The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer took questions from readers in today's OKC Central Live Chat. You can join Steve's Q&As on Fridays at 10 a.m. and submit your questions about the happenings in and around downtown Oklahoma City. Read the complete chat transcript here.
Where is the Plaza District on resolving the parking issue?
On a normal day, parking is tight, but not impossible, along the 16th Street Plaza District (I visited there twice this past week). Part of the challenge is getting folks to park in the lot west of the Lyric Children's Theater. We're looking at creative solutions, instead of more asphalt, as the task ahead for this vibrant pocket of town.
Any more developments in "the pipeline" for downtown Oklahoma City than what you reported on this week?
Well, on my blog yesterday I reported that Jeannette Smith is stepping down as director of the Bricktown Association. I've also reported the House of Bedlam project in Bricktown is going to be bigger than first planned. I've shown how extensive the east Bricktown project will be. We've seen a major potential split begin on whether to build a large conference hotel. We now know a Hyatt Place may be in the works for the east Bricktown project. Is there more coming? You bet. I might have a surprise in tomorrow's Oklahoman.
Which one do you think will have more of an impact on the surrounding areas if built out as promised: The Edge At Midtown or the East BT Apartments?
They are both game changes for each district. Once the two complexes open, they will permanently change the nature of each district.
What do you think of PinLeague coming to OKC?
I hadn't heard about PinLeague until I read the column on The Oklahoman's business technology page about Danny Maloney, the founder of PinLeague, his accomplishments, and predictions about Oklahoma City becoming the next tech mecca. It sounds promising. We certainly have some great talent in this city, retained, no doubt, as a result of our city's investment in the urban core and efforts to be more accommodating to the young creative class.
An article in the Tulsa World reports QuikTrip is planning to build 45-50 stores during its current fiscal year. Any chance any of those will be in OKC?
No. I've talked to individuals directly connected to QT's real estate transactions and they confirm there is a longstanding promise between the owners of QT and Oklahoma 7-Eleven not to compete in each others' markets.
Anyone familiar with QT will attest to this being a bad deal for Oklahoma City, because QT's store are far bigger, far nicer and far more diverse than any operated by 7-Eleven. On Cue is attempting to create their own versions of QTs, but they're not quite the same.
When will Kevin Durant's restaurant be completed?
Have you heard of an opening date on Back Door BBQ?
They're working pretty hard on this latest addition to NW 23 - it shouldn't be much longer.
Several months ago you mentioned two 'rides' coming to Bricktown. Are these still in the works?
The Dave & Buster's entertainment center being developed by Chris Johnson is one of those rides. There's still one or two more potentially in the works.
Any chance Market C will reopen when the new Good Egg Dining Group offices open?
Probably not. I'm not sure the site worked well enough with its scarce parking.
Where, in the next 10 years, do you see the city experiencing decline? Or continuing to decline where decline is already happening?
In 20 years I worry about all the cookie-cutter neighborhoods being built in far northwest Oklahoma City. The homes and neighborhoods all look so much alike, they're surrounded by soulless big box strip shopping centers, they're not walkable, and at some point the newness will wear off, the Edmond and Deer Creek school districts will experience the same reality that has hit Putnam City, and people will gravitate away - probably to the city's core.