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.

  • Dueling developments proposed

    Dueling developments proposed

    By Steve Lackmeyer
    Business writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com |
    Updated: 13 hours ago

    A prominent triangular-shaped block that previously was envisioned for a new Greater Oklahoma Chamber headquarters and then a 17-story residential tower is once again being bid on by two competing developers pitching very different visions. The property itself is unique in that it is divided with the west half facing NW 4 Street and E.K. Gaylord Boulevard, owned by the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, and the east half backing up to the BNSF Railway viaduct privately owned by Jonathan Russell and Mark Ruffin. The Bomasada Group, which previously built the 329-unit Metropolitan Apartments at 800 N Oklahoma Ave., is proposing a six-story, 300-unit apartment building for the entire block.

  • Recap: OKC Central Chat with Steve Lackmeyer

    Recap: OKC Central Chat with Steve Lackmeyer

    Steve Lackmeyer | Updated: 3 days ago

    The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer answered questions from readers Friday.

  • Preliminary plans approved for 1,100-space garage

    Preliminary plans approved for 1,100-space garage

    By Steve Lackmeyer
    Business writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com |
    Updated: 3 days ago

    Preliminary plans for an 1,100-space garage that is key to development of the convention center, Omni Hotel and a mix of housing and retail won approval Thursday by a review committee with the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority. The plans, at 60 percent completion by TAP Architecture, come in at an estimated cost of almost $28 million. Construction bids are expected to go out this summer, with a completion date set for autumn 2020. No decisions on colors, lighting and other materials have been finalized. But the plans do include using public art to be a part of the exterior aesthetics adding dimension and style using 4-inch-square colored glass tiles.

  • Demolition set on former OGE data center

    Demolition set on former OGE data center

    By Steve Lackmeyer
    Business writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com |
    Updated: 4 days ago

    The former OGE Energy data center downtown is set to be razed within weeks with construction to start this summer on an 1,100-space parking garage that will be wrapped with an eight-story mix of housing and retail. The Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority on Wednesday approved a $441,000 bid by Midwest Wrecking for the demolition, which is expected to last two months. Urban Renewal director Cathy O’Connor said site must be cleared soon to allow construction to start this summer on the garage. The demolition will reveal the surviving facades of decades-old brick buildings that were covered with the gold-colored façade that has been seen as a less than an attractive first view of downtown for those traveling north along

  • Renovation set for former Cain's Coffee building

    Renovation set for former Cain\'s Coffee building

    By Steve Lackmeyer
    Business writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com |
    Updated: 5 days ago

    A full renovation is starting up on the one-time downtown home of Cain’s Coffee with plans including conversion of the upper floors into offices and hopes of attracting a ground-floor restaurant. Tenants will include HGL Construction, which bought the five-story, 50,000-square-foot building at 1 NW 12 in 2016. In the early 1990s, the building was abandoned and blighted and threatened with demolition. The building underwent some repairs by prior owner Stan Engle, who used it for his Christian nonprofit, The Lifehouse, until he sold it to HGL Construction for $3.3 million. Renovation of the 100-year-old building will allow it to be fully occupied for the first time in a half-century.

  • City council delays vote on First Christian Church designation

    City council delays vote on First Christian...

    By Steve Lackmeyer
    Business writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com |
    Updated: 5 days ago

    Representatives of First Christian Church promised Tuesday they have no plans to tear down the architectural landmark and do not have any pending deals with buyers that could lead to demolition in the immediate future. Those promises by church board chairman Steve Felton, were made as the Oklahoma City Council debated starting the process to designate historic landmark status to the property at NW 36 and Walker Avenue. If such a vote had been held Tuesday, no demolition or changes could occur at the property for up to 180 days and a final vote would restrict any changes to those approved by the city’s Historic Preservation Commission. Instead, the city council voted to defer a vote until April 9.

  • Attorney: First Christian not under contract with any buyer

    Attorney: First Christian not under contract...

