ronaldo 10:47 a.m. What is the status of the Century Center? That project is moving so slow!
Steve Lackmeyer 10:48 a.m. The developers encountered some complications with the garage expansion, but they believe they've addressed the parking challenges and are ready to proceed.
Guest 10:48 a.m. how long do you expect we will have to wait until someone buys the U-hual Building in Bricktown and restores it to it's original beauty?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:48 a.m. Maybe if we hold our breath and cross our fingers it will happen?
Nick 10:48 a.m. Steve, the way you answered about the Metropolitan kind of sounds like some may have doubts about the project. Are there other projects that are in doubt?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:49 a.m. No, I didn't mean to imply that. Again, the Metropolitan is a real deal. There are other projects not announced yet but are being talked about on the streets that I suspect won't become a reality.
midtownBOB 10:49 a.m. whats happening with Villa Teresea? are the nuns planning on selling the land?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:50 a.m. I hear there are some discussions going on quietly behind the scenes. But that's all I know.
Fantastic 10:50 a.m. When will we see House Of Bedlam along the Canal begin construction, and when/what will we see happen on Chris Johnson's property on the other side of the Canal?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:51 a.m. Chris Johnson is going through some final design tweaks before going for final approval by the Bricktown Urban Design Committee. This deal seems to be the real thing, he's very eager to get started. I also keep hearing he's close to having a hotel project signed up for the corner across the canal.
JB 10:51 a.m. Have you heard anything new about a new county jail in Oklahoma County?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:52 a.m. Nope. I think county officials realize the county's track record with the current jail doesn't help them in their pitch to get additional funding to build a new one.
Michael 10:52 a.m. How are you Steve?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:53 a.m. Alright.
MB 10:55 a.m. Oklahoma City has one expensive, somewhat under-utilized mass transit system, the bus system. It must be subsidized each year with expensive appropriations from the city's general fund because it is simply not self sustaining. Why do the backers of the streetcar system think building another expensive mass transit system alongside the one we already have (and which would also require major subsidies to break even) is a rational idea? One thinks they just consider steetcars "cute", which is not a legitimate reason to tax me to pay for their toy.
waiting patiently 10:56 a.m. What is going on at the Triangle at Classen Curve? It looks like they are opening up the big space next to Antrhopologie and working on it.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:59 a.m. I don't know....
James Baker 10:59 a.m. Hi Steve, thanks for doing this chat - if means a lot for people like me. For those who don't know you, could you tell us?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:59 a.m. Don't know?
Bill 11:01 a.m. Nice article on the street renaming. They need to change gaylord to shield or change both to something else.
t 11:01 a.m. Isn't OKC risking overbuilding DT with only a tepid population growth?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:01 a.m. Oklahoma City is growing by 4,000 people a month. That's tepid?
sooner than later 11:03 a.m. What is your opinion on ODOT considering some mass changes to the stop-lights on NW 23rd? In order to help the flow of traffic both in car and by foot (with all the upcoming new development). Are there talks happening on making changes? Turning left across opposite traffic is not easy certain times of the day and backs up traffic.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:03 a.m. I think there's a discussion set to take place with how NW 23 is designed for vehicular/ pedestrian traffic, and how those two uses will be balanced as the corridor is developed.
news not OK 11:04 a.m. With all the talk of sidewalks being implemented into the city--where exactly are they supposed to go? What area of town has priority in getting sidewalks?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:04 a.m. Read Bill Crum's story in yesterday's paper.
Aaron 11:04 a.m. What are the chances the Iten building gets renovated in the coming years after the new boulevard opens? Also what would it take for uhaul to sell?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:04 a.m. Read my earlier answer.
Michael D. 11:04 a.m. What would it take to turn Will Rogers into a hub airport for a mid-sized carrier? Have city leaders ever discussed that concept? Salt Lake City is easy to access because of the Delta hub. And it's about the same size as OKC. I think it would draw a lot more businesses to the area.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:06 a.m. Oklahoma City has long sought to become a hub - but with the hub system shrinking, not growing, it's difficult to see how that can become a reality. What's sad is we are losing business because we are not a hub. I spoke to real estate guy on Wednesday who said the city lost out on a pretty sizable company moving downtown - not because of parking, not because of office space - but because we don't have enough direct flights. We lost that company to Nashville.
