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Oklahoma City's Deep Deuce faces growing pains

The mix of people calling Deep Deuce home might as well be a dream list drawn up by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. But will all these interests truly, peacefully coexist?
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: June 24, 2013 at 9:06 pm •  Published: June 25, 2013

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.

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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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