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OKC Central Chat transcript, June 6, 2014

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 6, 2014 at 1:04 pm •  Published: June 6, 2014

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.

NewsOK 9:54 a.m. Good morning everyone. Steve will be logging in at 10:30 a.m., but you can start submitting your questions now.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:36 a.m. Good morning everybody. Give me about another minute and we will get started.
Guest 10:40 a.m. Any updates for stage center tower?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:40 a.m. Yes. You can read my story from yesterday at
Terry 10:40 a.m. Steve, I know you claim to be a political agnostic as do I, but with the AICC fiasco I hope House Speaker Hickman catches holy hell for his lousy leadership. What he's doing at the Capitol is unforgivable. He shouldn't even be elected dogcatcher back in Fairview. I can't believe he prefers to abandon a nearly $100 million world class museum investment (that's costing us $68,000 per month by the way just to keep secure in it's unfinished state) to rust at the most important interstate intersection in the state. So without asking you to delve into politics, what do you think is going to happen with the American Indian Cultural Center? I think the City taking back possession of the AICC property from the state would be the best thing possible and it would dish out a little bit of justice to the state for being so inept. It would put the project into the much more qualified hands at City Hall and would probably result in renewed interest from private donors to fund the final construction of the AICC. In fact the City probably won't have to contribute another dime. I'll bet the state's inept handling was what prevented more private donors from pledging money to the museum in the first place and rightfully so. The state government has shown itself to be totally untrustworthy and incompetent. I know there are people who think this is a money pit, but I really want to see this museum finished. One reason is because OKC would then have a claim to fame for being home to the best “Cowboys and Indians” museums in the world. Now that would be cool.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:45 a.m. Bill Crum had a good follow-up yesterday at Now, that said, I am aware of quite a few people being upset with Hickman. Promoters of the museum said they had the votes to get the final funding passed with a mix of Democrats and Republicans, but HIckman would not allow a vote to take place without a majority of Republicans supporting the measure. Reading Bill's story, it looks like there's another month or so before the private pledges disappear. So what's next? Can anything be done without a reconvening of the Legislature? Will the city take back the property? At this point, anything is possible.
Terry 10:46 a.m. I'm sure you know what types of retailers are interested in locating downtown. Can you tell us whether there is more interest from homegrown stores or national chains? I would prefer homegrown stores myself, but I also subscribe to the theory that having some big name retailers like Crate & Barrel or Tiffany's would indicate that OKC has arrived. However, I really miss stores like the old downtown John A. Brown's and would love to see a local retailer open up downtown and grow into another legendary department store, aka Brown's.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:49 a.m. We have a B.C. Clark's downtown. We have Plenty Mercantile. They may not be national names, but you might be surprised how nice they are. I'm not sure I agree with a Crate & Barrel or Tiffany's being the standard for whether "downtown has arrived." And I really don't see those stores EVER coming to downtown Oklahoma City, regardless of its success. I don't see those two stores going to downtown Dallas or downtown Kansas City or St. Louis either. We're in a different era of retail - department stores are no longer what they once were. Show me an Automobile Alley where every storefront is home to a great retailer or restaurant, and show me a Park Avenue where all the storefronts feature restaurants and retail. That will be a better measure, in my opinion, of whether "downtown has arrived" in terms of retail.
Terry 10:50 a.m. Even though ODOT has ruled out roundabouts on the new boulevard, OKC shouldn't. I love the look and continuous nature of them. So ignoring ODOT's obsession for a super fast and super wide boulevard, it's still possible to connect Western, Reno, Classen, Exchange and the new boulevard as the spokes of a wheel such as the roundabout in Paris surrounding the Arc de Triomphe? It sure would be a nice change from all the other boring interchanges in the U.S. With another dramatic sculpture such as the Skydance Bridge or other equally stunning landmark in a wide diameter central plaza space, OKC would really be setting a new standard. Imagine what it could do to enhance development potential in the area, especially for the upcoming 21C Museum Hotel and Farmers Market.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:51 a.m. Public works director Eric Wenger actually has indicated he is giving serious thought to placing a roundabout at where Exchange Avenue would dead-end with Klein Avenue at the south entrance to Farmers Market as part of changes planned with the boulevard if Option C is chosen.
Matt 10:51 a.m. With the Page Woodson school redevelopment starting, do you know of or expect any development in the area South of NE 4th and East of I-235. Seems mostly vacant and ripe for development.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:53 a.m. It's too early to say redevelopment of the property is starting. We know developer Ron Bradshaw bought the building, and we know that Urban Renewal is seeking development bids for adjacent properties. But that's just the start. I suspect an extension of Sheridan Avenue east of Bricktown through the area you describe, and connecting with NE 4 further east will be necessary for that area to truly develop. Also, the recycling plant would have to go.
Terry 10:53 a.m. How successful would you say the roundabout by the Plaza Court has been? Would it make sense to build other Midtown roundabouts on Classen Dr. at the intersections of 11th and Dewey and another at 13th and Shartel? I think it would really add to the already unique quality of Midtown.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:54 a.m. The roundabouts are working great, but really, they are usually necessary for multi-street intersections. I'm not sure the city would entertain going with them otherwise.
Terry 10:54 a.m. I guess plans to revise and upgrade EK Gaylord Blvd. got cut from Project 180 due to lack of funds. That's a shame because EKG is probably the one street that needed it the most since it serves as the transition between downtown and Bricktown/ Deep Deuce. Right now it's a soulless canyon and no amount of decoration on the Santa Fe parking garage can fix that. I heard the original plan was to revise EKG from six lanes to 4 lanes with parallel parking, sidewalks, bike lanes and trees on either side. If that is correct it would have gone a long way towards making that space tolerable for pedestrians. Also since the plans for the transit hub at the Santa Fe train station call for a short leg of the streetcar to run in front of the station, I would think this street warrants more attention than what it's receiving. Have you heard of any plans to revive the Project 180 EKG design by other financial means?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:56 a.m. E.K. Gaylord is being upgraded between Main Street and Reno Avenue and will include streetcar tracks in front of the Santa Fe Train Station thanks to a federal TIGER grant the city received two years ago. I am not certain, however, whether your valid concerns about E.K. Gaylord being a soulless canyon will truly be fixed by this alone.