Monti Teos GF 11:06 a.m. Whay year will it be before we see significant housing added to C2S?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:06 a.m. Probably in about five to 10 years.
CeCe 11:07 a.m. Is it possible that as more families move to Downtown, that we will see a downtown Middle school and/or downtown high school?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:07 a.m. I don't know.
Elise 11:07 a.m. Hi Steve. Any more information about the mural on the climbing gym silo? Sorry if you have already addressed this recently.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:07 a.m. He seems to be going slow on this ...
Gary T 11:07 a.m. Have you heard of any prospective buyers for the old Coit's locations?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:07 a.m. Nope.
Guest 11:07 a.m. Are there plans to sell "parts" of Stage center?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:08 a.m. I don't know. I suspect the owners might be open to that.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:08 a.m. Yes, that's the 4th street apartments.
CeCe 11:08 a.m. What is being done to amplify those neighborhoods in close proximity to downtown (i.e. Capitol Hill, JFK/ Eastside OKC, the area west of DT between Reno and Linwood. They all seem to have so much promise yet so real developments (except the new housing at JFK of course).
Steve Lackmeyer 11:11 a.m. Have you traveled through upper JFK? We've seen a lot of development in that neighborhood. If one takes a view of over the past 20 years, the downtown revival has definitely helped areas to the east, north and west. Lincoln Heights wasn't so great 20 years ago. Ditto for the Plaza District, JFK, NW 23, Gatewood and Mesta Park. I think Capitol Hill has the most potential to benefit next among the areas you listed.
Gary T 11:11 a.m. What project are you the most excited about that has yet to break ground? Also, what stories are you working on that you can tell us about?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:12 a.m. Call me a building hugger, but I can't wait to see what is done with the Hotel Marion. I can't give away my upcoming stories - the competition is following these chats.
Gary T 11:12 a.m. Steve, which do you see happeneing first: the redevelopment of FNC or the U-Haul building in BT?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:12 a.m. FNC.
Ken 11:12 a.m. Just alright?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:12 a.m. That's what I've got for ya today.
Elise 11:12 a.m. And plenty of room for development on the west end of downtown. Hopefully will see housing of all kinds there too, eventually.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:12 a.m. I agree.
Guest 11:12 a.m. Is Classen Curve considered part of Western or do they consider themselves their own district?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:13 a.m. When Aubrey McClendon was still at Chesapeake this was a lot easier to answer.
KB 11:13 a.m. MB, people that don't own cars pay taxes to pay for your roads to drive your toy on. Gas tax pays for less than half of a road's cost; general taxes fund the rest. Gas would be $8/gal if it fully funded roads.
Jay 11:13 a.m. The buildings NE of Sheriden and Joe Carter have recently been demolished. Have you heard of any plans with the land?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:13 a.m. That's the old Stewart Metal Fabrication complex, and a mix of apartments and retail is set to be built there next year.
Alex 11:14 a.m. Steve, did you ever find out what Western Ave. had planned for improvements? It seems like Districts like Midtown, Plaza and now Uptown are passing Western Ave by as the place to be...
Steve Lackmeyer 11:14 a.m. I'd argue all of the districts are thriving.
Ken 11:14 a.m. Does MB really need a lecture on public transportation... Particularly how it benefits even those who do not use it via decreased traffic, less pollution, more parking and a host of real and measurable economic impacts?
Alex 11:14 a.m. Have you seen any plans for the new skyscraper?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:14 a.m. Nope.
Sam 11:14 a.m. Do we have a projected start date for the downtown park?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:14 a.m. Nope.
Guest 11:14 a.m. What's the latest on the Karchmer garage proposal?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:15 a.m. It's still being discussed. COTPA is hiring a consultant to look at how it may or may not impact rail transit plans or aspirations.
Sam 11:15 a.m. Who owns the 4-5 story building on SW 5th and Broadway, just south of the Arena? Any plans for that area to be revitalized with the proximity to the Arena, park and Downtown?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:15 a.m. If you're talking about the International Harvester Building, I'm not sure, but I do know it's in private hands.
