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 DNA galleries expanding, Pie Junky and a pizza place moving in, what's next for the Plaza District?
The Plaza District has a great future ahead, though they're very aware of the parking shortage they are now facing. Expect more redevelopment of the impoverished Classen-10-Penn neighborhood to the south, and some spin-off development along nearby Classen Boulevard.
In response to the parking issues in midtown and plaza district, wouldn't it be better to try and integrate the public transportation and foot/bike traffic?
Of course. And that is happening.
How is the Central Park property acquisition coming along?
The city has most of the parcels acquired or under contract. A couple appear to be heading into eminent domain action.
It seems like companies and people are moving downtown regularly, but this could be a bad thing if downtown OKC can't support or keep up with that growth. Your thoughts?
Downtown is keeping up with the growth. We have street capacity for thousands more vehicles per day than what is carried currently. New parking garages are being built by the city. A streetcar system is being designed. And ample room for expansion of downtown exists to the south and west (and also some to the north).
Do you know what the plans are or the old Penn theater?
I am tentatively set to talk to the owners next week.
Any news on the First National Building?
The property is, from what I can see, out of play and back in the hands of Aaron Yashouafar and the Neman brothers out of Los Angeles. Until I see otherwise, it appears to be a case of status quo.
The Packard building is going to house a restaurant and a salon, do you know of anything else in the works for that area of Midtown?
I'll be surprised if a restaurant doesn't open in the first floor of the remodeled Guardian Garage apartments with that great alley courtyard being built between it and the Packard.