Terry 10:56 a.m. What happened to caused the Skky Bar to close? It's such a great location. Actually the same could be asked of the Coaches spot in the baseball stadium. Both are great locations and would seem to be a golden opportunity for someone with the right business plan. Do you know if anyone has come forward to lease out either space yet?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:03 a.m. Skky Bar's lease ended and the building's owners have committed to not allow anymore nightclubs to open in that spot. Don't be surprised if a restaurant opens in the space instead (extension of Mickey Mantle Steakhouse?). Likewise. CityWalk closed last weekend after a 14 year run. Many property owners and civic leaders have come to view nightclubs as being bad for Bricktown. They are only open three nights a week and create a dead space for the rest of the week. Violence has become an ongoing issue with the nightclubs. I know of only one property owner, Jeff Brown who owns the Miller Jackson Building, who has yet to swear off leasing to nightclubs. His building has seen two murders and numerous assaults associated with the operators of RokBar and Club Social (names changed after each murder at the same estatblishment), which is now Moonshiners. You can read more about the closing of CityWalk at
Guest 11:03 a.m. What is 1 thing that you have yet to tell us about because no one has asked us?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:03 a.m. My favorite downtown hang-out/coffee shop is Beatnix.
Terry 11:04 a.m. I hope OKC doesn't settle for the current length of the Bricktown canal. I believe Bricktown's potential won't be fully utilized until the canal is made into a continuous course to eliminate at least one of the dead-ends. I prefer that the northern dead-end at the Devon Fountain be extended looping back to reconnect at the Harkins Theater and another leg continuing beneath the Santa Fe RR viaduct to the Myriad Gardens. Although the leg running to the Myriad Gardens most likely would be a dead-end, it would be acceptable due to the quality of the experience it would create, especially if the Cox were replaced with mixed use development.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:04 a.m. Others share your dream.
Guest 11:04 a.m. Are you tracking any retail development or anything for the lots just west across Oklahoma Ave from the new Metropolitan apartments? There were previous plans for a Starbucks and a Panera in that area, but since the Metropolitan doesn't have any retail, might be nice to see some more shops come to that area.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:05 a.m. I suspect we'll see some retail pop up at the corner of NE 6 and Oklahoma Avenue not long after the Metropolitan opens.
Guest 11:05 a.m. Any word on any new restaurants downtown?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:05 a.m. The guys at Ludivine are preparing to open a second eatery next to their current operation.
Terry 11:05 a.m. In the past I would say one of Bricktown's biggest problems was squatter property owners (owner's just sitting on their properties even though these properties had great potential). Recent developments seem to indicate there's finally some momentum spurring these owner's to action. For examples the Rock Island Plow Building which stood neglected for nearly a decade by their owner and the Mideke Building converting into Tapstone's new HQ. Pretty exciting to see. Would you say Bricktown is finally turning a new leaf and if so what do you think is the cause for these property owners finally taking action?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:08 a.m. We are seeing a new forward momentum in Bricktown. But we still have Gary Cotton owning the old Margarita Mamma's building on the canal, which has sat empty for more than a dozen years. We still have French Hickman sitting on a great building at 19 E California (just east of Chelino's), another property on the canal. We still have the Cummings building being used as basically a parking booth at the key intersection of Sheridan and Mickey Mantle Drive. So we're seeing progress. But some long-term "squatter property owners' as you call them are still firmly in place.
Hurley 11:09 a.m. Do you have a timetable for when construction will start on the 21C hotel?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:09 a.m. Nothing official, but I suspect we'll see some work start either late this year or early 2015. It's a real deal.
Guest 11:09 a.m. What is the deal with this Stage Center Tower project? How do they still not have an architect for this, yet we're allowing them to tear down the building without a single inkling of what's to come?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:10 a.m. Those are questions better asked of the Downtown Design Review Committee and Mayor Mick Cornett, who designates the appointees to oversee these hearings.
Terry 11:10 a.m. With Tapstone Energy moving it's HQ into the Mideke I wonder if and when Tapstone needs to expand, whether the Spaghetti Warehouse owners would consider building out their upper floors to accommodate Tapstone since it's directly behind the Mideke? It sure wouldn't hurt Bricktown to add more life to that underutilized building.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:10 a.m. I suspect if the terms are right, deals can be made.
11:13 a.m.
The Spaghetti Warehouse in its glory days, windows still intact, when the building was home to Oklahoma Furniture Manufacturing Company. From my book, "Bricktown."
Terry 11:13 a.m. I'm hoping once the streetcar is running thru Bricktown some of the surface parking lots can be eliminated thereby allowing properties such as the SW corner of Sheridan and Oklahoma to be fully developed with new buildings. This would really help to eliminate the current large gaps in the pedestrian experience between the canal and other sections of Bricktown.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:14 a.m. I won't argue this point.
Guest 11:14 a.m. What does the closing of city walk do to Bricktown? Do you see more clubs closing their doors and moving else where when their leases are up?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:18 a.m. We only have a couple of nightclubs left. Doll House, a burlesque club which is in a small building just north of the Bricktown Ballpark, Club 115 in the old Varsity space, and Candy, which is in east Bricktown by the hotels. When Club 115's lease ends, don't be surprised if that's the end to nightclubs in that space. The closing of the two biggest nightclubs, SkkyBar and CityWalk, may already spell the end of Bricktown being a home to nightclubs, which would make many people in the district happy. They prefer the bars, which are open all week, are less associated with violence and are more vested in the district's well being.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:19 a.m. The clubs that are left may soon find they are scrutinized far more than before by the fire marshal when crowds exceed the legal limit.
Terry 11:19 a.m. I was driving by the Fassler Hall & Dust Bowl construction on 10th Street and it struck me how it looked like an Interstate overpass, but in a good way. Kinda 50's or 60's retro and bigger in scale than I had imagined it would be. I actually like it a lot so I can't wait till their grand opening. By the way Steve, will you be the first to raise a stein of beer for a toast at their opening? I'll be there to join ya in the toast.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:21 a.m. I will eagerly attend the opening, but forgive me, I'll have to raise a stein of Root Beer. I've not consumed alcohol since a couple of unfortunate incidents that occurred during my senior year of college.
Hurley 11:21 a.m. Have you ever done, or thought of doing an article/book on Grand Boulevard throughout the city? I think that if and when Capitol Hill goes through a revival it will be an important piece, your thoughts?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:22 a.m. Someone else has already inadvertently written the book. I just need to convince them to polish it and get it published, or join up with them to get the deed done.
Terry 11:22 a.m. There seems to be some confusion as to the streetcar route into Midtown. Do you know if the streetcar route will extend all the way west to Dewey or will it just run on Robinson as only a couplet to Broadway?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:22 a.m. I don't have that info available at the moment. Let me get back to you.