Guest 11:15 a.m. There are a lot of neighborhoods close to downtown that seem to be teetering on the edge of reviving - Gatewood (still sketchy sections), Las Vegas (16th to 23rd, Penn to Youngs), 16th street west of Plaza core etc. - why do you think these areas are still struggling when folks are clamoring to live near downtown?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:16 a.m. They're in transition. Give them time...
Guest 11:16 a.m. How close are we to seeing renderings for what MidtownR is planning for their 10th St block?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:16 a.m. At least several months away.
Sam 11:16 a.m. What happened to the Pop's Restaurant that was coming to Bricktown?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:16 a.m. I suspect it's dead. I've tried to get updates, but to no avail.
Guest 11:16 a.m. The airport management in OKC is such a waste. They're not proactive at all. Just a damn shame we're losing out on businesses because they won't press for more service and actively try to better our flight situation.
Sam 11:17 a.m. Once downtown is filled up, do you see a real potential for the area south of downtown, between the new Park and Shields Blvd to really take off?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:17 a.m. Take off? I don't know about that. But I suspect we'll see some development.
Guest 11:17 a.m. Why is Walker closed for MONTHS for utility relocation? That seems like an absurd amount of time for utilities.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:19 a.m. Contractors and engineers keep different schedules than we do. There are those who argue that when the Bible says God created the Earth in seven days, that those were not days as we know them, but actually days where each day lasted the equivalent of years in our time. If that's the case, engineers and contractors are working on God's schedule.
Gary T 11:19 a.m. I asked you several months ago about the condos/townhomes on the NE corner of NW 7th and Classen and you said there were plans to renovate them. Have you heard anything else lately?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:19 a.m. No.
Guest 11:19 a.m. Steve, what do you see happening with FNC and on what kind of timeline based on what you know?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:20 a.m. I'm not meaning to duck your question. But this is far more complicated than one might realize. I just don't know how to answer it.
Guest 11:20 a.m. Thanks for all the time you spend on these chats. You are much appreciated.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:20 a.m. Thanks!
Guest 11:20 a.m. Do you know if the Salvation Army is getting closer to relocating?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:20 a.m. Construction is underway on their new campus. We're likely looking at them moving out of their current longtime home in the future Core to Shore park sometime next year.
Guest 11:21 a.m. The west side of downtown won't develop until the jail issue is resolved, which will take years.
Guest 11:21 a.m. What can be done to fix the Myriad Gardens? They're already falling into disrepair. It's a damn shame the shape they're already in in several spots.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:21 a.m. I hear ya.
MB 11:21 a.m. No Ken I don't need a "lecture." The question is valid -- why build a second mass transit system and not invest in and upgrade the one we already have?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:21 a.m. This friction over transit is natural, I understand it, and I think it's good folks hear both sides. But please keep it civil here.
Guest 11:22 a.m. Hi Steve, thanks for all the good work! I visited Myriad Botanical Gardens this past week and even accounting for recent heavy rains, the place is a shambles, given that it's two years out of a major make-over. The Thunder Fountain is a complete embarrassment. Is there anything going on behind the scenes to rectify this? If this is how we'll maintain the new Central Park, I'm scared.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:23 a.m. I would encourage you to call your city council representative with your concerns. Their emails and phone numbers are posted at www.okc.gov.
steve k 11:23 a.m. Hi Steve! Thanks for doing this. What's going to be built in the area of NE Bricktown where the fabrication plant was torn down, just west of the Fire Dept.? Also, what's the completion date for the Edge in Midtown?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:23 a.m. The Edge opens next year if I recall correctly. The same developer, Gary Brooks, has teamed up with Andy Burnett to build apartments and retail on the east Bricktown site.
Guest 11:24 a.m. I understand the time concept re: areas close to DT - but curious as to your thoughts as to what the tipping point or points will be... is it that the younger folks who are making these areas "pop" need to age a bit and with that age comes financial stability?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:25 a.m. These questions are getting deep and difficult. Don't you have any more "mystery tower" questions?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:25 a.m. OK ....
