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OKC Central Chat transcript, June 28, 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: June 28, 2013 at 12:51 pm •  Published: June 28, 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. Below is an unedited transcript of the chat.

Steve Lackmeyer 10:04 a.m. Good morning everybody!
Steve Lackmeyer 10:04 a.m. Testing
Steve Lackmeyer 10:06 a.m. Folks, this chat software is a bit glitchy this morning. I can't see whether comments are appearing, so please be patient.
NewsOK Sports Desk 10:20 a.m. OK. I'm back.
NewsOK 10:21 a.m. Sorry, everyone. We're having technical difficulties, but we're working on them. We hope to have the chat up and running soon.
Steve 10:22 a.m. testing again
Steve 10:22 a.m. Yea. I'm here!
Nick 10:22 a.m. My first question this morning is in regards to the staining on some of the white panels at Level. What steps can be taken to mitigate the rust stains running down? Will this impact what color you choose for the Level West development?
Steve 10:23 a.m. And yes, Richard McKown, developer of Level in Deep Deuce is still with me and is ready to answer questions! Nick, here's his answer to your question:
Steve 10:24 a.m. Richard: "We are using a different exterior stucco system for Mosaic, aka Level west. The rust stains will be remedied very soon on Level. They are bothering us more than they are bothering you, I assure you. This profession is always a learning experience."
Nick 10:24 a.m. Is Level West still on track to begin construction this summer
Steve 10:25 a.m. RIchard: "Yes, Mosiac, aka Level West, will be breaking ground the week after the Fourth of July holiday. Of course, we don't necessarily put a shovel in the ground the first day of work. But a construction trailer has been ordered."
Steve 10:26 a.m. FYI - I don't think Richard likes Mosaic being called Level west...
Dr. Jo Harding 10:26 a.m. What do you think of the Real Housewives coming to OKC? This is great news for the city, right?
Steve 10:26 a.m. I doubt it's a real deal, and I'd urge my fellow reporters to be careful with this story....
Gary T 10:27 a.m. It seems like all the apartments in the DD area are at capacity and the ones being built will probably be filled up before they open. At what point do you think the supply will outweigh the demand? Have there been studies to show what the demand is for rental units near downtown?
Steve 10:29 a.m. Richard: "It's a game of musical chairs. You don't want to be the guy standing when the music stops. The thing that is impossible to predict is job growth and opportunity in Oklahoma City. So if Oklahoma City continues to attract the best and the brightest to bring their talent and treasure and invest in our city, then the demand will continue to grow. If we give up and settle to become an average city that stops investing in its core, then we will be back in the brain drain of 20 years ago. And the demand will disappear. I believe in Oklahoma City. I believe in the leadership of Oklahoma City. I believe in a leadership that has been visionary in investing in the city's identity. I believe we need to rally around that leadership and keep all the boats afloat."
Nick 10:30 a.m. Have you been pleased with how Level turned out? Anything you'd do differently now?
Steve 10:32 a.m. Richard: "There are always a few things you do differently. But Level has very few things we would change. All in all, we were incredibly lucky to get to work with Wade Scaramucci and his team who have a lot of experience designing great housing and the design is very, very strong."
Julie 10:32 a.m. When will we see official renderings on the new City Arts Center on Broadway and when is it scheduled to break ground?
Steve 10:32 a.m. There is no timetable set and no project details released. I believe fundraising is still ongoing.
Gary T 10:32 a.m. This question is for Steve, sorry if this goes in on Richard's time: Where would you think the best place for a Mission Chinese to go in the metro? My vote would be the Plaza District. It's hipster central and Danny Bowien screams hipster.
Steve 10:33 a.m. Myriad Gardens restaurant. That building desperately needs a star attraction.
Ronald 10:33 a.m. What do you think needs to happen to further "enliven" Film Row? It seems more geared to professional offices with a couple art items etc. Has it developed a "too stiff" personality at this point to make it a vibrant downtown district?
Steve 10:35 a.m. DeadCENTER Film Festival needs to grow into something larger than it is now... as to what that can be, I don't know. But the potential is huge. I'd place my bets with Lance McDaniel and DeadCENTER to make Film Row magical.
Carson 10:35 a.m. Who is your favorite reporter at the Tulsa World and why?
