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Steve Lackmeyer: In three years, Deep Deuce will be Oklahoma's first mixed-use downtown neighborhood

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. Below is an unedited transcript of the chat.
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: March 22, 2013 at 12:56 pm •  Published: March 22, 2013

Yes. Mixed use retail is part of the plan for the east Bricktown development.

How many more homes are being built on The Hill? Are more expected to start once those are completed and sold?

Another wave of construction was recently approved by the Urban Renewal Authority, so we'll be seeing, if I recall correctly, at least another dozen with more to come. The Hill is finally going on some good momentum.

How has the Thunder impacted local business?

Downtown hotels, in my observation, have been the biggest beneficiaries. Restaurants have done well too. The overall impact to the city, meanwhile, is beyond measurement. It's a game changer.

What if the Marion building is too far gone for rehab to be economically feasible?

The Marion Hotel is in bad shape, but the owners have a plan to save and restore it. Just pray that no earthquakes hit in the interim.

Is there a way to encourage new downtown businesses to have some kind of weekend hours?

Customers must patronize businesses already open weekends downtown. That's the simple truth. Kitchen No. 324 is a great example of this. I did learn this week that the new Old School Bagel Cafe opening up next month at Leadership Square will not be open weekends.

Is the drought that Oklahoma is going through going to affect the boating districts water supply at all this season?

I'm told the answer is no.

What new retailers might we see in the Midtown/Downtown area within the next 3-5 years?

We've seen Urban Outfitters sniff around from time to time. I suspect they'll ultimately jump in.

Do you think OKC could benefit from a better start up culture, similar to the scene in Austin?

Yes. Look at Better Block OKC. That's a 20-something creation. I'm amazed at the brilliance, creativity and determination of downtown's young professionals. They are making an impact; they are getting things done. They are changing our city, and I applaud them for that.

Do you hear anything about Downtown having more comedy clubs, small uptown business?

Comedy clubs just don't do as well now as they did in the 1990's. Bricktown once had three of them. Now I only know of one in the entire city.

Read the complete chat transcript here.

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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