Steve Lackmeyer 11:27 a.m. Clearly it's the younger generation that is bringing life and color back to these downtown districts. But the more established professionals, empty-nesters, etc also are in the mix, and making downtown their permanent homes. As someone who has covered downtown for almost 20 years, what I see is already an amazing transformation. But I understand for some, especially those who are younger, it's not enough. I think Deep Deuce is a fully functioning, fully developed mixed use urban neighborhood in five years, ditto for MidTown in 10 years, and as that happens, the other surrounding neighborhoods will fully mature as well.
OKCMidtowner 11:27 a.m. (1) Pop-Up Holiday Retail Shops in Midtown, (2) Midtown Mutts Dog Park, (3) OKSEA - Any other temporary use structures coming to downtown to fill vacant lots?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:27 a.m. Yes.
Gary T 11:28 a.m. Do you think we will see any expanding of the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics campus any time soon?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:28 a.m. I don't know.
Sam 11:28 a.m. Steve, what was the original path of Route 66 through OKC?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:28 a.m. I know it went along NW 23 in Uptown.
Gary T 11:28 a.m. What are your thoughts on the Kerr/Couch Park renovation plans?
Guest 11:28 a.m. Which will be completed first, C2S Park or Blvd?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:29 a.m. I'm intrigued by the park plans. As for C2S Park or the Boulevard ... ugh.... I don't know.
Guest 11:29 a.m. Is St. Anthony's building a parking garage south of the hospital? Or just a parking lot to replace what's being lost with the new building?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:29 a.m. yes
Guest 11:29 a.m. Do you know about how many people attended Ed Shadid's rally last night?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:30 a.m. Folks on Twitter were saying about 1,000.
Guest 11:30 a.m. Will Mick have a similar rally?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:30 a.m. I don't know.
Guest 11:30 a.m. Is city leadership (or anyone influential enough to make a difference) aware that the Myriad Gardens is falling into such poor shape? Do they care?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:31 a.m. They seem to think the complaints are not valid, that it's just sour grapes involving city employees who didn't like the change from city operation to foundation operation of the Myriad Gardens.
Ken 11:31 a.m. MB, your complaints about the streetcar may well be valid but you are bringing them up way too late. The public has already spoken and approved it in the most democratic way we have, a vote of the people. The rest of my response was directed at your initial post where you complained about the subsidies for ALL public transportation. Regardless, we can agree to disagree.
Elise 11:31 a.m. If the jail stays or goes, it shouldn't be a detriment to development. I don't think there is any more crime over there than any place else downtown. Abundance of undeveloped landscapes and nice old buildings there.
Montreal 11:32 a.m. MB, having a solid, economical bus system in such a sprawling, low density city like OKC is difficult, if not impossible. The streetcar system, if implemented in a logical manner, can provide a strong, permanent core to the overall OKC transit system and can help make the bus system more successful at the same time.
Guest 11:32 a.m. Here's a Mystery Tower question for you... What piece of land would you be looking at if you wanted to build a Tower, 25 Floors or taller? Give me your Top 3 locations aside from Stage Center.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:32 a.m. Preftakes block. The old Bank of America drive-in. The triangle at NW 4 and E.K. Gaylord.
Montreal 11:32 a.m. Gary T, we need to make sure the state legislature doesn't defund OSSM before we could ever thing about expansion. Please speak with your local politicians to ensure its permanence in OK.
Guest 11:33 a.m. Thanks Steve for answering the question re local downtown neighborhoods.
Guest 11:33 a.m. Anything new regarding Harold Hamm's divorce?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:33 a.m. No.
Guest 11:33 a.m. Steve, here's a mystery tower question. With the Bank of America closing on Robert S Kerr, is OG&E making a run at the property for a new building?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:33 a.m. Hmmmmmm......
Jonas 11:33 a.m. I disagree, my family and I visited Myriad Gardens a couple weeks ago, and it was great, beautiful as ever!
Guest 11:33 a.m. Are there other companies looking at the same sites you would for new towers of their own?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:34 a.m. Maybe?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:34 a.m. Folks, I'm going to log off now. Have a great weekend!
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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