Deep Deuce residents and business owners rallied last week to oppose designs for a new hotel.
Looking back, that's a statement that reflects how much the area has changed in a short period of time and what challenges are presented by that growth.
From that moment last week and past encounters, we now know the mix of folks calling Deep Deuce home might as well be a dream list drawn up by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.
They include young families with children; transplants drawn to Oklahoma City as part of the relocation of Boeing operations from Long Beach, Calif.; medical students, doctors and scientists at the nearby Oklahoma Health Center; officers stationed at Tinker Air Force Base; and, of course, folks who work at Devon Energy, Continental Resources and SandRidge Energy.
The mix also includes Matt and Sara Runkle, who live with their baby above their store, Native Roots market; a law firm that is renovating the old Calvary Baptist Church into its offices; a beauty salon, restaurants and a wine store. And yes, the mix soon will include more restaurants, bars, shops and hotels.
Some of the residents are high-income empty nesters who bought upper-end condominiums. Others are restaurant servers and students doubling up with roommates to afford an apartment in the middle of what they consider the most exciting neighborhood in town.
A neighborhood has risen up where a dozen years ago there were just abandoned surface parking lots and boarded-up, burned-out buildings. Go figure.
Even the smallest lots are being grabbed up by homebuilders, such as Ron Walters, who see demand quickly outpacing supply.
When I look at an aerial of Deep Deuce, I see almost every empty lot being targeted for more housing, more restaurants, more bars and more shops.
In five years, if all goes as planned, Deep Deuce will be a fully developed downtown neighborhood.
It will be a great mix. But will all these interests truly, peacefully coexist?
One resident last week hinted at what challenges might be ahead as she worried about the sound of truck deliveries to the proposed Springhill Suites by Marriott. What she may not realize is that such noise already is inevitable; welcome to the big city.
Likewise, those renting apartments in Deep Deuce have been fairly forgiving of those who park their cars on the residential streets and walk down to adjoining Bricktown.
But as the neighborhood matures, and the narrow streets are increasingly clogged up with cars not just from those visiting Bricktown but also those enjoying the neighborhood's retail and restaurant offerings, will such patience continue, especially with those who are buying the high-dollar homes?
The Urban Neighbors organization is a great start for such discussions, though it represents the entirety of downtown and not just Deep Deuce. Nothing is really new in this world, and a look at similar situations in other cities might be a natural first step toward avoiding some growing pains.