Steve 10:39 a.m. My favorite Tulsa World reporter, someone who was a dear, dear friend, was Omer Gillham. His life ended way too soon last year. I'm still not quite over his loss, and it's hard for me to think of another Tulsa World reporter being my favorite in place of him. To learn more about Omer's great career, go here:
Nick 10:40 a.m. Are there plans for Level East?
Steve 10:43 a.m. Richard: "There are visions for "Level east," but no plans have been drawn. I've acquired the privately held land, but I still need to get the Urban Renewal portion of the block. Again, this goes back to the question of being the last guy standing in the game of musical chairs and continued investment in the city and continued job growth and the attraction of talent to the core of the city. Again, I believe in the city's leadership and their proven track record and unless we decide to throw out all the progress that has been made, we will see the demand over time to build that third project."
Steve 10:43 a.m. Richard seems to like the current leadership.
Yusef 10:43 a.m. What is the probability that the new GE Research Center will be located downtown?
Steve 10:46 a.m. It might land in the Oklahoma Health Center on the east edge of downtown. But don't be shocked if Oklahoma City loses out to Norman.
Gary T 10:46 a.m. Thanks Richard for guest chatting this morning. I know this takes a little pressure off of Steve. What kind of street level interaction can we expect for the Mosaic project? What is next for your group?
Steve 10:48 a.m. Richard: "Mosaic has very little street frontage on Oklahoma Avenue. But we have gone to great length to activate the frontage we already have with retail space that envisions maybe a coffee shop but it could be good for a small bar or deli. Not a full kitchen restaurant. It's way to small and doesn't have that kind of ventilation. But we want it to be a community gathering place more than a nail salon."
Gary T 10:48 a.m. With things really starting to ramp up in Deep Deuce, do you see someone doing something to the old Leo's BBQ or do you see it more likely that it will be torn down and the whole half block redeveloped?
Steve 10:50 a.m. Gary, that's "outside of Richard's sandbox" (his comment). So let me take a shot at it. You're seeing a great redevelopment site that many folks overlook. I think when the timing is right, and the music is still playing (see Richard's earlier comments), something great will be built there.
Ryan 10:51 a.m. Is the AT&T announcement the biggest one we will see for some time?
Steve 10:51 a.m. No. Not at all. No offense, but it's actually pretty much part of a pattern of growth we're seeing. Great news? Yes. But it's not the biggest deal we've seen or will see.
Nick 10:51 a.m. Good morning Steve! And good morning Mr. McKown! Thank you for joining us this morning.
Steve 10:52 a.m. Good morning to you too!
Texas Tea 10:52 a.m. What are your thoughts on the proposed 870ft skycraper in Midland, TX?
Steve 10:52 a.m. It's going to stick out.
Gary T 10:52 a.m. Any chance we see more of the "Firehouse" structures built like the one proposed on NE 1st street in Deep Deuce? I would think a row of four of those would be a great addition to the area.
Steve 10:52 a.m. I can see one or two more getting built. But the sites available are limited.
Gary T 10:53 a.m. What would be your best guess as to the type of development that would line the east or west side of the Union Commons (Central Park) first? Office? Retail? Residential? Other?
Steve 10:53 a.m. Residential
Gary T 10:53 a.m. I have a waffle question for you... No, not the house, the champion. When can we expect Waffle Champion to open?
Steve 10:53 a.m. I think later this summer.
Steve 10:54 a.m. Folks, let's try to keep the questions for Richard McKown limited to Deep Deuce this morning.
Chad (Mr. Cotter) 10:54 a.m. Mr. McKnown- Thank your for joining us today. What considerations are taken when determining the style and quality of construction of your projects when evaluating the balance between short term (profitable soon)and long term (what the buildings will look like in 30 or 50 years)?