Terry 11:23 a.m. Is anyone using the basement space at Plaza Court? It would be fantastic if something like the old Bowery was to locate there again. That place was so cool. Back then the blight was just beginning to overtake the area now known as Midtown (as it was the entire downtown core). Even still you could sense the uniqueness of the area and especially the Plaza Court building with Kaiser's across the street, but nothing, not even the appearance of a place like the Bowery could stop the spread of blight. There were people who fought it. I remember one pioneer, I believe his name was Steve Mossman (spelling?), an architect who designed and developed the Classen Glen condos at 7th and Classen Blvd in the 80's. He showed me his own condo in the complex with it's dramatic two or three-story open space in which he had hung his Hobie Cat from the ceiling with cables (sail and all). What I remember most were the incredible views towards downtown. I knew eventually others would see what Steve and the Bowery started in Midtown. That's why it's so exciting to see the abrupt turnaround taking place there now.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:24 a.m. I'm aware of that history, though this is far more colorful detail than what I've heard to date. I am not aware of anything going on in that basement. But I'll check with the developers to make sure I'm not wrong.
Terry 11:24 a.m. Whatever happened to Greg Banta who was probably the main pioneering developer with his vision for Midtown?
11:26 a.m.
Greg Banta
Steve Lackmeyer 11:31 a.m. I still have a lot of appreciation and respect for Greg and his early vision. Keep in mind that Bob Howard and Mickey Clagg were early investors in Greg's development before they took over the operation. Greg had a great vision for Midtown, much of which was then implemented (but also greatly improved upon and expanded upon by Howard, Clagg and Chris Fleming). Greg also was making some choices that might not have been so great - skipping historic tax credits, not always preserving character defining elements of old buildings, being too aggressive on some purchase offers. Greg was in many ways caught up by the economic collapse that really began to hit as early as 2007-2008. Developers can easily get over-extended. Greg suffered quite a bit, but he's moving forward, and last I heard, still brokering real estate deals. He's a good guy with great creativity and talent. I wish him all the best.
Terry 11:31 a.m. I love Midtown and believe the Plaza Court building is the heart of the district. I also believe that if another building were built across the street on Classen Dr. from Plaza Court it would double the activity there. Basically I'm proposing someone build a mirror building of Plaza Court where the current EMSA building is located. Have you ever heard of anyone proposing to do something similar with that property? If not, do you know what EMSA plans to do with their property?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:34 a.m. I was just talking about this very possibility with a developer a couple days ago. EMSA leases, and does not own the building. I need to make an inquiry, but Ive been told the lease is coming up soon. Surely there is a better location for EMSA's dispatch operation, and this whole property could be redeveloped for a higher, better use.
Terry 11:34 a.m. A while back there was a huge drilling rig on the Steelyard site. It wasn't for soils test drilling unless they were testing the soils in China. No, this baby was an oil rig. Maybe they had to cap some old wells or something. Do you know what they discovered on the site and what the drilling rig was for?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:35 a.m. I don't know what you saw. I go by there fairly regularly, and all I've seen involved crews and equipment doing soil testing.
Hurley 11:35 a.m. Do you think the Cotton Oil Mill people are trying to leverage their downtown land but announcing they are selling their other properties? You had a great article but I can't understand the business behind wanting to sell land they had for the future even if it is 5-10 years out unless they 1. have a good buyer for the firestone land or 2. they want to show they will stay downtown for a long period unless someone makes a move soon?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:36 a.m. These are cotton farmers we are talking about, not Machiavellian real estate moguls. That said, can I rule out the chance they could list the property for sale again? No. But if they're asking for $120 million again, well, I seriously doubt it will go any further than it did when they were advised to go with that asking price by their then broker Gary Gregory.
Terry 11:37 a.m. Have you seen or heard of any construction progress on the House of Bedlam or even better, have you heard if Chris Johnson has solidified his plans for the (hotel?) property immediately to the west that he owns?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:38 a.m. Steel has been ordered and Johnson has a building permit. But I'm hearing he has hit another glitch. So, that's that. As for the hotel prospect, I'm not certain where that's at.
Terry 11:38 a.m. So how was your trip to Kentucky7 I've heard you mention before that if you ever moved from OKC, you'd probably move there. Are you planning a move now after your visit? I know a lot of people here in OKC would miss you, including myself.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:39 a.m. So far I'm safe here in OKC. And Louisville has a Gannet newspaper, which right now is a big strike against me making such a move.
jet 11:39 a.m. Good Morning Steve, The Page Woodson School (the old Douglass High School built in 1910) is a huge, beautiful Art Deco building which has asbestos problems, needs a total renovation and may even be haunted -boo. If one old building could be saved in OKC this would be the one I would choose. Is there any hope to save it? Will GE coming help the area?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:41 a.m. I'd say the Paige Woodson school is better positioned now for redevelopment than in the past 20 years since it closed. I'm very hopeful - I'm optimistic - that it is on the verge of being redeveloped. As for GE, oh yeah, that is going to have far more impact on the area than anyone realizes.
Hurley 11:41 a.m. It seems like Automobile Alley and the whole area around 10th is really starting to transform, do you see a residential tower being possible for anywhere in that area in say the next 5 years?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:43 a.m. I will be shocked and dumb-founded if we don't see an effort to redevelop the two surface parking lots owned by SandRidge Energy at NW 5 and Broadway into a dense mix of housing and retail. A developer wouldn't even need to build a garage. They could do deals with the Fifth Street garage across from the YMCA and a garage to be developed by Bond Payne at NW 5 and Robinson.
Terry 11:43 a.m. That was some really bad news about the Producers Coop staying put instead of moving to their property out on Council. I know they've been located near downtown for over 70years and deserve some respect for that, but with downtown development ramping up, by staying put it could really put a damper on adjacent development, specifically the lumberyard site. I'm talking about the possible three towers proposed by Lou Christiansen/ Midrise LLC. Maybe, however, if Christiansen and other adjacent owners go ahead and develop their properties it will add enough real value to the Coop site that they will finally get an offer on their property they can accept. In the meantime, I'm hoping that Lou Christiansen is for real and finally decides to speak with you so we can find out how serious he is and if so how he intends to cope with such things as the Coop smell, limited site access to the new boulevard (which may be raised for portions of the property), pedestrian access to Bricktown, any possible future canal extensions running thru the lumberyard site, etc. I'll say this about the lumberyard site: without the Coop that is one of the best sites in downtown with direct access to downtown, Bricktown, the River, the Peake, the new park, Myriad Gardens, the streetcar, the transit hub, you name it.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:46 a.m. I really have my doubts about Lou Christiansen's development. I wrote about unanswered questions in my blog last week: And here's another question I forgot to include - how can a development package for the site not anticipate needing millions of dollars to pay for clean-up of the dirt when soil contamination was rampant throughout Lower Bricktown?
