Steve Lackmeyer: 2014 will be start of transformation for Oklahoma City's urban core

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.

by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: November 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm •  Published: November 1, 2013
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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.

Which comes first, details for the SC site or something on the Preftakes block?

The Stage Center tower site will come first. Expect some news to come out about it in the next 60 days. 

With all of the new residential hitting midtown, do you see a grocery store being built in the next 2 or 3 years?

Grocery shopping options will improve considerably within the next two years. That's an educated answer with some caution, not a guess.

With the numerous low rise housing developments lately, are we approaching time for a mid rise? And if so, would this be in MidTown also? 

Mid-rise housing is being talked about, but I'm not sure as to whether the numbers work yet. The dirt will need to be reasonably priced. I suspect mid- to high-rise housing will most likely take place in Core to Shore.

With Kevin Durant's restaurant going in is Randy Hogan done developing Lower Bricktown? 

Lower Bricktown still has one medium pad site by the Land Run Monument and a small pad site by the Residence Inn. The surface lots are owned by Randy Hogan, but under the review of the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority. As an aside, I'll note that when developers were first considered for this project, the Urban Renewal board took a strong stance against such pad style development when it was proposed by Sooner Development, a rival bidder to Hogan. Hogan's original plan, as I recall, did not allow for pad development to occur over 20 years (which is what has happened). Hogan remains in control of the surface parking.

You mentioned in a recent chat that the next 60 days were going to be a very exciting time for downtown. Can you elaborate?

The scale and importance of the next wave of development, not just in terms of buildings, but in terms of added people to the downtown mix, the types of people being added to the mix, the advancement of downtown retail, and many more fundamental changes coming will finally begin to emerge. We're looking at changes that will truly bring life to downtown on weeknights. We're looking at a diversification of downtown's population and workforce. We're looking at 2014-2020 being an era of incredible transformation for Oklahoma City's urban core, and the public will be getting a good glimpse of all this fairly soon.

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Reporter Sr.
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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