Steve 11:04 a.m. Richard: "That's a good question. The thing that very few people realize is buildings become more complex with the single family home being least complex and the multi-family high-rise being most complex. The fundamental cost of construction goes up with complexity. Our ambition has been to build timeless buildings that will not look dated or out of fashion 50 years from now. We follow strong principles of form follows function. And if you look back through solid architecture in great cities you'll find that buildings hold their value and architectural integrity when they are built on solid principles of form follows function. Everything about Level is in the language of durable materials that can be repaired and replaced with normal wear and tear on a building in order to keep it feeling like a wonderful place to live. We designed out many of the problems that you see in large buildings. For example, had the hallways been closed up and carpeted, it would feel pretty worn out in a few years. But the open air corridors bring light and fresh air, polished concrete floors, are easily kept in good shape. We think a lot about the ability to maintain the building a tremendous number of years. But with every project, there is a breaking point at which you could add gold trim, but it loses all feasibility. So it's neither short term or long term. All of us who are building downtown are working on substantially smaller margins than buildings being built on the suburban fringe. And that is true whether you're talking about apartments, housing, office buildings or hotels. But the reason to build downtown is because you believe in the city. You believe that the city will continue to hold its value and continue to become a more and more wonderful place. Whereas with a suburban apartment complex, you simply can not create a sense of place. You can't walk to work. So the city and it's inherent location has greater stable value over time. And even though we're working for a smaller margin, we believe that over time the building will maintain it's value better than a suburban property."
Steve 11:05 a.m. That's the longest answer ever in a live chat - and it is the most honest and best explanation I've heard for why developers commit to working downtown.
Chad (Mr. Cotter) 11:05 a.m. Mr. McKnown - who do you consider to be the target demographic for each of your projects, and do you plan to add new developments in the area to "age" with the tenants as they move on in life?
Steve 11:05 a.m. Richard, are you contemplating doing senior housing?
Gary T 11:11 a.m. When will construction start on the Bindery building on 10th and Oklahoma?
Steve 11:11 a.m. I don't know. I think soon.
Gary T 11:11 a.m. Is there any hope for the Jewel Theatre or any of the other older dilapitated buildings on NE 4th east of Lincoln?
Steve 11:11 a.m. It's not looking good.
Austin 11:11 a.m. What is the status of the restaurant in Level? I was told by one of their employees it would open this summer.
Steve 11:12 a.m. RICHARD: "It won't open this summer. It's supposed to start construction this summer. It's an "urban" Johnnies with a pub component. It's a new concept. They've applied for a building permit. It could be open by late fall. Hopefully."
Seth 11:13 a.m. Do you think we have too much industry downtown? it is starting to impede my vision of the stars...
Steve 11:13 a.m. Get a telescope.
Matthias 11:13 a.m. When are we going to get a major studio or production company in town? Lot of great acting talent that could be utilized to make the next great film.
Steve 11:13 a.m. Lawmakers are looking at killing the film incentive tax credits. So do the math...
Carl 11:14 a.m. Richard, Steve this week posted some very shocking pictures comparing okc in 2003 to now, and the improvements are amazing. What do you think will be the biggest differences between okc today and the okc of 2023? If Richard has left by this point Steve please feel free to answer!
Steve 11:16 a.m. As for me, I believe Deep Deuce will be fully developed in 10 years and MidTown will be at the stage that Deep Deuce is now. I also believe we will start seeing development by then around Farmers Public Market.
Steve 11:16 a.m. RICHARD: "I think we will see development east of Core to Shore park. Not west But east."
Jane 11:17 a.m. Steve I was a little unclear about your Zombie post, exactly what is going on and who is involved?
Steve 11:17 a.m. The family that owns Peacock are holding an outdoor event in their parking lot. Other details are on my block and on their website that I linked to.
Menlo Park 11:18 a.m. Are you excited for the Real Housewives of OKC that appears to be casting?
Steve 11:18 a.m. As I said before, I seriously doubt it's going to happen. I believe the reporting on this story has been sloppy.
Steve 11:18 a.m. OK. But what if I'm on Team T-mobile? Still sore over that broken romance?
Sowa 11:19 a.m. You wouldn't join my dodgeball team, but what about my kickball team?
Steve 11:19 a.m. I loved kickball as a kid.
Carl 11:19 a.m. Steve how big of a deal was the ATT announcement? I understand it wasn't a GE size announcement but will still positively affect our city. Where will these new employee's office, and does ATT have plans to expand beyond the initial 100 jobs in the future?
Steve 11:19 a.m. It's a good bounce. It's not the biggest deal we've seen or will see.