Guest 11:47 a.m. Are there some new (or familiar) developers poking their head around Midtown for new projects? Something on a larger scale than what we've seen to date?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:47 a.m. Yes.
Terry 11:47 a.m. Even after the realignment of I-40 I still think more needs to be done to improve the look of the industrial areas along I-40 that are beyond the realignment area. If we can't redevelop these areas, can we at least plant some trees to disguise them? Who handles landscaping along I-40? Is it the Feds or the state's responsibility? If it's the state's then we're stuffed. We all know how competent they are.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:48 a.m. I believe that is part of the plan for the city when it gets involved.
Guest 11:48 a.m. why can't the crosstown eliminate the confusion and problems by have the portion in the controversial area be underground like many cities. Have. I know it may be costly but shouldn't it at least be considered?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:49 a.m. The state legislature won't pay to complete the American Indian Cultural Center. Why do you think they would pay millions extra to build an underground road? It's fantasy to think they would.
Terry 11:49 a.m. When they built the Bricktown canal they built it at basement level to all the existing warehouses. Did any of the warehouses actually have existing basements? Do you know which buildings have added a basement after the canal was built to take advantage of direct access to the canal?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:50 a.m. Every building that has restaurants or shops facing the canal had a basement - that's the basement. No basements were added.
Terry 11:50 a.m. Who owns the building adjacent to Zio's at the very western end of the Bricktown canal and does the owner have any plans to renovate the building? By the way does Zio's or this building have a basement? Once the tunnel to the Santa Fe train station is opened beneath the Santa Fe viaduct I imagine this end of the canal will come alive with pedestrian traffic at street and basement level and any businesses there will prosper.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:52 a.m. Harding and Shelton owns those buildings. They already completed a significant renovation - they just haven't finished out and leased the ground floor space to the west of Zio's. I suspect they'll do so in time. The tunnel will be a game changer. That is funded. But I do expect the city to face some opposition from the BNSF Railway in getting it done.
Terry 11:53 a.m. Have you heard anything in regards to when construction will start on the Santa Fe train station/ Transit hub and the new tunnel beneath the RR viaduct?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:53 a.m. This next year.
jet 11:53 a.m. The news that the Producers Coop is staying put sure puts a halt on revitalizing that area of Bricktown and even the Oklahoma River. I suppose eventually it could happen after I’m long gone. It is hard to be patient and to wait for the wheels of ”progress” to turn. The sidewalk still isn’t open from the Chesapeake Boathouse to Bricktown and that’s already completed. It is frustrating but, this city has come in a relatively short amount of time and with all of the announcements of new projects this week things are moving forward-sometimes slowly. Ok, I’m off my soapbox and I feel better. Thanks for the indulgence.
John S 11:53 a.m. Steve, good morning! What is the redevelopment that is underway on the northwest corner of 23rd and Walker in Uptown?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:54 a.m. That's the Rise shopping center. A game changer for NW 23. Filled with shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, it is set to open in late summer.
Brandon 11:54 a.m. Steve, without upsetting anyone, can you agree that the okc fest lineup is just a country fest. Also, how can a city say they are trying to keep people from going to Austin City Limits, or Bonoroo, when the okc fest is headlined by Roy Rogers and Merle Haggard? The people that the city is trying to attract( millennials) aren't fans of them. Basically, a state fair lineup.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:56 a.m. Roy Rogers? If Roy Rogers if headlining the festival, that will be international news. He's been dead for 16 years.
OK, forgive me. That's not the answer you're looking for. I've been hearing about names being added to the festival that aren't country music performers. But I really don't think we know how this festival will feel and be presented until it is done.
Ladd 11:57 a.m. Do you see multiuse developments similar to Chisholm Creek in the future for the OKC area?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:57 a.m. I'm not sure I understand this question. Chisholm Creek is being developed in OKC.
Terry 11:58 a.m. I'm surprised Rainey Williams is installing the fence around the Stage Center site for it's demolition. I would have thought he'd be a bit more sensitive regarding the loss of the old Mummers Theater by allowing the public to see finalized renderings for OG&E's HQ first. My philosophy, don't destroy until it's a sure deal and that we know what the replacement will look like. One thing I've wondered about: has his design team provided for future expansion by designing the structure to handle additional stories to the towers? I think a lot of people are still underwhelmed by his proposal and would like to see a taller building, even if it's not built that tall now. He's got to remember that he's replacing a very iconic building.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:58 a.m. This is a question I'll ask during my next visit.
Terry 11:58 a.m. I heard Devon's office space is already maxed out. If so I'll bet they're wishing they hadn't scaled back the extra few floors they originally proposed. Do you remember how many extra stories they planned before scaling it back to it's current height?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:58 a.m. Four.
Terry 11:59 a.m. OKC is fortunate to have the 21c hotel consider it for one of their locations. We're even more fortunate that they would consider locating in an area that's basically been forgotten for decades even in the current redevelopment frenzy. I imagine that the Fred Jones building was a big reason. It's always been a favorite of mine. I'm sure the Hall family who owns it and many of the neighboring properties want to insure 21c's success by developing their other properties to further reinvigorate the area. Have you heard anything from the Halls in regards to plans for developing their properties adjacent to the 21c hotel?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:59 a.m. I think we'll hear an announcement soon from the Hall family but I will say they are close to developing that whole block.
Terry 11:59 a.m. Is there a timetable for the Transit hub to become reality? It will be such a positive that I hope it happens soon. Having rail service to Edmond, Norman, Midwest City, the Adventure District and the Airport combined with the streetcar will transform downtown into a whirl of activity and without adding car traffic to boot.
Steve Lackmeyer 12:00 p.m. 2017 is the set completion date.
James 12:00 p.m. What development is planned for the west side of I-235 between NE 6th and 8th?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:01 p.m. The Metropolitan apartments. Read my update here:
Neal 12:01 p.m. What did Randy Hogan do that's got some people upset? Wasn't he given control over all the development in Lower Bricktown? From what little I know, living out here in California, some in OKC are upset with the way he developed Lower Bricktown because of such things as large surface parking lots, buildings set back too far from Reno, the use of EIFS on the buildings, etc. but he didn't kill anyone that I know of so why be so upset? I've also just discovered that OCURA has a scheduled contract with Hogan. I'm not sure what that contract states, but it sounds like Hogan was to develop the remaining properties in some time frame and he didn't do that. Is it true that because of Hogan's delay that OCURA can take back the property?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:02 p.m. I think you answered much of your own question. As for the Urban Renewal contract, I don't see anything being taken back.
