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.
Do you think that the 13 million dollar grant from the Federal government for the Santa Fe Depot will help strengthen the Streetcar Project that the people voted for?
Yes. It harms the argument that the city can't obtain funding for rail transit until it first enhances its bus system.
Does Oklahoma City have a good talent pool when it comes to thinking outside of the box and bringing new and fresh ideas to the city? What are some of your favorite ideas for restaurants/retails/bars that you've reported on?
Yep. I believe the total count will be 45 pieces.
Next week the Bricktown Urban Design Committee is set to consider the East Bricktown Apartments, the renovation of the Rock Island Plow bldg, and the construction of the Bedlam bldg on the canal. Do you think Bricktown has finally turned a corner in terms of new development? What more could be expected?
Much more is coming - though Bricktown is still struggling with a leadership vacuum that won't easily be addressed.
When do you think Rock Island building renovations will be completed?
Any chance that MAPS 3 will have to be extended an extra year to fully fund some of the projects? Similar to MAPS 1?
No and no. MAPS 3 is not in that much trouble on project budgets or timelines. Much of the concern now is related to whether Mayor Mick Cornett and the city council in 2009 spent enough time looking at the viability of some projects and how to pay for operations and maintenance.
With the whitewater addition to the Boathouse district, do you see any other type of development in the immediate area?
The foundation is very interested in seeing a Great Wolf Lodge of the equivalent added into the mix.
What is the latest on the railroad quiet zone?
Funding was awarded at the last council meeting.