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.

  • Uptown Revival

    Uptown Revival

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

    Redevelopment of several blighted buildings is underway at a key corner in Uptown that is home to the longtime landmark Blue Note Lounge. All the buildings, starting with a filling station at the corner (2400 N Robinson Ave.) to a two-story mix of apartments and storefronts (2418 N Robinson Ave.) were built in 1925 as Uptown was emerging as the northernmost commercial corridor of a growing city. Ian Dean-Duty, an adviser with Adept Commercial Real Estate, brokered two of the three sales and is representing another seller of a commercial building at 129 NW 23. He notes the filing station, a tire shop for years, will greatly contribute to an improvement in the corridor's appearance. “It's an important corner for Uptown

  • OKC Central Live Chat: Endowments, senior wellness centers, state fair arena likely to appear on MAPS 4 ballot

    OKC Central Live Chat: Endowments, senior...

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

    The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer took questions from readers during Friday'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. Here is an edited transcript: Q: When should we expect to see an announcement on what items will be on the MAPS 4 ballot?A: I suspect the ballot will be set for December. If so, history tells us the ballot and resolution needs to be set by the city council by September. Add on at least a couple of months for discussion, and I think we will see something emerge by late spring.

  • OKC Central Chat transcript, January 18, 2019

    OKC Central Chat transcript, January 18, 2019

    Steve Lackmeyer | Updated: 6 days ago

    You can join Steve Lackmeyer most Fridays at 9:30 a.m. to discuss all things Oklahoma City.

  • Locally famous Haunted House restaurant restored as home for boys at a 'hard place in their lives'

    Locally famous Haunted House restaurant...

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Wed, Jan 16, 2019

    Off the beaten path in northeast Oklahoma City, the former Haunted House restaurant has been redesigned as an extension of the Speck Home for Boys.

  • Plans proceed for demolition of OGE data center

    Plans proceed for demolition of OGE data center

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Wed, Jan 16, 2019

    Plans are proceeding for demolition of the OGE Energy data center at SW 5 and E.K. Gaylord, with construction of an 865-space garage set to start on the same block this summer. Cathy O'Connor, director of the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, said Wednesday demolition bids are being sought for the gold-screened data center to get work started as soon as possible. The garage is part of the development of a new convention center to the south, the 17-story, 605-room Omni to the north, and will be wrapped with an eight-story 241-unit apartment building. “OGE has to turn over the property by the end of March,” O'Connor said. “We plan to demolish the gold building in April. That's our goal. The garage is under design, as

  • Tough choices still paying off for Oklahoma City 20 years later

    Tough choices still paying off for Oklahoma...

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Mon, Jan 14, 2019

    Sitting in the audience at the Civic Center Music Hall on Friday, taking in a showing of “The Phantom of the Opera,” there was a moment where I had to pause and remember — this almost didn't happen. A full house. A production complete with pyrotechnics, haze, fog and an incredible chandelier hanging over seating that makes the audience a part of the production. OKC Broadway has brought a level of theater to Oklahoma City that wouldn't have been possible without the original MAPS reconstruction of the Art Deco performance hall. Walk outside, even on a rainy evening like Friday, and the feeling of being in the heart of a vibrant big city makes the experience complete.

  • Ackerman McQueen is relocating to the Monarch Building in Midtown

    Ackerman McQueen is relocating to the Monarch...

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@Oklahoman.com | Updated: Fri, Jan 11, 2019

    Ackerman McQueen, the city's oldest advertising, marketing and media company, is set to leave its home of 30 years at Valiance Tower later this year and will anchor the Monarch Building being built in Midtown. The company also has offices in Dallas, Washington, D.C., and Colorado Springs, Colorado, with 125 of its 190 employees based in Oklahoma City. Lingo Construction is set to move into the first floor of the Monarch when it opens at 1133 N Robinson Ave. later this year, while Ackerman McQueen will move into the second through fourth floors. A building across the street at 33 N Broadway Circle also is being leased by Ackerman McQueen and will be renovated into a sound stage and equipment storage space.

  • Plans submitted for nine-story Automobile Alley hotel

    Plans submitted for nine-story Automobile Alley...

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Fri, Jan 11, 2019

    A Texas developer is moving forward with plans to build a nine-story TownePlace Suites, which, if built, would be among the tallest structures along Automobile Alley. Construction of the hotel along NW 6 just east of Broadway is scheduled to start later this year and coincides with a headquarters, food hall, restaurants and offices all being built along the corridor between Oklahoma Avenue and Broadway. The application by Kriya Hotels to the city's Downtown Design Review Committee shows the 160-room hotel will span 161,764 square feet, and will include a three-story, 140-spot garage between the first and fifth floors.

  • Development continues throughout downtown OKC

    Development continues throughout downtown OKC

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Fri, Jan 11, 2019

    The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer took questions from readers during Friday'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 edited transcript Q: With an office vacancy rate creeping up, and oil hovering at or just below $50, should we expect a slowdown in downtown development over the next couple of years by the private sector? A: Did you know that energy-related employment citywide is less than 5 percent? We no longer live in the 1980s when our fortunes were tied to those of the energy industry.

