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OKC Central Chat transcript, Nov. 29, 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: November 29, 2013 at 1:03 pm •  Published: November 29, 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.

NewsOK 9:31 a.m. Good morning everyone. Steve will be logging in at 10 a.m., but you can start submitting your questions now.
Angad 10:00 a.m. Good Thanksgiving, Steve?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:01 a.m. Good morning! Meh. Thanksgiving is Thanksgiving. We'll leave it at that.
Eddie 10:01 a.m. This whole Black Friday thing is madness. Did you participate?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:01 a.m. Nope.
Pajda 10:01 a.m. Weekly puppy gif:
Steve Lackmeyer 10:01 a.m. Very funny.
Terry 10:01 a.m. Happy Thanksgiving Steve, I look forward to these Friday chats so I appreciate you taking the time to step away from the leftovers in the fridge with the rest of us this morning to talk about downtown. By the way, when did you start this chat and what's one of the funniest questions you've been asked on this forum?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:03 a.m. Thanks Terry. The live chats began, believe it or not, I think about two years ago. The most amusing bit involved Waffle House, which has evolved into a bit of OKC Central lore now. You can tell if a person has been following these live chats for a while if they know about Waffle House. It's the inside joke at OKC Central Live Chat.
Gary T 10:03 a.m. Happy Black Friday Steve! Any shopping plans today?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:04 a.m. Nope. I stopped doing Black Friday a few years ago. Too much madness for me.
Gary T 10:04 a.m. ou eluded to the idea of OCU building housing near the new law school. Do you think that would be a possibility next year? Five years?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:07 a.m. Yes. I will, actually, be shocked if there isn't at least an announcement of student housing within five years of the new OCU law school opening at the old Central High. I will repeat - the relocation of OCU law school to downtown is far more significant than people may realize. The influx of hundreds of students and faculty will bring quite a bit of life to the neighborhood.
Gary T 10:07 a.m. Let's say a small local bank was looking at opening up another small location around the Midtown area. Where would you suggest the best place for them to be?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:09 a.m. I would look for a spot either on NW 10, NW 13, or Walker Avenue, the most heavily traveled corridors that also are very walkable. A bank definitely would be a welcome addition to Midtown. My first instinct would be to look near NW 13 and Walker.
Gary T 10:09 a.m. With 21c annoucning they are going to be converting the Fred Jones Plant into one of their museum hotels, do you think we will see a reimagining of Classen from the new I-40 to 23rd anytime soon?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:12 a.m. One would hope that at the very least it might prompt redevelopment of vacant, neglected buildings like the old Sunshine Cleaners. And certainly there's opportunity to fix up Classen without it being a huge costly task. Imagine some updated lighting and some strategic landscaping and fencing. Such improvements could make a huge difference for the boulevard.
Salchicha 10:12 a.m. Thoughts?: "OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma has spent tens of millions of tax dollars in the last decade on a program to strengthen families and family values, but there's scant evidence to show if it's had any impact."
Steve Lackmeyer 10:14 a.m. Oklahoma is not a stranger to laws and campaigns that look good in lawmakers' re-election brochures but might otherwise be a huge waste of resources. But it's like trashy reality television - someone is out there buying all this....
Gary T 10:15 a.m. Related question: how long until you think we see serious development jump to the west side of Classen?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:21 a.m. It's trickier, but not impossible. The real challenge along Classen is between NW 18 and Sheridan Avenue. As I mentioned, properties like Sunshine Cleaners are the big impediment - and opportunity - waiting to be addressed. I'll add to that the old Triples restaurant (originally the home of the famous Herman's Seafood) and a rather sorry looking old Texaco (now a used tire store) make for a less than desirable entryway from Classen to the 16th Street Plaza District. I suspect that with continued success of the Plaza District, an answer to these two properties will eventually be found. Likewise, the long boarded up old office building at NW 13 was torn down this past year and is set to be redeveloped as the home for Sunbeam. So progress is within sight, but it won't be quick. Perhaps the biggest challenge to the entire area is the future of the current Oklahoma City Public Schools administration. That building is falling apart. Yet if and when the school system finds a new home, they'll sell the current property to the highest bidder, and that's not always a good thing.
