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Steve Lackmeyer: Tom Ward is looking for prominent downtown office space

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.
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: June 21, 2013 at 1:07 pm •  Published: June 21, 2013
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Preftakes is requiring tenants to leave with no extensions at the end of their leases at 1 N Hudson (the old Hotel Black). He also has customers at the adjoining auto hotel on month-to-month contracts. The two buildings are considered historic and he knows he would face a huge and likely unsuccessful battle to tear them down. The floor plates do not work for big companies, and he's kicking out the smaller firms that are the only office users that can make this space work. So that would seem to indicate he's looking to change the use of the building.

The space would make for great housing, and could easily handle apartments or condominiums of up to 3,000 square feet. It's in a great location for housing, across from the new elementary, Devon Energy Center and the Myriad Gardens. Don't be surprised if the building is turned into housing.

When can we expect more news on the Uptown 23rd area, specifically the Tower Theatre?

Some big deals are about to pop soon. But I remain skeptical on any thing happening soon with the Tower Theater despite some assurances I've heard in recent weeks. I've not observed a commitment by the owner to either sell or get the project done.

Do you know if TEEMCO plans to utilize the existing restaurant space in the Gold Dome to still provide that function to the neighborhood or will it be renovated into office space?

The Oklahoman's real estate editor Richard Mize, made a great comment about the Dome a few months ago when he spoke about how the building was designed for a single tenant, and can only work best as a single tenant building. But can there be an allowance for a restaurant where the Prohibition Room was located? I don't know and the buyers don't know yet either.

Is anyone still trying to fight for the round-about idea for the Oklahoma City boulevard?

There are probably some voices still going for it. My observation, after watching a presentation trying to support such a design for the boulevard, was that the examples shown did not have any new urban development abutting these junctions. They did not appear to be good for building a downtown.

Read the complete chat transcript here.

by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author 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...
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