  • Recap: OKC Central Live Chat with Steve Lackmeyer

    Recap: OKC Central Live Chat with Steve Lackmeyer

    Steve Lackmeyer | Updated: Fri, Jan 11, 2019

    The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer addresses questions from readers.

  • Planning commission approves OnCue zoning request

    Planning commission approves OnCue zoning request

    BY STEVE LACKMEYERBusiness Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Thu, Jan 10, 2019

    The Oklahoma City Planning Commission voted 6-2 Thursday to recommend the Oklahoma City Council approve a rezoning to allow OnCue to build a station at NW 13 and Classen Boulevard after three hours of debate among neighbors and nearby businesses. The station represents OnCue's first effort to expand into the urban core. Janis Powers and Asa Highsmith were the only commissioners to vote “no” on the application, which they said could create traffic entanglements at the already failing intersection that dovetails into Western Avenue.

  • More "Iconic" Development Along Broadway

    Steve Lackmeyer | Updated: Thu, Jan 10, 2019

    Michael Nichols is continuing to transform some of the smaller yet long unsightly properties along Broadway just north of Automobile Alley. his Iconic Construction previously renovated an old garage and credit bureau office into a home for his company at 1621 N Broadway Ave. The latest...

  • Streetcar 'joke' ends with community discussion, improvements

    Streetcar \'joke\' ends with community...

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Mon, Jan 07, 2019

    On New Year's Eve I called the new Oklahoma City streetcars a joke on Twitter and said I was giving up on them. Had I not spent the previous 30 minutes in 17-degree wind chill weather waiting for a streetcar that evening, I might not have been so harsh in my comments about the kiosk at the arena stop, continuously telling myself and a couple dozen other passengers that the wait for the streetcar was only seven minutes. But that seven minutes passed again. And again. And again. And again. If temperatures were in the 60s as they were on Monday, I likely would not have used the word “joke.

  • First glimpse at Automobile Hotel

    First glimpse at Automobile Hotel

    Steve Lackmeyer | Updated: Mon, Jan 07, 2019

    With construction starting on the seven-story headquarters for Heartland along Broadway between NW 5 and NW 6, we now have our first glimpse of the potential design for an eight-story Towneplace Suites planned just east of the office building along NW 6. Sirius Hotels LLC paid $1.24 million to...

  • Potential MAPS 4 projects, but not a new downtown arena, emerging with vote possible next winter

    Potential MAPS 4 projects, but not a new...

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Fri, Jan 04, 2019

    Q: Do you know what the city is going to do with the Cox Convention Center when the new Convention Center opens in 2020?A: The city's ultimate plan is to seek developers for the Cox Convention Center and to look at whether to partially or fully restore the street grid that existed before the convention center was built in 1970. The convention center was never an example of great design or construction, so the idea of tearing it down as it turns 50 years old is no surprise. It's not aged well and the cost of maintaining it will only get worse as time progresses. The question is what to do on a block that once cleared will be very attractive piece of real estate. The hotel market is saturated and Omni has an agreement that

  • OKC Central Chat transcript, January 4, 2019

    OKC Central Chat transcript, January 4, 2019

    Steve Lackmeyer | Updated: Fri, Jan 04, 2019

    You can join Steve most Fridays to chat about all things Oklahoma City.

  • OnCue set to learn urban core neighborhood politics

    OnCue set to learn urban core neighborhood...

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Mon, Dec 31, 2018

    After years of building everywhere in the metro except downtown, OnCue is in the midst of hunting for multiple locations but first must navigate through the unique neighborhood politics that have emerged with a revived urban core. It's easy to understand why OnCue might want the southwest corner of NW 13 and Western, which also opens onto Classen Boulevard and is at a main entry into Midtown and surrounding historic neighborhoods. Classen just north of NW 13 has an average daily traffic count that tops 28,000. Just a couple of years ago, Shyon Keoppel was planning on building a mix of retail and apartments on the corner. But when OnCue came calling, Keoppel scrapped that project and put the property under contract.

  • City to drop Santa Fe station tunnel connection to Bricktown

    City to drop Santa Fe station tunnel connection...

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

    A tunnel connection between downtown's Santa Fe Train Station and Bricktown envisioned for the past 40 years is being dropped from the city's redevelopment of the landmark into a transit hub with a grant deadline looming and construction bids running millions over budget. The city purchased the station at 50 N E.K. Gaylord Blvd. four years ago and has completed all but the last stage of improvements at the property as part of a $28 million conversion into a transit hub. The work, partially funded by a federal TIGER grant, was originally to include a tunnel connection from the station that would have opened up on the Bricktown Canal side of the railroad viaduct.

  • OKC streetcar rides provide data for future decisions

    OKC streetcar rides provide data for future...