Gary T 10:21 a.m. What did you think of KD's?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:23 a.m. KD's was impressive. While the exterior design was subject to a lot of criticism (and is still not universally loved), the interior is really top notch. The food I sampled tasted very good. But I've not seen a menu yet, so that's a big question mark.
Gary T 10:24 a.m. he building north of Main street, just east of the BNSF railroad wall? I would think that would make a cool restaurant with a patio facing south off the garage doors.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:25 a.m. Maybe. But it's very likely to be torn down as owner Don Karchmer continues to look at building a garage on the property that won't conflict with potential future passenger rail right of way.
Gary T 10:26 a.m. What is the latest on the BT parking garage situation?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:29 a.m. A lot of different ideas are being around. The one "hot" effort, as I mentioned, is the prospect of a large garage with housing on top just north of Main Street and just east of the BNSF railway viaduct. Don Karchmer would likely have already started construction if not for protests by passenger rail advocates who argued his plan would have interfered with potential future passenger rail connections to downtown. He is now working on a design that may allow the garage to proceed and yet would also ensure future rail passage if ever needed.
Bazark The Robot 10:29 a.m. 816 N Walker. This facility has been vacant for some time. It is currently undergoing a major renovation. Could you tell us what is going on with this property? Thank you.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:32 a.m. I always thought 816 N Walker would make a great grocery location. That's not playing out, but the alternative isn't bad. Studio Architecture and Nault Fine Art Gallery are looking to move from their home at NW 11 and Walker to 816 N Walker (the building they are in now was sold to Midtown Renaissance). So Studio and Nault will be moving to 816 N Walker once the renovation is complete. This move should allow for what will likely be an ambitious attempt by Midtown Renaissance to make the two-story building at NW 11 a bit more lively than it has been to date.
Guest 10:32 a.m. Anything new on GE? If no, will we hear something in December?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:33 a.m. I expect to hear an announcement about GE in December. And all of my sources say it will be in Oklahoma City.
Bill 10:34 a.m. Sorry if the answer is obvious, but I have not been following it. Where are we on the crosstown expressway?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:35 a.m. I assume you're referring to the boulevard (the new highway is open). We're looking at the western segment of the boulevard opening up to Western Avenue in the near future. I expect work will begin on the eastern segment this next year. But the timeline is still uncertain for the middle segment, which is under federal review following challenges to the decade old design that the Oklahoma Department of Transportation sought to implement over local protest a year ago.
G-rated 10:35 a.m. Wouldn't the old bus station make a great James Dean Diner? Any chance?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:36 a.m. Oh yeah. Absolutely. Is there a chance? Sure. But I just don't know. I do believe the bus station is safe from demolition.
Terry 10:36 a.m. The news about 21c Museum Hotels renovating the Fred Jones plant is an incredible win for OKC. In my view it's more important than any new tower being contemplated because it shows how much confidence people outside of OKC have in our downtown renaissance. This will really help spur development on the westside of downtown and tie together such areas as Film Row and Farmers Market to downtown. However, now I'm more concerned than ever that the design of the new boulevard be done right. Otherwise, if done wrong, it could paralize that area. Kudos to Laura Lee Brown, Steve Wilson and the Hall family for having the guts to be pioneers in an area still considered on the fringe.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:39 a.m. Terry, you're dead-on with your comment. And this is the danger that we face when engineers call all the shots on such a major infrastructure project without meaningful participation by planners (and by this I mean giving planners equal authority in the design process). Building a highway or a major new street is about more than moving vehicles.
Guest 10:39 a.m. Enjoying a pecan waffle at Waffle House
Steve Lackmeyer 10:39 a.m. Well good for you!
Brent 10:41 a.m. About the "Gold Dome," the last few times I've driven by it looks like it is turning into the yellow plastic dome. I assume that isn't the final color...or is it?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:42 a.m. I'll be writing about that soon....
Ty ty 10:42 a.m. Whats your favorite part of thanksgiving? Do you have any special traditions?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:43 a.m. I like to watch the parade with my kids. The rest of the day is spent with extended family.
