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 Metropolitan Area Projects, the rebuilding of north downtown, the rebirth of the Skirvin Hotel, the rise of Bricktown, Midtown and Automobile Alley, and the city's courting of the NBA.
Steve's family came to town in 1977 when his father led construction of the Sheraton Century Center Hotel. He roamed the brand new corridors of the Conncourse tunnels (now The Underground). He saw the final last gasp of the old downtown and witnessed the destruction of the 26-story Biltmore Hotel. He spent his teenage years watching construction of the Myriad Gardens and a new skyline including Mid-America (now home to Continental Resources), Oklahoma and Corporate Towers, and Leadership Square.
Steve was once referred to as a “downtown partisan” by The Oklahoman's real estate editor Richard Mize. It's a beat Steve enjoys, and his column, "OKC Central," can be read every Tuesday in The Oklahoman’s business section. Lackmeyer also hosts the downtown blog "OKC Central."
Lackmeyer spent two years visiting Main Street communities around the state, documenting their preservation efforts and the return of commerce to the heart of the state’s small towns. This effort was recognized in 2007 with a “Friend of Main Street” award by the Oklahoma Main Street Center. That same year he also was honored with the B.H. Prasad Award given in recognition of his coverage of architecture by the Central Oklahoma Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. His coverage of downtown Oklahoma City was recognized with a first-time “Presidents Award” given to him in 2014 by Downtown OKC Inc.
Lackmeyer is author of five books about the city’s history, "OKC Second Time Around," Skirvin,” “Operation Scissortail” and “Cornerstone” (all co-authored by Jack Money) and "Bricktown." Lackmeyer also authored "Foraging in Oklahoma," a travelogue and recipe book about produce found at Oklahoma farms and ranches. In 2012 he authored a 1,500-word cover story about the history of development and architecture in Oklahoma City for the magazine Architectural Record.
Lackmeyer’s involvement with Retro Metro OKC began as a founding member and officer of the group, which started with organizational efforts in 2009 and an official launch in 2010. The group is a non-profit organization that has helped or organize displays on the history of city government, the city’s vintage restaurants and Bricktown. The organization’s key effort, however, is the scanning and display of privately owned photographs and materials. The website www.retrometrookc.com is home to thousands of such materials, including original video documentaries and videos of monthly speakers.
Steve is a frequent speaker on Oklahoma City development and history, with appearances on television stations OETA, KWTV, KFOR, KSBI, radio stations KTOK, KGOU, KOSU, WKY, KOKC and NPR, various newspapers including the New York Times and the Seattle Times, local Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis clubs, the 2010 National Main Streets Conference and the 2013 Oklahoma Preservation Conference.

  • 23rd Street Armory set to be converted into the new home of COOP Ale Works

    23rd Street Armory set to be converted into the...

    By Steve Lackmeyer | Updated: 10 hours ago

    The iconic 23rd Street Armory, once home to the 45th Infantry and National Guard, is set to be converted into the new home of COOP Ale Works that will include a hotel, retail and restaurants. The Office of Management and Enterprise Services, tasked with auctioning the property, evaluated two proposals, one from Coop Ale Brewing and another from developer Chuck Wiggin that proposed housing, offices, retail and restaurants for the property at 200 NE 23. COOP Ale Works proposed moving its brewery to open part of the armory and converting the floors that open up to the space into a hotel. The brewery’s owners also want to the building to be redeveloped into retail, offices for the brewery, a restaurant and event space.

  • Planned Norman development lacks quirks that create lively districts

    Planned Norman development lacks quirks that...

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: 1 day ago

    For the past year, I've followed coverage by fellow reporters at The Oklahoman of an ambitious proposal to develop a 500-acre, mixed-use entertainment district anchored by a new University of Oklahoma basketball arena. The development would front the east side of Interstate 35 and would be an expansion of the North Park shopping center. If the deal were to go through, it would include an expo center, hotel, entertainment and restaurant venues, offices and housing. The developers, however, pitched the deal with a request for millions in tax increment financing to follow a similar deal used to build the existing North Park. And with recent Norman City Council votes against proceeding with a study on new assistance, the project

  • Oklahoma City Boulevard continues to slice through downtown

    Oklahoma City Boulevard continues to slice...

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: 4 days ago

    The next section of the Oklahoma City Boulevard to be completed will be a stretch between Walker Avenue and E.K. Gaylord that is set to open by this fall.

  • OKC Central Chat transcript, July 13, 2018

    OKC Central Chat transcript, July 13, 2018

    Updated: 4 days ago

    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 9:30 a.m. and submit your questions about the happenings in and around downtown Oklahoma City. Below is an unedited transcript of the chat.