Sowa 11:19 a.m. Thoughts on this story?: Four people from Texas were arrested and 162 pounds of marijuana was seized in a traffic stop on Interstate 35, the Oklahoma County sheriff reports Wednesday. About 8:15 p.m. Monday, a deputy assigned to a drug trafficking task force noticed a white Ford Excursion with Texas license plates straddle the road lines near I-35 and Hefner Road and pulled the driver over. The vehicle was transporting the marijuana, according to a sheriff's news release.
Steve 11:20 a.m. Drugs are bad.
Sowa 11:20 a.m. Will Shadid do more for the OKC businesses than Cornett?
Steve 11:20 a.m. Ask the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.
BethanySooner 11:20 a.m. Steve, which of the two companies do believe will announce a new tower first - the local company that is consolidating its employees or the new yet to be named merger?
Steve 11:20 a.m. A tower is about to get announced? Why don't I know about this?
Guest 11:20 a.m. What are your thoughts on the streetcar routes?
Steve 11:21 a.m. Difficult decisions lie ahead. That's all I know.
Carl 11:21 a.m. Richard, I am going to assume you have talked to several of your LEVEL tenets who could be labeled 'millennials'; after talking to them, what do you feel are their favorite parts about OKC and what do they see at the weak points of OKC? Thanks.
Steve 11:24 a.m. RICHARD: "That's a great question. The things they tell me they like is how surprised they are at how many things there are to do downtown. They love the Myriad Gardens. They love the rooftop at the Art Museum. They love DeadCENTER. They want more. They want more things to do. They want the streetcar. They want more people living downtown like you find in Denver. They want more places to hang out. They love not being stuck in traffic. They love the sense of community."
Angad 11:24 a.m. Would you let a professional athlete tweet your marriage proposal? I'd pay a lot of money to do that.
Steve 11:25 a.m. I'm married. But if I were not, and were about to ask a professional athlete to take care of it for me, I'd pick Kendrick Perkins, because everything about him screams "Oklahoma City's Hugh Grant."
Jonas Hill 11:26 a.m. Steve, one of my dear frineds is leaving his job as of next Wednesday. We have been working together for a year and we both love this chat. Can I get a shout out for my main man TT! Thanks! And as always YOU ARE THE MAN!!
Steve 11:26 a.m. Here's a shout out to TT. You're the man. Or at least I've been told that.
Nick 11:26 a.m. Steve, since there's no chat next week, what can you tell us about the Mystery Tower? Yes, we know things are complicated and there are lots of issues, but there was going to be an announcement in January, then in March, then in June, now it's September, but in September, it'll be before the end of the year, etc. Is this deal actually going to happen? Can you give us something a little more than "I'm not worried"?
Steve 11:27 a.m. Complex real estate deals take time. It's wrapping up. It almost popped a few weeks ago. I really do believe it's this next month.
LarryS 11:27 a.m. Steve, why is there a debate between MAPS 3 Streetcar and bus system? MAPS money was never intended for operational purposes...if we are going to debate specific MAPS projects...why not the Canal? the dams on the Oklahoma River? the library? The arena? The baseball Park? (especially when we ALREADY had one) don;t get me wrong I LOVE all the MAPS projects....but we are debating aples and oranges. The MAPS 3 Streetcar WILL encourage more development and further inprove the image of OKC....all those intangibles that make people want to move to OKC.
Steve 11:27 a.m. I hear ya. I understand the frustration.
Alex 11:27 a.m. Steve, do you need a kid to help you figure out the internet?
Steve 11:27 a.m. Yes. Are you going to become my IT guy?
Dr. Jo Harding 11:28 a.m. This is not okay. I wait for this chat every week and there are technical difficulties? Is this serious? Steve, YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS!!!!
Steve 11:28 a.m. I WAS SERIOUS!
Guest 11:28 a.m. Get your crap together Steve
Steve 11:28 a.m. Wow. Tough crowd.
Guest 11:28 a.m. I might have missed it, but are any parts of the streetcar routes elevated so that the cars don't have to stop at every single stop light? To me the purpose of the streetcar would be to move people around downtown quickly not make it faster to walk, thoughts?
Steve 11:29 a.m. This is above my pay grade.
Dr. Jo Harding 11:29 a.m. Question to Richard... What do you think of Steve? Does Steve think he's a hotshot?
