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 is the status of the Boulevard?
It's being reviewed by the Federal Highway Administration. Don't be surprised if the boulevard isn't opened until 2015 or 2016.
When can we expect construction to start on the Metropolitan on the NE corner of 6th and Oklahoma?
From what I'm hearing, the Bomasada Group is still on track to have an application to Downtown Design Review heard in September, with construction likely to begin in early 2014. Everything I am seeing and hearing with The Metropolitan indicates it is a very real deal that will be done.
Do you think that subsequent towers will be built for a single tenant, such as Devon, or do you think it will be mostly spec office space?
Neither. We're looking at a large anchor with additional for-lease space.
Why aren't there more restaurants or any apartments along Lake Hefner's Shores? Is all the land owned by the city?
Yes, a lot of the land is owned by the city. The East Wharf development was done after Randy Hogan struck an agreement for that city-owned land as well.
Has the city ever thought or talked about damming the Oklahoma River at NE 4th or NE 10th Street to create a more boating friendly recreational area?
I've heard some informal discussions, but nothing I'd say would indicate it's set to become a reality.
Will we see some of those Main Street parking lots that are west of Walker developed any time soon?
Some of those lots are in better local ownership than they were - which makes such an outcome more possible. The large lot just to the west of the Character First Institute (the old Holiday Inn) was bought this last year by attorney Dennis Box, who has done some great redevelopment across the street.
Once all the apartment construction ends in Deep Deuce, what district can we expect that construction to move to?
MidTown still has ample room for development, and that's probably where we will see momentum shift to as Deep Deuce reaches completion.
What is the status of the Century Center?
The developers encountered some complications with the garage expansion, but they believe they've addressed the parking challenges and are ready to proceed.
What would it take to turn Will Rogers into a hub airport for a mid-sized carrier? Have city leaders ever discussed that concept?
Oklahoma City has long sought to become a hub - but with the hub system shrinking, not growing, it's difficult to see how that can become a reality. What's sad is we are losing business because we are not a hub. I spoke to real estate guy on Wednesday who said the city lost out on a pretty sizable company moving downtown - not because of parking, not because of office space - but because we don't have enough direct flights. We lost that company to Nashville.
What's the completion date for the Edge in Midtown?
The Edge opens next year if I recall correctly. The same developer, Gary Brooks, has teamed up with Andy Burnett to build apartments and retail on the east Bricktown site.