  • Centennial Health ribbon-cutting marks start of makeover for northeast side of Oklahoma City

    Centennial Health ribbon-cutting marks start of...

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: 5 days ago

    A ribbon-cutting ceremony at Centennial Health marks the start of a makeover for the northeast side of Oklahoma City.

  • Downtown parking makeover on tap

    Downtown parking makeover on tap

    By Steve Lackmeyer Staff Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: 6 days ago

    Documents obtained Wednesday by The Oklahoman show Continental Resources and BancFirst are set to pay $22.5 million for the city’s largest downtown garage, a 48 percent increase from the initial offer pitched by Continental last fall.

  • Norman's The Social Club to open second location in downtown OKC

    Norman\'s The Social Club to open second...

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Tue, Jul 10, 2018

    A popular Norman women's boutique and salon is set to be the west retail anchor for West Village as the $70 million mixed-use development in downtown Oklahoma City nears completion of its first phase of apartments. The Social Club, started in 2012 by college friends Erica Smith and Dana Scott, has grown from a 500-square-foot shop to a 2,600-square-foot operation that is often booked with events when not filled with customers shopping and visiting the salon. “After college, Erica went to a salon and it was great, but she wanted a more personal space,” Scott said. “I was doing event planning and I make jewelry. And I was looking for an office area to meet people and make jewelry. We started looking for spaces together

  • OKC considering selling largest parking garage to BancFirst, Continental Resources

    OKC considering selling largest parking garage...

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Mon, Jul 09, 2018

    Oklahoma City is engaged in advanced discussions with BancFirst, Continental Resources and Bricktown parking operator Don Karchmer on a deal that could sell the city's Santa Fe Garage to the two companies and assist BancFirst in connecting to a planned Bricktown garage. Santa Fe Garage, 2 Santa Fe Plaza, is the city's largest, opened in 1972, has 1,518 spaces and a ground-floor retail level that is home to the downtown branch of the UCO Business School and the Red Earth gallery. City Manager Jim Couch said Monday a request for two memorandums of understanding in response to requests by the two downtown companies, neither of which control their own parking, are likely to be presented to the Oklahoma City Council on July 17.

  • CBD shop owner plans to enhance Plaza District 'vibe'

    CBD shop owner plans to enhance Plaza District...

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Mon, Jul 09, 2018

    Sometimes when it comes to social media, a tweet is just a tweet. But sometimes the volume can escalate quickly, and that's just what happened when I shared a photo of a banner indicating a CBD cannabis oil store was set to open in the building that was home to the beloved Collected Thread shop. It wasn't exactly what I expected when I had been told the building would remain retail oriented, especially with the sort of business we've seen open up everywhere in the metro, from suburban Edmond to upscale Nichols Hills to the urban core of Oklahoma City. My questions had nothing to do with the debate over medical marijuana, but some folks took it that way.

  • Downtown Oklahoma City grocery options improve despite absence of new full-service store

    Downtown Oklahoma City grocery options improve...

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Thu, Jul 05, 2018

    Downtown Oklahoma City grocery options are improving despite the absence of new full-service store.

  • Former downtown dealership to be new home for regional accounting firm

    Former downtown dealership to be new home for...

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Fri, Jul 06, 2018

    One of the largest accounting firms in Oklahoma and Arkansas, HoganTaylor, is set to move its 75-employee operation in suburban Oklahoma City to the former Mercedes dealership at the gateway to Automobile Alley.

  • OKC Cental Commentary: Streetcar construction leads to traffic and questions

    OKC Cental Commentary: Streetcar construction...

    Updated: Fri, Jul 06, 2018

    OKC Cental Commentary: Readers had plenty of questions for The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer during Friday's edition of the OKC Central Chat. Here's a transcript of the chat, edited for clarity and space.

  • OKC Central Chat transcript, July 6, 2018

    OKC Central Chat transcript, July 6, 2018

    Updated: Fri, Jul 06, 2018

    The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer took questions from readers in today's OKC Central Live Chat.

  • Demolition and construction proceed at First National Center

    Demolition and construction proceed at First...

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Mon, Jul 02, 2018

    Demolition of the 1971 First National annex facing Broadway has been underway for the past couple of weeks, but until Friday was only visible from the alley that runs between the annex and the adjoining office buildings and a garage.

  • Echo Energy set to move 100 employees to new downtown headquarters

    Echo Energy set to move 100 employees to new...

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Fri, Jun 29, 2018

    Echo Energy, a northwest Oklahoma City company, is set to move its 100 employees downtown once it builds out the Parkside Building originally built for SandRidge Energy.

  • OKC Central Chat: Oklahoma City manager addresses city's trash and treasure

    OKC Central Chat: Oklahoma City manager...