Terry 10:43 a.m. What kind of development do you envision happening at Farmers Market, and has that vision changed a bit now with what's about to take place at the Fred Jones plant?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:45 a.m. I think the 21c announcement for the Fred Jones plant makes Farmers Market look far less risky to potential developers. But as for an overall vision - that's still something that been very much in flux anyway. So I'm not sure that the museum hotel project changes vision for Farmers Market as much as it inspires more confidence in moving forward with a vision.
Terry 10:45 a.m. Any news yet on the boulevard design, the Sante Fe station purchase, the Preftakes block, housing on top the new Civic Center parking garage, etc?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:47 a.m. We're still waiting to hear from the feds on the boulevard design. The city should have control of the Santa Fe depot within weeks if not days. Something is happening with the Preftakes block, but what, I really can't say. There is renewed interest by developers in building housing atop the new garage - but we'll have to wait and see if they can pull it off.
eddie 10:47 a.m. what's the waffle house story? I've been there once when i stopped on a drive through florida to visit my wife's cousin. it was pretty good. curious to hear what the joke is. i only just started following the blog when my grandaughter gave me a ipad. let us all in on the laughs if you don't mind of course.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:49 a.m. In the early weeks of OKC Central Live Chat, we had a regular participant (he actually lives and works in New Jersey but has Oklahoma ties) who only half jokingly expressed a strong, constant desire to see a Waffle House built in the heart of downtown. Some dream of skyscrapers, others dream of a Waffle House.
AJ 10:49 a.m. Great story in last Sundays paper. Any surprises coming this Sunday?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:51 a.m. Thanks A.J. It was a lot of fun breaking the 21c Museum Hotel story. I met with the president of the company while he was in town the prior Tuesday (I mistakenly indicated Wednesday in a prior online conversation) and I can't begin to tell you how much I wanted to put the story in the next day. But I wanted to share this story with the largest audience of readers possible - and that meant waiting for Sunday. I'm taking a break this Sunday. But the next couple of weeks will be a lot of fun.
Guest 10:52 a.m. Hearing more about trader joe's comign to town. has thsst been confirmed?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:52 a.m. I'm hearing a Trader Joe's deal in the Oklahoma City metro has been struck ...
Kerry 10:53 a.m. El Paso, Texas recently passed a requirement that any firm doing any design work on projects that include City funding must have at least one person on the project certified in New Urbansim and I believe City staff were required to get certified as well. OKC is now offering a program for local City employees, developers, and other people interested in the subject to get certified. Would you consider signing up and what are the chances that OKC could require City staff in Public Works and Planning to get certified?
Steve Lackmeyer 10:56 a.m. I don't know. I think it would be great if Jim Couch, Dennis Clowers, Eric Wenger and David Todd all participated in such training. Times change. The training I received in college 25 years ago, while excellent, no longer applies to my career as a journalist in 2013. Likewise, there have been huge changes in urban development and infrastructure design and I can't see how it would hurt our city engineers to update their training on how this all works.
Terry 10:57 a.m. Is the City trying to promote more infill development along the edge of the Lower Bricktown canal such as KD's? It would sure help if there were some sort of building along the edge of the canal at the Bass Pro to at least partially block the view of the sea of parking at that location.
Steve Lackmeyer 10:58 a.m. The city isn't engaged in any such effort I am aware of. But I do know of folks who are looking at this issue and wondering if they can prompt some better development along the waterway that doesn't involve so much surface parking.
jimmy z 10:59 a.m. Any plans to make a more pedestrian friendly walkability along walnut bridge connecting deep deuce with bricktown?....its always such a rather steep and dark....would be awesome to have an outdoor escalator or elevator of some kind
Steve Lackmeyer 10:59 a.m. To my knowledge the bridge is what it is. I don't know of any changes being planned.
