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Steve Lackmeyer: MAPS 3 has presented some challenges unseen in previous plans

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
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: September 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm •  Published: September 14, 2012

What is going to become of that big aluminum building mill/factory complex just on the other side of where the old I-40 crosstown?

The Southwestern Producers Oil Coop is one of the oldest continuous operations in the city, dating back to the late 1800s when Bricktown was first developed as a manufacturing and trade exchange area for cotton farmers. The cotton farmers want to relocate their operation to the old Dayton Tire Plant in west Oklahoma City. They offered the property up for sale two years ago with their broker, Gary Gregory, listing it for $121 million.

Gregory thought the site would be a prime spot for a new convention center. He also told me at the time he was convinced he could get other buyers for the asking price. He was wrong on both counts, and he was dropped as the broker last year. I have not seen any indication of any new deals for the cotton oil mill, though one board member has indicated to me the farmers now realize the $121 million asking price was too high.

Any progress on the Tower theater?

We keep hearing "in a few months..." That's all I've got for you.

Could we see some more basketball courts like the one at Reno and Hudson put in other parts of downtown or the rest of the city in the future?

Yes. So far downtown's civic leaders are very impressed with the response to the current basketball court. I've been told they are looking at how to move forward with this idea.

Do you know when construction for the new police headquarters and Oklahoma City municipal court buildings will begin? 

If I recall correctly, design work is underway and the city wishes to start construction this next year. I think these two buildings could be a great boost to redevelopment of west downtown - especially W Main.

Read the entire chat recap 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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