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.
When Jeff Speck did his walkability study in 2008, he said EK Gaylord should be four lanes instead of six or seven. Has the city completely put the decision to do that on the back burner or are they just not listening to his advice?
The E.K. Gaylord and NW 4 intersection was indeed designed for an upgrade as part of Project 180 but was later abandoned.
Jeff Speck, the walkability consultant hired by the city, did strongly recommend changing E.K. Gaylord from a six-lane divided boulevard to a four-lane road with a sidewalk on the eastside (where one does not exist currently) and curbside parking. I am hearing reports the city is looking at proceeding with a reconstruction of E.K. Gaylord Boulevard between the new downtown boulevard and Main Street that will maintain all six lanes.
Is there ever hope for a secondary connection from Deep Deuce to Bricktown besides the Walnut bridge?
It's actually the Union Pacific tracks that separate Bricktown and Deep Deuce, and yes, connections between the two are very limited (the Walnut Avenue bridge and Russell Perry Avenue). A lot of people wish to see Oklahoma Avenue opened up between the two districts, but odds are increasing against such a connection.
When will we see any movement on Chris Johnson's proposed renovation of the old Jokers comedy club?
Chris Johnson has had a long history of going to Bricktown Urban Design or other city committees to get permits to launch a development, announcing a timeline, and then not proceeding. In the dozen years or so he has been in Bricktown, the only thing he has developed is a surface parking lot.
Last week you predicted that Midtown would be built out to the equivalent of what Deep Deuce is today. Were you referring to the entire district from 4th to 13th or primarily the 10th street corridor?
Let's say NW 10 to NW 13 right now... you're right.... to see everything north of NW 4 developed within three years is a bit much.
When will we see a new housing project by the Bomasada Group and where?
Deep Deuce - if it happens.
Whatever happened to the FlatIron project by Grant Humphreys?
The per-forma was always on the high side, and quite frankly, it still doesn't work. Something will happen eventually at that site, but for now, Grant Humphreys is staying very busy developing Carlton Landing at Lake Eufaula.
In regards to the East Bricktown project, why exactly is the remediation of the land and moving of utilities going to take over a year?
Because this site is a mess. These are no ordinary utilities. We're talking about underground drainage lines big enough to drive a school bus. The electric overhead lines are huge. The soil needs remediation. This work takes time.
Does the city have funding for the convention center hotel or would the brand taking over need to fund the cost?
Experts have indicated the city will need to chip in at least $50 million for a convention center hotel. The city has not indicated any source for this funding.
What brand of hotel do you think we will get? Is there a chance that OKC could get a W Hotel as the convention hotel?
Don't be surprised if it's an Omni.
Will there be a new restaurant opening where Sage used to be in Deep Deuce?
I hear it will be opened as a cigar lounge.
How tall might we expect the new convention center hotel to be?
Architects suggested 20 stories.