Steve Lackmeyer: Downtown's population will expand in 2014, support new retail, attractions

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: January 3, 2014 at 12:52 pm •  Published: January 3, 2014
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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.

With what you know and see on the horizon for 2014, could you give us a one-sentence description or write-up?

Downtown's workforce and population will expand and will help support new retail, attractions and amenities.

Do you think we are going to see a renovation on the Walcourt Building at 13th and 235 any time soon?

If the owner were willing to sell, the Walcourt would have been renovated long ago. But the owner isn't willing to sell from every report I've gotten back from those who have attempted such deals. Will the city's new blighted building ordinance help? Maybe.

Do you think we will see a Will Rogers Airport expansion any time soon? Do you think it will need it within the next five years?

No. Whether we like it or not, the nation's airline system is cutting back on hubs, not expanding them. Memphis lost its hub status with Delta last summer. Other cities that have lost out include Pittsburgh and St. Louis. It's the outcome such tier two cities feared when airlines began merging a decade ago. So while Oklahoma City's airport is doing brisk business, it's not enough, I suspect, to warrant an expansion.

When will we see work on the old Joker's Comedy Club in Bricktown by Chris Johnson?

I spoke to Johnson a few weeks ago and he indicated the wait shouldn't be too much longer.

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Reporter Sr.
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist 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 Metropolitan...
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