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.
How long will it take to realize the significance of the new GE Global Research Center?
GE brings a whole new game to town. I am told this research center will draw people from around the world. The thing to realize is that with this sort of operation, it's potential is beyond an average person's understanding or imagination, because it involves new technologies and innovations that will constantly evolve. And have no doubt, with a company like GE setting up this operation in Oklahoma City, other companies will want to set up shop nearby. As I've said before, this isn't simply about the number of jobs. It's about quality of jobs. If Oklahoma City were given the choice between a 1,000-person call center or a 150-employee GE Global Research Center, it would be crazy not to go for GE. Also consider that this operation will likely spur further redevelopment along 10th street both east and west of I-235. Architecturally, and symbolically, this building will stand out far more than your average six-story building.
When is the Metropolitan supposed to start construction?
As I recall, this spring.
There's a lot of run-down housing just north, east, and south of OUHSC. Realistically, how long until those areas start improving?
It's happening already. Drive through the John F. Kennedy neighborhood along NE 4 and turn left at Bath Avenue. You will see very nice new homes that might make you think you're in Deer Creek if not for the downtown skyline in the background. I've said for a while the neighborhood at 13th and Walnut is ripe for redevelopment, and some urban pioneers have staked their lots.
When do you think we'll learn more about MidtownR's plans for their 10th St block?