Bradley Wynn 10:59 a.m. morning steve. thanks for taking on a chat today. i'm finally catching one! lol
Guest 11:00 a.m. two more ??? - (don't press enter until done this time) - I heard the dirt work on the north side of 10th between Walker and Hudson is for a bowling alley…true? Whens the last time a new bowling alley was built in OKC? -- is the Bricktown Landing open yet?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:02 a.m. Yes. Dust Bowl Lanes and Fassler Hall, an old fashioned bowling alley and a German style beer hall, pub, music venue and restaurant, are being built at NW 10 and Hudson. King Pin Bowling Lounge was opened in Lower Bricktown a few years ago.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:03 a.m. Bricktown Landing is still closed due to objections by the Union Pacific folks (don't ask me to explain it - I'm bewildered by it all)
Bob 11:03 a.m. Any more talk about a Panera downtown?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:04 a.m. I suspect they're still interested. They were close to a deal for NW 6 and Oklahoma Avenue when the property instead went to the folks developing the Metropolitan apartments.
Brent 11:04 a.m. Newspaper business question: with the apparent continuing slide in the newspaper business do you foresee anytime in the future (near?) where the Tulsa and OKC newspapers merge creating only a single statewide major newspaper?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:06 a.m. I don't see it happening. The Oklahoma City and Tulsa readerships are too different, too opposed to each other, to really make that work. I hope it doesn't happen - we need more than one newspaper. The more reporters we have out covering our communities, watching our lawmakers, the better it is for our state.
Mutt from Midtown 11:06 a.m. Somebody put up a small dog park off the westside of Hudson between 10th and 13th. Who did that and is it permanent? It needs some help, but it's an interesting expression of what some citizens see as a useful addition to a legacy neighborhood.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:07 a.m. Mutts Dog Park was opened with the help of Midtown Renaissance and is designed to be temporary and able to be relocated as needed. It's a great for the Midtown neighborhood.
Bradley Wynn 11:07 a.m. Have you heard any word on where the new Energy soccer stadium will be constructed?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:07 a.m. Nope, not yet.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:08 a.m. Alex, quit posting. I'm not going to let abusive comments go through. Give up.
Guest 11:08 a.m. This might not be in your area, but some other downtown folks have said they are legit worried about the RedHawks leaving. What do you see the chances of that....
Steve Lackmeyer 11:09 a.m. I just don't see it happening. Attendance is good. The ballpark is good. The operation makes money.
Non-Elitist Creativity Repressed 11:09 a.m. Wondering why Downtown OKC, Automobile Alley Association or the general arts community would not step up to the plate over the Halloween Parade?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:10 a.m. They might not have the resources. People can't appreciate what a major endeavor this was for The Gazette and its publisher Bill Bleakley. I was amazed they did it for seven years.
Bradley Wynn 11:10 a.m. Any word yet on where the new Energy Soccer stadium will be built? Also my dad asked last night if th city was ever going to put any effort into lighting the bronze sculptures along the east portion of the canal as they are blacked out at night.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:11 a.m. I don't know a location for the stadium. I'll ask about lighting for the statues.
BethanySooner 11:11 a.m. Steve, last week you mentioned that the new GE Research Center will not be what we expect. Was this in reference to the facility? Might it be going in the former Presbyterian Research Park building?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:11 a.m. They will be building from scratch. And yes, my prediction covers everything from design, operation, quality of hires and economic impact.
SOONERRED 11:12 a.m. We're all still looking for any info on towers- as everyone that passes by judges our city & all others by our drive by view. It helps us to overcome the absolute devastation from the Pei plan.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:12 a.m. More towers are coming.
Terry 11:12 a.m. In regards to an urban Target locating in downtown, last week I mentioned that Target was waiting for the economy to build up before they build anymore of their multi-story urban stores. My source for that info was an ex-Target exec and I found out he was wrong. They are building lots of these stores, mostly in the big cities such as NY, L.A., Chicago, but also in midsized cities such as Charlotte. maybe when OKC's downtown population reaches a certain threshold Targer would consider one here. I would love to see one say at the NW corner of Broadway and 4th. That would really help to tie downtown Broadway to Automoble Alley Broadway.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:13 a.m. That makes sense.
BethanySooner 11:13 a.m. In your story about the museum hotel you also mentioned the probability of developments on surrounding properties. Does the Hall family have plans for their other properties? Are there other developers in the mix?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:13 a.m. Yes.