Steve 11:29 a.m. RICHARD: (I'm censoring his response. It's way too nice.)
Nick 11:30 a.m. Mr. McKown, do you have any plans for residential developments that are taller than what you've developed so far? Some mid-rises perhaps, maybe 10-12 stories?
Steve 11:32 a.m. RICHARD: "No. The reason is it's always a question of cost. Once you go over the limits of wood frame construction, you're now building a building that we would have to charge almost 50 percent more in rent to make it economically feasible. Why would you pay 50 percent more just to live in a high rise? I believe buildings like Level that take up full city blocks do a lot of good things for the city."
LarryS 11:32 a.m. Richard, OKC could really use more mixed use development with Street-level shops, restaurants, dry cleaners, grocery this something that you might include in any future developments...or can we just expect more apartment complexes right up next to the street?
Steve 11:35 a.m. RICHARD: "Level is mixed use. We paid a huge premium to build 30 public parking spaces inside the garage for Native Roots Market and Urban Johnnies. We also tore out the parallel parking in order to almost double the on-street parking using 45-degree angle spots. This was a huge expense. On weekends we are still tight on parking. Retail, especially restaurants, is parking intensive. The Iguana Grill, for example, has almost 100 parking spaces when you combine everything on both sides. In order for mixed use to be successful, it has to have parking on the scale like the suburbs."
Carl 11:35 a.m. Steve where are you in your new twitter picture?
Steve 11:35 a.m. Trump Tower in NYC, 2012.
Pat 11:35 a.m. Excited for the NASL soccer team being started?
Steve 11:36 a.m. Yes, I think it will be a great addition to Oklahoma City.
Carl 11:36 a.m. Has ground broken on the uco (or was it ocu?) boat house? I saw from a maps update that the night lights are ready and will be turned on soon, so I figured things around the river would pick up pace a bit.
Steve 11:36 a.m. I have a big river package that I think is running this weekend.
J-Rod 11:36 a.m. Any updates on The Rise? Any idea on potential new restaurants/bars/retail?
Steve 11:37 a.m. Yes, construction is starting soon.
Duane 11:37 a.m. Your favorite topic, Steve. Have you heard anything new in regard to the rumored "Mystery Tower?"
Steve 11:37 a.m. What's this "mystery tower" everyone keeps talking about?
Carl 11:37 a.m. No chat next week?! nooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Steve 11:38 a.m. Yeah, but today's chat has really been cool!
Larry 11:38 a.m. Any truth to the rumors that Paula Deen's planned downtown cake and bacon restaurant has been scrapped?
Steve 11:38 a.m. Not aware of that one.
shawnw 11:38 a.m. What is your personal opinion about thoughtful, realistic streetcar plans like those of Sid Burgess vs the kinds of plans the consultants (and the city?) keep pushing?
Steve 11:38 a.m. It's worth talking about.
Josh 11:38 a.m. Steve, do you think there is enough momentum downtown now that progress will continue even in a worst case scenario where new leadership gets elected that redirects city investments to suburban areas? In other words, can downtown stand on its own now or are city-funded projects like MAPS still necessary?
Steve 11:39 a.m. Wow. I need to think that through.... I think things are changing, but there's still some tough challenges ahead, most notably First National Center.
J-Rod 11:39 a.m. With all the growth in Uptown, do you see a potential for the city to redesign 23rd St from Robinson to Western?
Steve 11:40 a.m. Probably not.... they spent a lot of money a decade ago streetscaping that corridor.
Carol 11:40 a.m. Steve, I want a blvd, just not a 6 lane highway. I think a road that is without question the most beautiful in okc, tree lined, street parking, and stores fronts on the side walk! is this too much to ask?! ahhhhh
Steve 11:40 a.m. How dare you ask!
J-Rod 11:40 a.m. What happened to the planned restaurant for the Level? Are those plans still in play?
Steve 11:41 a.m. Richard says it will be an urban Johnnies with a pub.
KB 11:41 a.m. Not sure if you were aware, but KOSU is opening a studio in the Hart Building in Film Row. They project a sign-on date of 1 September. It will include a public performance space known as the Hart Beat. (citation: listener newsletter)
Steve 11:41 a.m. I'm aware of it.