Terry 12:02 p.m. Deep Deuce is nearly built out now but I'm wondering, did they forget to add a park? I know they have the small park on 3rd and Oklahoma and some land where the drainage easement runs between the apartments between Russell Perry and Central. There's also what Google Maps shows as 89er Museum Park, but I wouldn't call it a park but a narrow landscape buffer between the freeway ramp and Block 42. These spaces allow for little more than a small patch for your dog to do his dootie. Was this something that was just forgotten or did the City consider these small green spaces enough?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:03 p.m. First - don't use Google maps as an authoritative source. There is no 89er Museum Park - at least not in Deep Deuce. And yes, someone seems to have forgeten a need for a dog park in Deep Deuce.
Terry 12:04 p.m. Do you know the history behind the ugly bunker-like AT&T Annex Building immediately west of the Pioneer AT&T building? I heard it was built in the 60's or 70's without windows to protect the telephone infrastructure from a Russian nuclear attack. It's definitely one of the ugliest buildings in OKC and what's funny is we're not the only city to be saddled with such an ugly AT&T building. They built similar buildings all over the U.S. While I don't usually advocate demolition of any building, this one should be knocked down or at a minimum taken down a few notches so that it's no higher than 12 stories. That way the slender Pioneer Building tower could be revealed and outlined against our Oklahoma skies while also allowing for removal of the ugly microwave equipment from it's roof.
Steve Lackmeyer 12:04 p.m. Um, yeah.
Jeff 12:04 p.m. Heard any rumblings of a blues bar opening up in Film Row?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:04 p.m. Rumblings? How about hints?
John 12:04 p.m. Steve, what do you think about the chances of Guernsey EAC actually moving downtown? With the lack of space in the core what about an area just outside of there like film row or auto ally?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:05 p.m. There is some awfully nice office space with parking set to open this next year at NW 10th and Broadway.
Steve Lackmeyer 12:06 p.m. Guernsey moving downtown would be a huge plus for the city. That's a lot of creative folks who would be added into an already very creative community. Where they are located currently, they are alone.
John 12:06 p.m. Steve how does JohnTV not see that what he does sets Capitol Hill back 5 years? If people are reminded of how bad an area and not how far it has come that does no good. Perhaps this means a tuesday column about the district should be in the pipeline soon?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:07 p.m. I guess you saw the Twitter conversation yesterday. The answer is simple - Briant Bates (the video vigilante) gave it: he doesn't care about Capitol Hill.
John 12:07 p.m. Steve I do not have any children and am having a hard time figuring out if the repeal of common core is a good or bad for our state. As a parent what are your thoughts?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:09 p.m. This is way off the OKC Central reservation.
John 12:09 p.m. Steve, drove by the Metropolitan site yesterday and wow that place is going to be HUGE. Do you think this development will spur other streets such as 6th, 7th and 8th, to really get east of broadway like 9th already has?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:10 p.m. Yes.
John 12:10 p.m. Do you think we will see housing options expand along automobile ally now that the quite zone has passed and is predicted to be up by 2015?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:10 p.m. Eventually.
John 12:10 p.m. Do you think we will get a better picture of what Preftakes is up to before the summer is over? I know these huge deals take time and frequently run into month long delays, but as of right now what do you think.
Steve Lackmeyer 12:10 p.m. It's possible.
Guest 12:10 p.m. COTPA board today said they are taking over Spokies?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:10 p.m. I wasn't aware of that.
John 12:10 p.m. Steve what is taking blue garden so long to get going? Their site plan doesn't look like they are going to require much construction, but opening right now is estimated for september. I want it now!!
Steve Lackmeyer 12:11 p.m. Some dirt needs to be moved.
John 12:11 p.m. Steve, you have consistently said that Wenger is a nice guy and doesn't deserve a lot of the heat he gets for supposedly being a traffic obsessed engineer. If he isn't someone we can call out for pushing the automobile agenda who is? I want names, I want to write letters to individuals not departments.
Steve Lackmeyer 12:13 p.m. Wenger is a nice guy. I've also had some pretty serious moments with him early on where I had to grill him pretty hard on some downtown matters. I've not said he is total convert to the idea that car traffic is no longer the top consideration in street planning. But he is listening, he is showing a more open mind to bicycle and pedestrian traffic than we've seen in the past. If you want names, it all starts with the most powerful engineer in town - City Manager Jim Couch.
Steve Lackmeyer 12:13 p.m. (Now let's see if I can get Jim to do another chat!)
John 12:13 p.m. What are your thoughts about a roundabout at 10th and broadway?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:14 p.m. I question why it would be needed or how it could be even be done.
Guest 12:14 p.m. Thoughts on the Boulevard renderings that have just been published by ODOT at http://www.okladot.state.ok...?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:14 p.m. Yes, and I'll try to write it up in my Oklahoma City blog this weekend if the blog is operational.
Kim 12:14 p.m. Steve, any updates on The Rise? I have high hopes for this development but it seems to be moving at a snails pace. Are you aware of any delays? Any upset tenants?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:15 p.m. The tenants seem to be used with the schedule delays. It's moving forward.
Kim 12:15 p.m. Do you think that the renovation of The Rise, particularly the street front will encourage owners of the Planned Parenthood building to upgrade all of that building street front?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:15 p.m. Possibly.
John 12:15 p.m. Steve, thanks for sticking up for OKC on twitter. Tulsa can suck it!
Steve Lackmeyer 12:16 p.m. The column in The Tulsa World was a joke. Choosing to go to an outlet mall instead of the Paseo Arts Festival when one is a visitor looking to experience another city's culture speaks more about that person than it does the city.
jet 12:16 p.m. I guess I am not up to speed in regards to Page Woodson School. What is proposed?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:17 p.m. Likely a mix of senior housing, possibly retail and other housing.
Kim 12:17 p.m. Do you feel like the Uptown District could do a better job incorporating Route 66 into their design/theme? Or has the days of Route 66 tourism passed us by?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:17 p.m. I've long agreed with this. I don't think Route 66 tourism has passed us by, simply because of the nature of it all requires travelers to drive the entire route.
Steve Lackmeyer 12:18 p.m. We also have a strong anchor for Route 66 in Arcadia.
Bill 12:18 p.m. There were rumors last year of a Ruth's Chris coming to Classen Curve. Do you know anything about this or what happened to it?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:18 p.m. The rumors are still out there.