Alex Phillips 11:13 a.m. Are we ever going to see a Waffle House in downtown OKC?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:14 a.m. This is the first question you've asked today that isn't abusive. Very good Alex. We're waiting on a couple of guys from New Jersey to pool their vast wealth together and make a downtown Oklahoma City Waffle House a reality.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:15 a.m. And maybe I'm being a bit too harsh on Alex. But he's really been on a crazy tear today.
Bob 11:16 a.m. Old Pizza Town = Waffle House?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:16 a.m. Probably not.
Guest 11:16 a.m. What happened to the plans for the new high rises downtown? My understanding was that two were in the offing from reading your posts last year?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:17 a.m. Last year I was tracking a development for Stage Center that involved two towers. A rival developer won the bidding for the site, however, and that one - Rainey Williams - is proceeding with plans for a single tower. But that having been said - I doubt it will be the last tower we hear about over the next couple of years.
SOONERRED 11:17 a.m. For anyone driving by the city, what do you think, visually, is a motivation for someone to pull into OKC?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:19 a.m. Good question. I think if you're driving along the new Interstate 40, the boathouses and especially the SandRidge Skytrail must at last make people wonder. But I don't know how to answer this.
Guest 11:19 a.m. any chance great wolf lodge builts on the oklahoma river
Steve Lackmeyer 11:20 a.m. Yes. The odds of a Great Wolf Lodge or a similar resort being built some day along the Oklahoma River are pretty good.
Ed 11:20 a.m. Clarification...when you say that the GE research center will not be what we that in a positive way or a negative one?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:20 a.m. Positive. Very, very positive.
BethanySooner 11:20 a.m. By what you've inferred, I take it that the next 2-3 weeks are going to be filled with announcements of new developments. What type of developments are we talking about?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:21 a.m. The developments set to be announced will be game changers for downtown Oklahoma City and the city at large.
SOONERRED 11:21 a.m. Good answer! I agree those are interesting.
All Ive know is Couch 11:21 a.m. I was interested to see that Don Brown had a finance background. What has been the background of any other City Managers you've known? How was their style and the culture they promoted different from what we see currently at the City?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:25 a.m. Glenn Deck, who was city manager after Bown and before Couch, also had a financial background. They were both different from Couch in that they gave more balance to planning interests. Deck, in particular, was far more at ease, it seemed, when it came to looking at criticism and making changes. That was the auditor in him. Bown was a different creature all together. He was the last of the "old school" crowd. And I say that with admiration and much respect. He had a great wit and good way of dealing with crisis and hostility. And his people loved him.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:28 a.m. Jim Couch, by the way, has had an amazing career as City Manager and his resume is pretty darn impressive. It was under his watch that we've seen a huge amount of investment in public infrastructure citywide, an overhaul of how bond projects are implemented, unprecedented public-private development that included a very complicated deal for bringing the Skirvin back to life, and of course, some very complicated maneuvers needed to make the Thunder a reality. It's easy to challenge and criticism a man of such power who has had the position for so long. And it's way too easy to ignorantly deprive him of the credit he is due.
Guest 11:29 a.m. Steve I'm confused. In the paper the other day the article on Oklahoma energy companies most of them where from the Tulsa area. How did we end up with the OKC Thunder? Was it luck, timing? What do you think? It seems most of the better off producing companies are in Tulsa unlike Chesapeake and SandRidge? Can you explain?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:31 a.m. Folks, try to use punctuation on these questions! Guest, I just had to edit your question to understand it! Now that' I've edited, it's a great question.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:35 a.m. Sometimes it's quality, and not quantity, that is more important. Tulsa has Williams, But besides that, what companies in Tulsa match up with a Devon, Chesapeake or Continental Resources? More importantly, Tulsa didn't have an arena built and ready in 2005 when the Hornets needed a temporary home. Oklahoma City is a better television market. It has more population. And it had a mayor (Mick Cornett) who deserves credit for having made the right plays at the right timing with NBA Commissioner David Stern. And there is no duplicating Clay Bennett, his experience with the NBA, and the value of his earlier failed efforts to land an NHL team. Failure is the ultimate teacher. And Clay Bennett was clearly a good student.