JB 11:41 a.m. Has Myriad Gardens ever gotten that awesome water-spray area repaired? It only ever worked at the park's re-opening at Festival on the Green in 2011. It broke over winter, partly functioned at Arts Festival 2012 and had been shit down ever since. When it worked it was truly awesome.
Steve 11:41 a.m. They're still having problems.
P.J. PH 11:41 a.m. Hi, Steve. First time asker, long time reader. Do you think we'll ever get that Waffle House that is always discussed in this chat?
Steve 11:41 a.m. Yes. It will be open atop the new 100-story "mystery tower."
Carl 11:42 a.m. Richard, what first attracted you to develop downtown? Was it is easy to break into the scene so to speak?
Steve 11:44 a.m. RICHARD: "I love cities. I grew up on a 180-acre cattle ranch. I love cows. But I went to school in an urban environment and I fell in love with cities. I love the exchange of ideas, I love the conversation. I love the built environment. I love walking. I love window shopping. I love cities."
Guest 11:44 a.m. Your statement: "I believe in a leadership that has been visionary in investing in the city's identity. I believe we need to rally around that leadership and keep all the boats afloat." Sounds like you want Mick to run again... if he DOESN'T run, are you, personally, voting for Ed, or... who is the next best visionary candidate?
Steve 11:47 a.m. RICHARD: The MAPS mayors have been personal role models for me. I deeply believe in the brand, in the investment and the risk taking and the vision. I also deep believe in the solidarity of the city council. I believe in debate. But I also believe in strong teams that move forward together with a unified vision. I really want Oklahoma City to cherish what it has accomplished and continue the legacy of MAPS and regeneration of our city."
Carl 11:47 a.m. Richard, for all the aspiring urban core developers out there, what would be your best piece of advice?
Steve 11:48 a.m. RICHARD: Do the math. Be very disciplined. Count your cost. Get a great architect who believes in controlling costs. And then double check your math.
Carl 11:49 a.m. Once deep deuce becomes fully developed, Richard what part of town are you most interested in 'checking out'?
Gary T 11:50 a.m. Richard, have you been working at all with Ron Bradshaw to make sure your developments compliment each other? Is there a working relationship between you all since you seem to be doing development in such close proximity to one another?
Steve 11:52 a.m. RICHARD: "Yes, there is a working relationship. We are all members of the Maywood Park Property Owners Association. I believe we are doing a good job complimenting each other with the residential products we are offering. I think it will all make more sense as the properties are finished and one can see how they compare and contrast."
Jordan B 11:52 a.m. @Richard: What are your thoughts on the proposed streetcar routes proposed this week?
Steve 11:55 a.m. RICHARD: "We were presented with four options in yesterday's streetcar meeting and my table saw fit to draw up a new fifth option. Basically it took the locally preferred alternative and we double tracked Broadway so that it would be more obvious how to use the system and then we made the south loop at Sheridan, we took it west around the Myriad Gardens and south to the boulevard and back up E.K. Gaylord in front of the Santa Fe station and then back to the route on Reno. Although I don't have any real estate on Broadway, I believe Broadway is a great piece of our city and is the most logical north-south corridor to make a user friendly system that we all could enjoy on a daily basis."
marvin 11:55 a.m. Steve, do you know what is planned for the old post office on NW 24th near Western?
Steve 11:56 a.m. Nope.
Kade 11:56 a.m. What do you think about the discussions around whether or not citizens should fund a hotel downtown for the conventions center?
Steve 11:56 a.m. I don't know enough yet to say.
BethanySooner 11:56 a.m. I was a bit underwhelmed by the AT&T announcement yesterday. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for their presence in Oklahoma as well as for the new jobs. It just seemed on the surface to be overhyped. I'm assuming there are long-term ramifications that I am not aware of. Could you elaborate on just what this means to OKC both now and into the future?
Steve 11:56 a.m. It's more employment.
Nick 11:56 a.m. When do you think the final decision on the location of GE
Nick 11:56 a.m. 's research center will be made? I'd assume they want to be up and running before too long?
Steve 11:56 a.m. Likely later this year.
Carl 11:57 a.m. Steve when are the maywood apartments supposed to be finished?
