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.
Does Aubrey McClendon's departure from Chesapeake cast any dark shadow on the strength of CBD resurgence and development?
Good question. While Chesapeake Energy’s expansion has taken place north of downtown, the company has indirectly played a significant role in the inflow of companies moving into the central business district. I can count at least a dozen companies that moved downtown from the suburbs after their previous locations were bought out by Chesapeake. One of those companies was Cardinal Engineering, led by Steve Mason. And it was Steve Mason who then revitalized a blighted Ninth Street and 1000 block of N Broadway into very vibrant urban retail and restaurant corridors.
The pattern of Chesapeake’s growth, development of the surrounding neighborhood, was very much Aubrey McClendon’s vision.
Downtown office space, however, is the most vibrant it’s been in 40 years and it’s difficult to see any immediate impact from McClendon’s departure at Chesapeake.
When are we likely to see renderings for some of the hotels/apartments proposed for the east end of Bricktown?
Developers Gary Brooks and Andy Burnett are working with site layouts for their east Bricktown housing and hotel, but at this point their attention is on clearing the old Stewart Metal Fabricators site, removing contamination from the soil and relocating underground utilities. This is not an easy site to work with, and the developers have cautioned repeatedly this won't be a fast turn-around. Construction won't begin for at least another year.