Terry 12:19 p.m. You stated that the City would probably only consider roundabouts for multi-street intersections. The two extra roundabouts that I propose for Midtown include: a. 11th, Dewey and Classen Drive and b. 13th, Shartel and Classen Dr. Both are multi-street intersections so do you think the City would consider roundabouts for those 2 intersections?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:19 p.m. I don't know.
Mark 12:19 p.m. Steve, Bricktown seems to be an ever changing area in okc. I don't think it will ever die like the west end but I do have doubts about the future vitality of the district. For the area to thrive and be the premier go to area in okc in 40 years what adjustments does the area need to make? what are they doing right? thanks!
Steve Lackmeyer 12:21 p.m. With the influx of housing thanks to the upcoming construction of the Steelyard, the addition of Tapstone Energy, upcoming construction of the House of Bedlam, the decline of nightclubs and rise of more vibrant, contributing tenants in their place, and with more development not yet announced but being discussed, I see even brighter days ahead for Bricktown. I am not worried.
Steve Lackmeyer 12:21 p.m. The streetcar, by the way, will also help the district.
OKC 12:21 p.m. Thank you for your chats, Steve! Reading the transcript is one of the highlights of my week! As a downtown resident and worker, I walk around a lot. My 6-year old son and I walk to Myriad Gardens weekly. We've walked to Thunder games, to the library, and starting in August we'll be walking to Rex Elementary nearly every day. We'll also be walking to the Central Park when it opens, thereby being forced to cross the new Boulevard. I am completely opposed to Alternative C. I see Alternative D as the only viable option for quality of life in Downtown. I'm so disappointed in the Chamber (of which I am a member) for endorsing Alternative C. Do you see any way to get the Chamber to switch to Alternative D?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:22 p.m. Yes. Their board members would have to tell Roy Williams to switch their position.
Guest 12:22 p.m. I think BT is great, but I also think it's really made for out-of-towners, due to the lack of OKC culture I feel like, which is why I am hardly there. What are your thoughts on this?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:24 p.m. I think you're missing out. I also think Bricktown property owners are partly to blame for your perception. I also see things changing for the better. Go to Skinny Slims, go to Bricktown Burgers, attend a game at the ballpark, and explain to me again that Bricktown is devoid of OKC culture.
Mark 12:24 p.m. Whats keeping PayCom out on memorial? We need them to be south of 63rd!
Steve Lackmeyer 12:24 p.m. They've chosen to be out on the northwest fringe of the city.
Bill 12:24 p.m. We also heard that Sam's Club was coming into Moore at the old Walmart (current Convergys) building. But driving by there a few days ago the building has a for lease sign up… do you happen to have any input on this? That location seemed small for a Sam's Club to begin with… did they change their minds?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:25 p.m. That's way out of my beat.
Fortune Favors The Prepared 12:25 p.m. Lack of prior planning for key projects such as the Park and the Streetcar has been a criticism leveled at MAPS 3. Transit is widely expected to be a major component of MAPS 4 and could likely include bus system infrastructure improvements, commuter rail and streetcar extension(s). In your opinion which near inner-city district or neighborhood is the most organized in terms of planning for a streetcar extension? Who is actively lobbying the Council and/or Planning Department and/or COPTA to get crucial groundwork in place before MAPS IV projects are selected (which will be within the next couple of years or so)?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:26 p.m. I can only tell you that the highest likelihood for streetcar extensions are for Capitol Hill, the 16th Street Plaza District and the John F. Kennedy/Medical district. area.
Mark 12:26 p.m. If you could magically gift each district south of 36th one thing what would it be? (paseo, 23rd, midtown, auto ally, deep deuce, classen 10-penn, film row, downtown, brick town, river, capitol hill etc.)
Steve Lackmeyer 12:29 p.m. Paseo - a live theater and museum. NW 23 - structured parking. Midtown - a grocery store. Automobile Alley - retailers in every storefront. Classen-10-Penn - A clone of Jeff Strubble with unlimited resources. Downtown (CBD) - retail in every storefront along Park Avenue. Film Row - an independent cinema. Bricktown - structured parking with an effective validated parking system. The river - a Wolf Mountain Lodge. Capitol Hill - a streetcar extension.
Mark 12:29 p.m. Steve why was the park at the federal building designed to never be used? I feel like the architects would want to bring vitality and life to an area that had seen so much devastation
Steve Lackmeyer 12:30 p.m. I can not explain any of the design decisions made with the federal building. It was designed by a Chicago architect who, to my knowledge, came to Oklahoma City to do this project and never returned after it was done.
Guest 12:31 p.m. Will the city continue to pursue project 180 type construction after project 180 is complete? I hope that type of construction and improvement continues, possibly included in the next municipal bond?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:31 p.m. Yep.
Guest 12:31 p.m. Steve, do you agree with the current push to get the bars/clubs out of Bricktown? I do think problem clubs should be shuttered, but late-night nightlife is an important part of a vibrant urban area. I am sad to see CityWalk go. It was a great club and wasn't a problem like some of the others in Bricktown. Not every patron in Bricktown is a family of four looking for dinner and a movie.
Steve Lackmeyer 12:33 p.m. There is no push to get rid of bars and venues like Skinny Slims, Captain Norm's, Michael Murphy's or TapWerks. I've spent plenty of late nights in Bricktown. I'm not sure the nightclubs are as vital as you say they are, and I wonder if the shootings they generated (including one recently at CityWalk) and the heavy police presence required in response, scare off more people than those drawn on the three nights these clubs were open. And what do these darkened operations do to nightlife when it's not Thursday, Friday or Saturday?
Mark 12:33 p.m. Steve, when do you think the snowball of development in midtown will have enough momentum to not be stopped? Really think with broadway 10, side car, fassler, dustobowl, blue garden that 10th will be the most happening street in okc in 3 years.
Steve Lackmeyer 12:34 p.m. Now. I agree.
cowboy orange 12:34 p.m. did you read that article in the Tulsa paper about okc?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:34 p.m. Yep. See my comment earlier in this chat.
Guest 12:34 p.m. Will the metro get commuter rail/light rail anytime soon? I think it would be a huge economic development opportunity and a real draw for new residents.
Steve Lackmeyer 12:34 p.m. Civic leaders from Oklahoma City, Edmond, Moore, Norman and Midwest City continue to talk about such an effort.
Guest 12:35 p.m. new ludivine spot (R & J Lounge and supper club) will be just east of 10th and hudson
Terry 12:35 p.m. I don't see a problem with nightclubs as long as they are upscale and not located too close to each other. Also they don't have to create dead space if they are located in a basement or upper level location. By placing nightclubs in obscure locations nobody even notices them until the crowds show up when they are open.