Steve 11:57 a.m. I think later this year.
Gary T 11:57 a.m. Sorry for some of the double posts. I didn't think mine were posting due to the glitch in the Matrix.
Steve 11:57 a.m. There was a big glitch today, mixed up the order.... don't worry.
Steve 12:01 p.m. Looks like it's getting glitchy again...
GrannieDee 12:03 p.m. I read where AT&T is bringing more jobs to OKC, at their complex off Memorial. What about their almost empty building at 707 N. Robinson?I know there was structural damage due to the bombing. Shouldn't they at least replace it with a 1 or 2 story building to suit their needs downtown?
Steve 12:03 p.m. I don't know.
Pete 12:03 p.m. Thanks, Richard, for being with us today and for building a great project in Level. What is the status of the restaurant for Level? Can you provide some details and timing?
Steve 12:04 p.m. Pete, Richard has now left the building. But he answered this earlier in the chat.
BethanySooner 12:04 p.m. Who would benefit most from the site selection of the GE research center - OU or OKC? What would be the benefits to each?
Steve 12:04 p.m. yes.
Wormer 12:04 p.m. Do we have enough trees downtown? Sometimes I don't think so.
Ann 12:04 p.m. I sense from the consultants plans is catering to too much self interest not the general needs. I am intrigued by Sid' s streetcar route which is predominately a walker spine and goes up to 23rd St. on walker. What is the possibility of that range.
Steve 12:05 p.m. I don't know.
Gary T 12:05 p.m. How do you think the opening of Aloft will affect the retail space at Level? I would guess more street life in general would be a good thing and Aloft will bring that.
Steve 12:05 p.m. it should help
ABD 12:05 p.m. Both Steve and Richard: With all of the success of the rental properties in DT/DD, when will we start to see some construction on for sale condos/townhouses? I know a lot of people who would gladly buy down there.
Steve 12:06 p.m. So far, The Hill is where the development is taking place.
Carl 12:06 p.m. Steve, I am really curious about the question who posed about why the city dumped the consultants master plan for brick town. Are you planning on digging into this?
Steve 12:06 p.m. I wrote about it at the time. Basically, I've been told it was garbage
Carl 12:07 p.m. Steve, can you give us a hint about your Sunday story?
Steve 12:07 p.m. River.
tlankster 12:07 p.m. Mr McKowen Thank You and others with the vision and financial resources for believing in Oklahomma City. I really is great to see for oneself the synergy that is taking place between all the stakeholders in DT. I look expectantly towards the future of OKC because of committed citizens like you
Carl 12:07 p.m. Steve what have you learned about the accusations posted last week that TEEMCO was a ponzi scheme?
Steve 12:08 p.m. I've not found anything in court records. I regret that question slipped into the chat last week. But I do need to do a bit more questioning on it.
Carl 12:08 p.m. Any chance that ATT takes down the microwave thing now?
Steve 12:08 p.m. Want me to ask?
Carl 12:08 p.m. Steve have you had a chance to interview James Bennett since his move to CEO of Sandridge? If not, has anyone over at the energy desk?
Steve 12:08 p.m. The energy desk is on it.
Mark 12:09 p.m. Steve, you seeing or hearing about anything new coming into Automobile Alley or 9th street?
Steve 12:09 p.m. Nothing I can talk about yet.
Carl 12:09 p.m. Why are the chips Boren holds that can draw GE away from okc? Imagine if their facility was on the south banks of the river, That would look so good for the rowers and hopefully give that part of town a much needed spark.
Steve 12:09 p.m. The biggest chip is David Boren. Let's just leave it at that.
Nick 12:10 p.m. How important do you think improved connections between Deep Deuce and Bricktown are?
Steve 12:10 p.m. I think it's huge.
Jones 12:10 p.m. Steve, in all serious what needs to be done with first national? It CANNOT be torn down, but it would be incredibly expensive to gut and turned into modern office space. Do you think it could be at all possible for there to be a public/private partnership to bring the tower back or do you think the city is unwilling to get into office/residential development? Basically what needs to be done?
Steve 12:10 p.m. It needs visionaries.
Guest 12:11 p.m. Steve, what is keeping Bricktown from having funky local businesses like those on 9th Street and the Plaza District?
