The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer took questions from readers during his weekly OKC Central Chat. Participate in the chat every Friday at 10 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Business. Read the entire chat recap here.
What projects do you think should be included in MAPS 4?
I love Oklahoma City. I love downtown. I can talk about the great legacy of MAPS. But it's not a perfect creation. MAPS 3 has some challenges we've not seen before - specifically a lack of funding plans for project operations and upkeep.
Civic leaders are uncertain whether they will be able to build the wellness centers as promised. The sidewalks are being targeted for significant cuts from what was promised. No funding exists for funding of the streetcars or new park.
I don't see a MAPS 4 as a slam dunk. But if one does emerge, I've said before the public transit advocates are likely in the lead to dramatically improve what most people agree is a very broken public transportation system.
What is the word on future restaurants, a coffee shop, or perhaps even a bookstore opening in MidTown?
MidTown already has a pretty impressive collection of restaurants, including Irma’s, Kaiser’s, Café do Brazil, Prairie Thunder Bakery, Go Go Sushi, McNellie’s Public House, Brown’s Bakery, 1492 New World Cuisine, Stella’s, Louie’s, and my favorite, Foodies Asian Diner (great underdog story at 1220 N Hudson). Saturn Grill is being added to the building that is also home to Go Go Sushi.
A breakfast place may be coming to 1212, and I hear a restaurant deal is in the works for the Packard Building at Robinson and NW 10. Keep in mind we already have a great coffee shop with Elemental Coffee at NW 8 and Hudson, along with the beloved Ludivine Restaurant. Shops include a bridal shop and optical shop. As for a bookstore… gosh, I love bookstores. But the number of bookstores is sadly dropping, not expanding. I was heartbroken by the loss of Taylor’s Newsstand a couple years ago.