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Steve Lackmeyer: DeadCENTER has ability to make Film Row magical

The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer took questions from readers in today's OKC Central Live Chat. You can join Steve's Q&A's on Fridays at 10 a.m. and submit your questions about the happenings in and around downtown Oklahoma City.
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: June 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm •  Published: June 28, 2013
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And even though we're working for a smaller margin, we believe that over time the building will maintain its value better than a suburban property.

Is Level West still on track to begin construction this summer?

Richard: Yes, Mosiac, aka Level West, will be breaking ground the week after the Fourth of July holiday. Of course, we don't necessarily put a shovel in the ground the first day of work. But a construction trailer has been ordered.

It seems like all the apartments in the Deep Deuce area are at capacity and the ones being built will probably be filled up before they open. At what point do you think the supply will outweigh the demand? Have there been studies to show what the demand is for rental units near downtown?

Richard: It's a game of musical chairs. You don't want to be the guy standing when the music stops. The thing that is impossible to predict is job growth and opportunity in Oklahoma City. So if Oklahoma City continues to attract the best and the brightest to bring their talent and treasure and invest in our city, then the demand will continue to grow. If we give up and settle to become an average city that stops investing in its core, then we will be back in the brain drain of 20 years ago. And the demand will disappear. I believe in Oklahoma City. I believe in the leadership of Oklahoma City. I believe in a leadership that has been visionary in investing in the city's identity. I believe we need to rally around that leadership and keep all the boats afloat.

What kind of street level interaction can we expect for the Mosaic project? What is next for your group?

Richard: Mosaic has very little street frontage on Oklahoma Avenue. But we have gone to great length to activate the frontage we already have with retail space that envisions maybe a coffee shop but it could be good for a small bar or deli. Not a full kitchen restaurant. It's way to small and doesn't have that kind of ventilation. But we want it to be a community gathering place more than a nail salon.

What is the probability that the new GE Research Center will be located downtown?

Steve: It might land in the Oklahoma Health Center on the east edge of downtown. But don't be shocked if Oklahoma City loses out to Norman.

Read the complete chat transcript here.

by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author 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...
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