Gary T 12:36 p.m. From your chat dated at the first of the year, I asked, "What the latest on Trader Joe's. Your response was, "I'll be shocked if a deal isn't done in the next few months." Well, it's been a few months, will you be shocked if it isn't done in a few more months or has progress stalled?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:36 p.m. I'm surprised.
Gary T 12:36 p.m. How long is the Chevy BT Events Center construction supposed to take and when do you think we will see the first live music acts play there?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:36 p.m. It should be done in October.
Guest 12:36 p.m. The streetcar will run north on Broadway to 11th, west on 11th to Dewey, south to 10th then east on 10th to Robinson before turning south to head back to downtown.
George 12:36 p.m. Any update on the Karchmer garage? Because we need that pronto before people start leaving due to lack of parking!
Steve Lackmeyer 12:37 p.m. Planning continues.
BethanySooner 12:37 p.m. After viewing the new renderings of the Boulevard on the ODOT webpage, it further confirms that even putting in option C which is better than A or B will create another divide between the core area and the shore area. It cuts a very wide swath through the area that it will run. It really reminds me of NW Expressway - all we did was cut the legs off the old I-40. If you need to go from the north to the south or vice-versa you're not going to walk, you're going to drive to one or the other. My guess is that this is not driven by the desire to promote walkability and a cohesive unified downtown, but rather to get people out of downtown as quickly as possible after work. This would be maybe 30 minutes total on a typical day 5 days per week. There would be optimal egress out of the city core so workers could get home a few minutes earlier (theoretically), but the remaining 165.5 hours per week downtown would be negatively impacted for many years. That is a horrible return on investment. Also, didn't we just build a brand new super highway just a few blocks to the south to move lots of cars quickly east and west?
George 12:37 p.m. OPUBCO still shooting for september opening? Is the YMCA going to be co-tenant? Anything cool interested in the other available space?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:37 p.m. I think we're looking at January.
George 12:37 p.m. Does anyone at ODOT realize that option C has 7 LANES separating the convention center from the park? That spells nothing but trouble
Jake 12:38 p.m. The problem with closing down CityWalk, and other clubs, is that crowd does not go anywhere, they just end up going to the clubs that are open, and overcrowd and drag down the reputable clubs. There has to be certain clubs to cater to different crowds.
Jake 12:38 p.m. Downtown OKC needs a club scene to thrive, it needs a nightlife.
Steve Lackmeyer 12:38 p.m. What if you're wrong?
George 12:38 p.m. Steve if I were take a time machine to 10 years from today and had 36 hours in OKC what do you think I would notice would be the biggest differences between that city and the one we live in today?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:39 p.m. More high-rise buildings, a large grocery store, an amazing river and a streetcar system.
George 12:39 p.m. where are you today?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:40 p.m. In a chair.
Jennifer 12:40 p.m. Steve you seem to be a healthy eating workout fiend lately, you go steve! I have also been trying to eat better, what dishes have you found around town that are taste good and are fairly healthy?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:42 p.m. Down 63 after having a very bad 2013. I've found it difficult to find healthy choices at local eateries. Sandra at Beatnix has been a great friend in this respect, making special dishes that are very healthy. I've also found some good choices at Peacock Greek restaurant and Texadelphia.
Jennifer 12:42 p.m. Also did you find out if its true that calories don't exist on 16th street?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:42 p.m. That's a lie.
Guest 12:42 p.m. Seems like downtown is being tailored for the family, no clubs, new schools, and parks. What about the younger crowds, with no family, where can they go?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:43 p.m. Nightclubs with a history of drugs and violence are being shown out the door. Entertainment venues, bars and music halls are being embraced with more coming.
Mark 12:44 p.m. Steve, I am a little confused about the Wheeler district. I read you article and it was great but who exactly is going to be developing this area? Are the Humphry's going to master plan and build out this area? Do they have say whether houses or apts are built? Who gets to decide where the streets go? Who is going to be pay for them? Lots of potential, and I see the vision, just confused about the specifics
Steve Lackmeyer 12:44 p.m. Houses and apartments are tentatively part of the plan. It will involve multiple developers. But really, the plan is not firm yet. They want the public's input at upcoming presentations.
George 12:44 p.m. When is street car construction expected to start?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:45 p.m. This next year.
George 12:45 p.m. When do you think ground will start moving on Union park?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:45 p.m. This year.
Jason 12:45 p.m. Every good downtown has a nightlife, with the closing of clubs, this can hurt downtown as a destination for young professionals seeking a nightlife.
Jon S. 12:45 p.m. Have you noticed the colored lights on the awning above the 'aLOFT' sign at night? There's a small section in the lights that is different from the others - it appears it should be over the 'a' instead of the 'ft'. Whoops... backwards install?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:45 p.m. I've not seen that.
Mark 12:45 p.m. Wow Steve, with Crowe taking the entire braniff building asap is there ANY class A space left in the downtown market? Any rumors that you can share about potential park side tenants? Who would you like to see have a look over there?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:46 p.m. Not much. As for the Parkside Building, wait and see.
Guest 12:46 p.m. Have you had a chance to sit down with Aubrey Hammontree yet? What changes in philosophy and approach to downtown development might she bring compared to Russell Claus?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:47 p.m. I've known Aubrey for a long time. She's a good planner. Maybe she'll agree someday to join me on live chat.
Guest 12:47 p.m. What's the status of OCU Law's move to midtown? Anything new?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:47 p.m. The last I checked, they are on schedule.
Corey 12:47 p.m. Seems like new major project announcements has slowed down this year for downtown OKC, your thoughts?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:47 p.m. I think your expectations are getting out of whack. How many construction cranes do you need see to be happy?!?!??
Mark 12:48 p.m. Steve, glad to see the NE side is finally getting a new grocery store and things are starting to look up over there. What do you think that neighborhood can do that would be most effective at discouraging crime and promoting a similar renaissance seen in other once blighted parts of the city?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:48 p.m. They need to embrace their history and culture and ensure that unique older buildings are preserved and redeveloped.
Mike 12:48 p.m. It seems that every other project announced for the core area includes a hotel. Even yesterday's announcement about a new complex all the way out at Western and Memorial included... a hotel. My gut tells me that hotels are being way overbuilt. My wife's company brings in a lot of consultants and others for meetings, and they NEVER have trouble finding rooms close in. What's you thought?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:49 p.m. The downtown market still enjoys a very high occupancy rate. But I agree, there is a danger out there.
Jake 12:49 p.m. What happened to the major corporate locations that were going downtown? Seems like this discussion has gone mum...
