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.
What do you think the chances are of Classen Ten Penn turning around? It seems like a natural transition as Miller and Gatewood areas are filling up.
Yes, but it won't be easy. Revival of Classen-10-Penn will require continued revitalization of the nearby 16th Street Plaza District and a fully revitalized Midtown. City planning and police also will be needed to help come up with ways to bring stability to the neighborhood.
Any chance with the river projects that some theme park or something that would draw people from all over the country?
I think once the MAPS 3 white water venue is built, and the Boathouse Foundation fully realizes its master plan (and possibly gets a Great Wolf Lodge built), the river will be quite the draw. Will it be a national draw? I don't know. But add in the American Indian Cultural Center, and it will certainly be a pretty special attraction for the city.
With all the great musical talent Oklahoma has put out, how can we get a great music scene modeled after Austin City Limits that will make OKC known as a more hip?
We're looking at several large live music venues being developed downtown, especially in Bricktown. Maybe that will be the start of something special. Certain ACM@UCO is huge plus.
This is a Mystery Tower question: How long after demolition of Stage Center is done will we see construction start?
Demolition won't happen until at least next spring if not later. The developer will first have to apply for permission from the Downtown Design Review Committee.
Has the timeline moved up for construction of the Bricktown East Apartments?
No, but it's not fallen behind either. The site work is extensive, and major storm water lines must still be moved. We likely will see construction start by next summer.
When will we start to see work on the Century Center renovation/parking addition?
Not sure. I suspect it won't be much longer.
Any more news on Don Karchmer's parking garage proposal?
The city wants it to happen, and Karchmer is busy trying to come up with a design that will address concerns by transit advocates.
Can you give us an upcoming project in each of the following districts that you are most excited about? Downtown, Bricktown, Automobile Alley, Midtown, Film Row, Deep Deuce, Plaza and Uptown?
Downtown: the new tower being developed by Rainey Williams (though with a realization it comes at a cost of losing Stage Center), the new elementary and the Parkside building (formerly known as the SandRidge amenities building). Bricktown: apartments and retail being developed by Gary Brooks and Andy Burnett, renovation of the Mideke building into apartments, and Chris Johnson's House of Bedlam. Automobile Alley: renovation of the Hotel Marion, the 1100 and 1101 buildings. Midtown: Fassler Hall/Dust Bowl, The Edge. Film Row: the Hans Butzer building, the connection of Film Row to the Central Business District with construction of the elementary and Hunsucker buildings. Deep Deuce: Cool stuff I can't tell you yet. Plaza District: excited about what I don't know about yet. Uptown: The Rise, Pump.