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Steve Lackmeyer: Expect to hear more housing, retail announced for Midtown

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 10:30 a.m. and submit your questions about the happenings in and around downtown Oklahoma City. Read the complete chat transcript here.

by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: August 22, 2014 at 1:24 pm •  Published: August 22, 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 10:30 a.m. and submit your questions about the happenings in and around downtown Oklahoma City. Read the complete chat transcript here.

What are the projected opening dates for dust bowl and Fassler Hall? Is there anything else new and exciting for midtown soon to be announced?

I believe it is set to open later this year. Expect to hear more housing and retail announced for Midtown.

Have you heard what stores and restaurants will be going in on the ground floor of the Edge?

A pending deal could bring some retail that I suspect will be very popular with Midtown residents.

It looks like the Plaza Discount Store is going to be downsizing and rebranding. What kind of retails establishments would you like to see in the remaining spaces?

I visited with Steve Mason on Wednesday. The store is going to reopen with a new name, new operator, and overall, a far better product mix and presentation. And yes, the bars will be coming off the windows. I visited with Steve about this property several weeks ago soon after the sale was closed. At that time the question was, what would be the best fit for the Plaza District? What is needed by the surrounding neighborhoods?

I apparently was one of a handful of people who suggested Steve drive around suburban neighborhoods to see what retailers they have nearby. One realization that came out of this was that Steve saw Westlake Hardware stores, Lowes, Home Depots, and various other retailers with items that are needed on a regular basis. Without such big box retailers showing an interest in the urban core, and the fact such chains are not expanding much these days, neighborhoods like the Plaza District seem like ideal locations to revive the old fashioned variety store concept.

When I was growing up, you could go to a TG&Y, get some basic grocery items, toys, hardware, cleaning supplies, school supplies, kitchen items and more. The Plaza Discount Store, on one hand, provided this service the surrounding neighborhoods. But it had a very poor presentation (women's bras next to kitchen staples) and was cluttered with junk that was not selling and just took up space. It also had an entire row of shelving dedicated to paper plates instead of storing excess supply in the back room. I think the new store will be a great addition to the Plaza District, Gatewood and Classen-10-Penn.

How long until we receive an update on the Wheeler District plan?

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
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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