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Fri, Jun 29, 2018

    OKC Central Chat: Oklahoma City manager addresses city's trash and treasure

  • OKC Central Chat transcript, June 29, 2018 with special guest Jim Couch

    OKC Central Chat transcript, June 29, 2018 with...

    Updated: Fri, Jun 29, 2018

    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 9:30 a.m. and submit your questions about the happenings in and around downtown Oklahoma City. Below is an unedited transcript of the chat.

  • Downtown Digs: Oklahoma City seeks to boost supply of affordable housing

    Downtown Digs: Oklahoma City seeks to boost...

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Thu, Jun 28, 2018

    Downtown Digs: Oklahoma City seeks to boost supply of affordable housing

  • Expansion eyed for garage serving convention center and Omni Hotel in Oklahoma City

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Wed, Jun 27, 2018

    Oklahoma City economic development and public parking officials are looking at the possibility of increasing the number of spaces in a new garage next to the future Omni Hotel from 850 to 1,100 spots.

  • OKC Boulevard vision gaining clarity

    OKC Boulevard vision gaining clarity

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Mon, Jun 25, 2018

    The Oklahoma City Boulevard, once just a sketch of might be possible as the gateway to the Core to Shore area from Bricktown, is now almost a complete vision for the marquee blocks that pass between Scissortail Park, Myriad Gardens, the new convention center, the future Omni Hotel and Chesapeake Energy area. Over the past three weeks the public has been given a better look at the area with a developer being chosen to build its proposed eight-story Boulevard Place, a mix of apartments and retail, immediately east of the 17-story Omni Hotel, which also will include ground-floor restaurants and retail, both of which will be across the street from the Chesapeake Energy Arena.




Steve's OKC Central Today at 6:34 PM Saved by Grace, if they really exist, routinely aggressively panhandle in streets, violating the law. I wish @OKCPDhttps://t.co/TA1tPBGn7m
Steve's OKC Central Today at 5:54 PM RT @MuckRock: Learn more about the two #PrivatePrison companies making millions from #immigration detention - CoreCivic https://t.co/8t8FT7…
Steve's OKC Central Today at 5:39 PM Milhaus did build Lift on the west end of @midtown_okc
Steve's OKC Central Today at 5:38 PM Milhaus competed to build a 20-story apartment tower four years ago to the south of the old Stage Center, but lost… https://t.co/71uzY0mtO8
Steve's OKC Central Today at 4:23 PM @acroom @marekcornett @COOPAleWorks I actually singled out core Norman for praise.
Steve's OKC Central Today at 4:21 PM @AleSharpton @okcthunder @VisitOKC Yeah, I've been doing some online searches and it looks like this may be one of… https://t.co/Vs27cL9taB
Steve's OKC Central Today at 4:18 PM ATTN @VisitOKC when the new COOP brewery at the armory opens, need to book a travel writers trip for those like Ale… https://t.co/QdEBUxs8qo
Steve's OKC Central Today at 4:09 PM Hey @AleSharpton - are you aware of any similar breweries in the country that includes the production floor being o… https://t.co/gMwTmzOLi6
Steve's OKC Central Today at 4:07 PM RT @davidfholt: Construction work is underway at the @amazon fulfillment center that will bring 1,500 new jobs to OKC! https://t.co/RmJGhIW…
Steve's OKC Central Today at 4:07 PM RT @tzeeck: Good news guys, @wix just fixed my website by REMOVING IT FROM THE INTERNET. Where are my twitter attorney friends?
Steve's OKC Central Today at 4:05 PM @gouldie64 Their french onion soup was decent. My old high school friend @JillyAnnie spends a lot of time getting d… https://t.co/SKgTeanyeB
Steve's OKC Central Today at 3:20 PM @marekcornett @COOPAleWorks I love this conversation. But I must ask.... why did you guys insist on killing Applebees?
Steve's OKC Central Today at 2:32 PM RT @OKCPS: It's a hot and humid day and @oncueexpress wants to help you beat the heat while supporting education! Buy an OnCue Express educ…
Steve's OKC Central Today at 2:29 PM My reaction to local, state and national news today. I will spend my evening watching nothing but episodes of Drunk… https://t.co/KXxISWgIF7
Steve's OKC Central Today at 2:23 PM @PJR23 That is something.... I .... wouldn't
Steve's OKC Central Today at 1:58 PM WHAT?!?
Steve's OKC Central Today at 1:36 PM @JustinWingerter Is there any process or discussion that involves the governor removing board control and putting in emergency oversight?
Steve's OKC Central Today at 1:35 PM RT @JustinWingerter: The affidavit alleges Ezell created a fake email address, MaryJame[at]protonmail[dot]com, pretended to be a violent pr…