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.
Which district do you see developing faster? 23rd Street or Film District? Where would you personally start a business if you had to choose between these two districts?
That's a good question. I think they're very different animals. Film Row is a bit ahead of 23rd, but the potential with 23rd, and the work to be done, is much greater. Film Row is becoming a mix of creative firms, corporate offices, a sprinkling of eateries and a home for our city's growing film community. I've heard several folks dream of making 23rd similar to Austin's South Congress Street. And I can see that.
How long will the construction of Oklahoma Health Care Authority's headquarters on Lincoln take?
Renovation of the former Lincoln Plaza at 4345 N Lincoln Blvd. began several weeks ago. As reported by Oklahoman Real Estate Editor Richard Mize, when finished, the transformed property will also be larger, a total of about 160,000 square feet, thanks to a 35-foot-deep addition across the front, which faces Lincoln Boulevard. The healthcare authority expects to move into the property by early 2014.
What do you think will be the best use of Union Station once the park is completed? Event space with a restaurant attached?
Hard to say. Because of federal transportation grants used to renovate the property when it was turned into the offices of the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority, I'm told use of the building has to be transit related unless those funds are paid back. With proper planning and operation, the potential with this property is pretty big. Restaurants, shops, event space, displays and exhibits... this could become quite the community center.