Steve Lackmeyer 12:50 p.m. Over the past three years we've seen the GE announcement and the relocation of Continental Resources. You're forgetting when the discussion began and that it was, essentially, foreshadowing these announcements.
rjstone 12:50 p.m. I see Great Wolf Lodge is opening new locations in New England and California. Any more word or indicators for a Lodge here?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:50 p.m. Not so far.
grw 12:51 p.m. Steve, rode my bike along the river path last weekend and I couldn't help but think about the immense potential that entire river bank has, really could be something extraordinary especially the south side river bank. That area is so raw, we have the potential do everything right the first time there, from streets to houses, schools etc. How long do you think it will be before a genuine boardwalk like neighborhood forms in that area? 20 years? less? more?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:51 p.m. Yeah, I see that potential as well. I don't know how or on what time frame all this will evolve.... but I do believe it will evolve.
Guest 12:51 p.m. Why did your blog post about the AICC disappear from the webpage?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:51 p.m. It's gone.
Guest 12:51 p.m. Does anyone other than Terry get to ask a question?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:52 p.m. Two and one-half hours into this chat I should think so!
grw 12:52 p.m. Steve, there is auto scrap lot on the north side of the river just south of i40 and east of shields. That lot is gigantic and could really be something awesome with the views of the river, downtown and access to major streets. Am I the only one thinking this?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:52 p.m. Probably not.
George 12:52 p.m. Did you ask any of your friends at the Tulsa World why they let one of their reporters openly mock okc? We need to be working with them to ensure we both move forward and combat the most dimwitted legislature in the nation, not taking gut shots at each other
Steve Lackmeyer 12:52 p.m. Nope.
George 12:52 p.m. Does Tom Ward still own the triangular lot just south of the old Oklahoman building?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:52 p.m. SandRidge owns it.
Guest 12:53 p.m. How do you plan on getting revenge on Dave for attaching a Kim Kardashian video to your story?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:53 p.m. David Morris is dead to me.
Guest 12:53 p.m. What do you think Steve Mason has planned for the plaza district? Do you think he has a plan or is just sitting on it?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:53 p.m. Steve Mason doesn't sit on anything for long. He's a best case scenario for the old Plaza Shopping Center. He's still weighing options.
Guest 12:53 p.m. Steve did anyone at ODOT call you after that story? How did you find out they were pissed? It was a great story and hopefully made them realize that aren't going to easily pull a fast one on the citizens of okc
Steve Lackmeyer 12:54 p.m. They disagree with my questions and coverage.
Aaron 12:54 p.m. Is the project that was set to make Dallas jealous completely dead?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:54 p.m. No.
Guest 12:54 p.m. Steve once the Edge opens how long do you think it will be before we seen an announcement of more housing in midtown? I know there is also that building from the Indianapolis group but there almost has to be something else in the pipeline with how hot the market is right nwo
Steve Lackmeyer 12:54 p.m. Other projects are in flux.
Guest 12:55 p.m. Steve are there active negotiations going on right now in the background to find someone to build the convention center hotel?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:55 p.m. Define "active negotiations." Discussions? Maybe.
Guest 12:55 p.m. What do you think the chances are the city takes over the AICC and finishes it right? 50%?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:55 p.m. I know many people who have their doubts.
Guest 12:55 p.m. Do you think the city would ever consider changing one lane of classen to parking and fix up the side walks?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:55 p.m. I don't' know.
Guest 12:56 p.m. Steve, you need team up with some of those people on twitter and fly drones around downtown and take cool pics for okccentral!
Steve Lackmeyer 12:56 p.m. YEAH!
Northsider 12:56 p.m. It there a chance that Oklahomaa Ave wil be extended to connect Bricktown with Deep Duece. This would be great.
Steve Lackmeyer 12:56 p.m. It would be great, but I don't see it happening.
Kevin 12:56 p.m. Why does the BNSF Railroad give the city such a hard time for pedestrian traffic under their tracks. I do not see a problem. If reopening the tunnel from bricktown to the train station is going to have such Red tape as the non open nice walkway under I-4o that connects Bricktown to the river district. Why is BNSF being such turds.
Steve Lackmeyer 12:56 p.m. I don't know.
guest 12:57 p.m. Was there a ok central chat last week?. i couldn't find it
Steve Lackmeyer 12:57 p.m. Nope.
guest 12:57 p.m. I live near and work in the Midtown area.. for 30 plus years. I am now so tired of the next great restaurant. they are all the same basically. When are we going to get something different? i am told that Midtown Renaissance is trying to rent the Meg Guess shop to something other than a food and drink establishment and are not seeing much interest?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:57 p.m. Waffles and chicken didn't do it for ya?
Trey 12:57 p.m. I will second the comment on the "no OKC culture in Bricktown" a resident of OKC, I am hardly ever in's probably 5th or so on my list of places to go hang out with friends after Plaza, Midtown, etc..
Dan 12:57 p.m. Steve, I see work being done on the building on Walker just across the street to the east of McNellie's in Midtown. Do you know what's going on there?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:57 p.m. Yes, that building is being redeveloped for retail.
Maury Povich 12:58 p.m. Hello Mr. Lackmeyer, any interest in settling your differences with my old pal Brian Bates on my show?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:58 p.m. How much will you pay me?
Maury Povich 12:58 p.m. I'll have my people get in touch with your people.
Guest 12:58 p.m. Where will all the state tenants office when the capitol bldg is being renovated? Downtown or elsewhere?
Steve Lackmeyer 12:58 p.m. I don't know.
rick 12:59 p.m. is there any way to do the crosstown subgrade across downtown. Might deal with the undesireable issues that have been discussed with the proposed options. I know there is an underground in dallas i encounter when i'm there.
Steve Lackmeyer 12:59 p.m. Not unless taxpayers approve an awful lot of money to get it done.
Guest 12:59 p.m. If First National becomes a upscale hotel how cool would it be for the old Beacon club to become a bar/lounge again? that would be the coolest place in town without a doubt
Steve Lackmeyer 12:59 p.m. It would be very cool.
Steve Lackmeyer 1:00 p.m. Folks, that's it. That's the longest live chat to date. I won't do one this long again, but I know I've been scarce of late so I figured I'd allow this one to go into overtime.
Steve Lackmeyer 1:01 p.m. This chat started at 10:30 a.m. and ended at 1 p.m. Readership totaled 370 people. My mind is now tired. I need a nap before I write my Sunday story.
Steve Lackmeyer 1:01 p.m. We also booked 169 comments and questions.
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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