Steve 12:11 p.m. Not high.
Nick 12:11 p.m. Steve, where is Allford Hall Monaghan Morris going to open their OKC office? In Deep Deuce in one of Mr. McKown's developments?
Steve 12:11 p.m. I think their office is in the Hart Building on Film Row.
Jane 12:11 p.m. Steve there have been several times I've driven by the waterfall at sheridan and robinson it has been off, why is it not always on, that is one of my favorite features of the park!
Steve 12:11 p.m. They're having trouble with some of the fountains.
Landman 12:11 p.m. Is Bricktown actively trying to bring in family and tourist entertainment options? You recently mentioned a Dave & Busters type concept and the water features on the river which are a step in the right direction but Bricktown/downtown needs so much more. Has anyone explored developing an indoor water park or any other entertainment venues that don't include nightlife? Maybe a Ripley's Believe it or Not type concept, an aquarium, a children's museum, even a laser tag concept similar to RedPin bowling? I'm not opposed to clubs (we could use a couple more really good ones) I'd just like to see more things draw entire families downtown especially during the daytime hours.
Steve 12:12 p.m. That's what Chris Johnson wants to bring in - a Dave & Buster's type concept along the canal. I don't see a Ripley's coming in.
Jane 12:12 p.m. Also did they fix the astro turf on the 'G' of the grow statue?
Steve 12:12 p.m. not to my knowledge
Nick 12:12 p.m. Does your earlier post mean that Mr. McKown won't be answering my question regarding the Rock Island Plow Building? That development has a lot of people interested.
Steve 12:13 p.m. Yep. Sorry. Richard was set for 10 minutes and he stayed two hours. That's about as generous as a developer can be with his time.
Landman 12:13 p.m. Why does Tulsa get companies like Fudruckers,la madeleine, Dave & Busters, long before Oklahoma City? Is Oklahoma City to spread out or is the city doing something to discourage some retailers from coming here?
Steve 12:13 p.m. No kidding! I'd love to have a Fuddruckers in Oklahoma CIty.
Mark 12:13 p.m. The old post office on 24th and western was purchased by a company who is going to make it into their offices.
James 12:14 p.m. Steve besides the mystery tower, are there any other stories you have gotten wind of and are itching to break?
Steve 12:14 p.m. Yes.
Gus 12:14 p.m. Where are you hanging out this evening? 8th & H or Film Row (which will be moving their party to 3rd Friday beginning in August)
Steve 12:14 p.m. If I can make it, I'd love to hit up H&8th.
Mike 12:14 p.m. Regarding the streetcar plans, if the city feels it best to use couplets, is it really ideal to have the majority of the tracks spaced only two blocks apart from each other? Do they think people aren't willing to walk more than a block from a stop in order to reach their destination. Seems like could make better use of the limited tracks by widening the circle by another one or two blocks.
Steve Hackmeyer 12:15 p.m. Steve, you're a hack I tell you... a hack!!! Post this comment now!!!!
Steve 12:15 p.m. Ok.
Guest 12:15 p.m. Steve: It would be cool to see a roster of different neighborhood businesses sometimes. Always a mystery of who is working in the 2nd and 3rd floors of some of those auto alley places. What else is in Midtown plazaa. Nice to spotlight those people
Steve 12:15 p.m. Noted.
Angad 12:15 p.m. Do you have any idea why the city won't approve my steak sandwich restaurant/illegal fight club themed bar?
Steve 12:16 p.m. Define "illegal"
Nick 12:16 p.m. Steve, are OKC's power players interested in getting Myriad Gardens back up to snuff or are they pleased with the new director that seems to be running things into the ground?
Steve 12:16 p.m. Good question....
Steve Hackmeyer 12:16 p.m. Just kidding Steve I love you
Steve 12:16 p.m. Thank you.
KB 12:16 p.m. Business rosters for downtown are compiled by Downtown OKC Inc., or they were at one time.
Pat 12:16 p.m. What's your favorite muppet?
Steve 12:17 p.m. Kermit of course.
Steve Hackmeyer 12:17 p.m. Not literally..
Steve 12:17 p.m. That's good to know.
Steve 12:17 p.m. Folks, it's been two and a half hours. Gotta go!
Have a great weekend!
by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author 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...
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