BethanySooner 11:35 a.m. It seems like the UCO and OU boathouses have been close to announcement for buildout for several months, but time goes by with no movement. Is there anything firm that you can tell us regarding the boathouses at the moment?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:37 a.m. Expect a groundbreaking this next month for a new boathouse. Did I mention we're going to have a lot of fun this next month? This won't be the biggest development happening in December, but it's still part of the mix.
Kev and John 11:37 a.m. Hey Steve, we hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
Steve Lackmeyer 11:37 a.m. Kev and John Parker? If so - and either way - ditto!
Make No Small Plans 11:37 a.m. What projects do you think are most likely to be in a MAPS 4 initiative? Is there anything you personally would like to see but don't think will fly?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:39 a.m. I suspect public transit will be the focus of MAPS 4, but more powerful voices could dictate a different direction. It's difficult to see how public transit isn't our community's biggest need right now.
SOONERRED 11:39 a.m. The city has made really great strides forward. I just fail to understand the Indian Cultural center being situated behind a mound of dirt-I guess it is what it is. Your comments about the engineers driving the image of the city is what we need to avoid!
Steve Lackmeyer 11:40 a.m. Repeat after me: Engineers are not evil. Engineers are not evil. They generally want what is best as much as anyone else. They just don't have as wide a view as some may wish. Engineers are not evil.
Dr Who is 50 11:41 a.m. Made me think of your love for transit meetings. What are other arcane discussions at meetings that you've had to sit in on? Perhaps you recall some really obscure topic/issues, perhaps at poorly publicized meetings, that ultimately had a huge impact on downtown development?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:41 a.m. Love is kind of a strong word here. Tolerance might be better.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:44 a.m. A lot of the time the guilty party with these meetings are people like myself. There are very significant meetings ongoing about a regional passenger rail system. I want to write it up. We've done a few stories. But I've been so busy ... this is not an excuse. But yeah, it happens. I've also seen planning efforts that in the long run may turn out to be a big waste of time because they failed to involve involved parties who might have voiced objections, or they didn't involve significant representation from the private sector. Core to Shore folks, are you listening?
hoya 11:45 a.m. Steve, instead of bringing an urban-style Target to the downtown area, is there any chance of bringing in a similar, but higher-end retailer, such as Crate and Barrel? Something that Oklahoma does not otherwise have?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:45 a.m. Yes, I believe an urban-style Target is a future possibility for downtown Oklahoma City. I'm less certain about a Crate and Barrel and that sort of retail development.
BethanySooner 11:46 a.m. In the latest Midtown Planning document Hans Butzer suggested encompassing the blocks that would have been bi-sected by continuing to run Classen Drive from 10th Street to the southeast. This would include streetscaping, parking, sidewalks, art, etc. Isn't there some money in a GO bond for this extension? Would they even consider Mr Butzer's alternative design?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:47 a.m. I'm intrigued. I need to visit with Hans before answering this.
BethanySooner 11:47 a.m. The new midstream MLP Enable is advertising like crazy during Thunder games. Will they be one of the large corporate anchors in our yet to be announced Rainey Williams tower or do you think/know it will be someone else?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:47 a.m. It makes you think Enable might be a significant player downtown in the future, doesn't it?
BethanySooner 11:47 a.m. Assuming that the City gains control of the Santa Fe Station, is there a timeline yet for the buildout of this facility. Also, isn't the tunnel opening up to Bricktown part of the plan?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:48 a.m. The opening of the tunnel is part of the plan and is funded thanks to the $13.5 federal Tiger grant announced a couple months ago. And yes, the city is getting control of the depot. Expect design work to start this next year.
BethanySooner 11:48 a.m. Is the old city jail building at Shartel and Colcord being pursued by any developers for conversion to housing or offices?
Steve Lackmeyer 11:50 a.m. The police department wants to see the building razed. But City Hall can't do that and still argue for preservation of historic old buildings. So it looks like it will be kept in place. There's a lot of discussion going on behind the scenes involving this building. I'll be writing about it soon.
BethanySooner 11:50 a.m. It looks like I might be the last man standing. I'll quit now so you can enjoy the rest of the Holiday. Thanks much, Steve!
Steve Lackmeyer 11:50 a.m. Thanks Bethany! I'm logging out. 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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