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.
With all the public and private investment in the area, would you say that the Film Row District is the latest hot spot for development? What more can we expect to happen in this area?
Film Row is often regarded as simply the stretch of Sheridan Avenue between Dewey and Classen Boulevard. But as you note, it also includes the same stretch of Main Street and California to the north and south. The Arcade purchase by David Wanzer presents the tantalizing prospect of Main Street truly coming to life with the 21C Museum Hotel set to become a reality nearby at the old Fred Jones Assembly plant.
Expect all the remaining Jones family property in the area to be redeveloped as well. But there are challenges to be overcome. The area suffers from an abundance of police association owned surface parking lots. Ideally, it would be great to see these redeveloped in some fashion and replaced by one structured parking garage.
What's a neglected area of OKC that could be the next big thing?
I've long believed the Farmers Market area is just begging to become a very special place in the urban core. The street fabric along Klein Avenue, with its gentle curve and embrace of the historic Farmer's Public Market area is really something to envision, and the brick buildings all have a lot of charm and character. And the area has a lot of vacant land on which housing could be built.
How is the construction of several buildings on Sheridan west of Lee in Film Row coming along?
The Slvr Building is pretty much complete, work is coming along nicely on the Hunsucker law building and the school, and Chip Fudge is well into renovations on a one-story building just to the east of the Slvr Building.
How long until we see more development east of Lincoln and south of NE 8th street? Will the purchase old school on Stonewall to be turned into housing help that development?
The Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority is working with Ron Bradshaw, who bought the old Page-Woodson school, to develop that area. So yes, we will see continued development of that area, but the various players also are being cautious not to be seen as threatening to the nearby JFK neighborhood either.
How are renovations of OCU's new law school coming along?
I hear it is on track for classes to begin in 2015.
When will demolition/construction/renovation start on the historic Santa Fe Station?
The city is in the midst of acquiring control of the property. Design work will take months to complete. Don't expect any construction to start before 2015.