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

    You can join Steve Lackmeyer most Fridays at 9:30 a.m. at www.newsok.com to discuss all things Oklahoma City. Q: What's your impression of the streetcar's success after its first few weeks of service? Is there optimism to fund further expansion? A: Last night Mayor David Holt reported that since opening day on Dec. 14 and through Wednesday, the streetcar has hosted 55,760 riders. The experiment with Sunday service, set to continue through January, has also performed strongly, enough so that I'd say City Hall under a new mayor and city manager may very well reconsider their approach to providing consistent Sunday service (right now the plan is only to provide service during Thunder games and major concerts and events).

  • Recap: OKC Central Live Chat with Steve Lackmeyer

    Recap: OKC Central Live Chat with Steve Lackmeyer

    Steve Lackmeyer | Updated: Fri, Dec 28, 2018

    The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer addressed Oklahoma City-related issues with readers Friday.




Steve's OKC Central Today at 7:26 AM @malory Alternative facts? LOL https://t.co/6RNP5hFWkU
Steve's OKC Central Today at 7:19 AM RT @ReporterBlayne: Shout out to the positive energy at the OKC airport (@fly_okc) @TSA checkpoint this AM. A team of very friendly agents…
Steve's OKC Central Today at 7:19 AM RT @OKCadventure: Look Who's coming to OKC's Adventure District 2020! #SeeOKC #MyAdventureRoad https://t.co/OzQOOSnUNj
Steve's OKC Central Today at 4:30 AM RT @JuliaAngwin: So.. Google will prevent ad-blockers other than AdBlockPlus from running in Chrome …https://t.co/yxgxEYaoRd ...One day af…
Steve's OKC Central Today at 1:04 AM RT @GrantHermesKWTV: This is the same @RepFrankLucas who never responds to questions for comment from media in his own state, where he woul…
Steve's OKC Central Wed, Jan. 23 2019 11:36:42 PM CST @BeaMayorca @bpolitics Yeah, I'm only retweeting legit and known news sources.
Steve's OKC Central Wed, Jan. 23 2019 11:22:44 PM CST @kevineaton1 @tzeeck Bad news bud; Roxanne was fired and Joseph, who was supposed to take over her position, has si… https://t.co/u8SLgUdQHo
Steve's OKC Central Wed, Jan. 23 2019 11:21:07 PM CST @BeaMayorca @bpolitics Are you seeing any legit news reports of a plane from Russia entering into Venezuela airspace tonight?
Steve's OKC Central Wed, Jan. 23 2019 11:11:41 PM CST @kevineaton1 @tzeeck The IT guys say this is really a matter to be addressed by human resources. They also suggest… https://t.co/ffYftAOi7R
Steve's OKC Central Wed, Jan. 23 2019 11:01:19 PM CST Operator error Tracey. https://t.co/PrcWWqaRXt
Steve's OKC Central Wed, Jan. 23 2019 11:00:27 PM CST Oh, and here's one more bit of news we all missed last month. Sleep tight kids! Here's why Russian nuclear-capable… https://t.co/ssfmFVvcHQ
Steve's OKC Central Wed, Jan. 23 2019 10:57:14 PM CST ICYMI (last month) Russia may be handing Venezuela a $6 billion lifeline https://t.co/dwkbOyEDfl
Steve's OKC Central Wed, Jan. 23 2019 10:56:24 PM CST Latest: Pompeo says U.S. won't pull diplomats out of Venezuela, Russia attacking U.S. stance, accusing it of backin… https://t.co/DjGw27SUe3
Steve's OKC Central Wed, Jan. 23 2019 10:54:50 PM CST Maduro Squeezed as Trump Recognizes Guaido and Protests Expand (Canada is siding with Trump, Mexico is siding with… https://t.co/PyyTLSUKB6
Steve's OKC Central Wed, Jan. 23 2019 10:53:47 PM CST Venezuela protests turn violent in parts of Caracas https://t.co/pB2bT51gGk via @bpolitics
Steve's OKC Central Wed, Jan. 23 2019 10:52:56 PM CST Break in US-Venezuela relations raises fresh concerns for oil market and OPEC https://t.co/YsO0YXFZbi
Steve's OKC Central Wed, Jan. 23 2019 10:52:11 PM CST Maduro foe claims Venezuela presidency amid protests, Maduro cuts diplomatic ties to U.S. gives Trump 72 hours to p… https://t.co/t7DxQfpoT1
Steve's OKC Central Wed, Jan. 23 2019 10:50:36 PM CST Maduro defiant as Venezuelan opposition leader declares himself acting president @CNN https://t.co/v0tH6qkGoA
Steve's OKC Central Wed, Jan. 23 2019 10:46:10 PM CST If you don't care, gas up your car while the price is under $2 a gallon and tell me if you care in a few weeks.
Steve's OKC Central Wed, Jan. 23 2019 10:44:43 PM CST Hey boys and girls, while you're distracted with kids behaving badly in Washington, D.C., fights over the State of… https://t.co/C5MHY8KE0U