    By Steve Lackmeyer
    Business writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com |
    Updated: 6 days ago

    David Box, one of the city’s leading real estate attorneys, is going to fight an effort by Ward 2 City Councilman Ed Shadid to rezone the First Christian Church as a historic landmark by saying such an effort could complicate efforts to sell the building to a buyer who might want to see it preserved. First Christian Church, at NW 36 and Walker Avenue, is a prominent example of mid-century architecture with its dome resembling a white egg and curved glass facade and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The church was placed on Preservation Oklahoma’s list of endangered places in 2017 when it was put up for sale and again this year as worries heightened it might be razed by a buyer seeking to develop the

  • Bricktown festivities continue as parades find new homes

    Bricktown festivities continue as parades find...

    Steve Lackmeyer | Updated: 6 days ago

    O’Brien’s, a decidedly Irish bar, has long disappeared from Bricktown, but for more than 25 years the district has hosted celebrations that included an annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. This year, however, the “O’City St. Patrick’s Day Parade” is moving to Midtown, following the move last month of another tradition, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade. Some might assume such moves reflect a gravitation to Midtown and away from Bricktown, where O’Brien’s and the late Jim Brewer made Bricktown the place to celebrate the holiday. The changes, however, reflect the growth of both areas and the greater downtown area stretching from Classen Boulevard to Interstate 235.

  • Two Midtown properties under redevelopment

    Two Midtown properties under redevelopment

    By Steve Lackmeyer
    Business writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com |
    Updated: Mon, Mar 11, 2019

    Shyon Keoppel, the developer who scrapped an apartment project at NW 13 and Western, is set to use the proceeds from selling the corner to OnCue to redevelop two decades-old Midtown properties into a hotel and a bar and marijuana dispensary. Both buildings are longtime eyesores that have been surrounded by redevelopment. The Shay, a 25-room boutique hotel with a restaurant, bar, coffee shop and pool, will be constructed out of a 1963 apartment building at 516 NW 8. The property is immediately east of a modern home Keoppel built last year. “I’ve always had my eye on it,” Keoppel said. “It has good bones. It fits. It’s in a good location next to St. Anthony Hospital.

  • The fate of First Christian Church led this week's OKC Central live chat

    The fate of First Christian Church led this...

    Updated: Sat, Mar 09, 2019

    The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer took questions from readers during Friday's OKC Central Live Chat. You can join Steve's Q&As 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: I saw a pretty sizable crowd at the "Save the Egg" rally at the First Christian Church earlier this week. Has there been any news this week on its future? Here is what I can share at this moment. Opposition is building to any effort by a buyer to tear down the Mid-Century landmark. It is iconic, and it represents multiple historic moments for our city. Ward 2 councilman Ed Shadid is set to seek historic landmark status to at least slow down any

  • OKC Central Chat with Steve Lackmeyer

    OKC Central Chat with Steve Lackmeyer

    Steve Lackmeyer | Updated: Fri, Mar 08, 2019

    The live chat kicks off at 9:30 a.m. but feel free to submit questions now!

  • Oklahoma's most endangered places

    Oklahoma\'s most endangered places

    By Steve Lackmeyer
    Business writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com |
    Updated: Tue, Mar 05, 2019

    Preservation Oklahoma on Monday released its updated list of Oklahoma’s Most Endangered Places. The following seven buildings made the list: ● Brookshire Motel, Tulsa: The Brookshire Motel is a shining example of the roadside motels popular along Route 66, built in the 1940s, during the Mother Road’s early heyday. Brookshire Motel recently caught fire in February, burning the main building, but leaving the cottages and neon sign. It is currently under threat of being demolished if repairs are not made. ● VFW #2270, Enid: The VFW #2270 lodge in Enid was designed by local architect, Tom Rogers, who was a student of Bruce Goff's at OU then returned to his hometown and ultimately designed some of Enid's most distinctive

  • Oklahoma City landmarks listed among most endangered

    Oklahoma City landmarks listed among most...

    Updated: Tue, Mar 05, 2019

    Two Oklahoma City landmarks worth worrying about are on the latest listing of Oklahoma’s Most Endangered Places and might just benefit from the extra attention given by the folks at Preservation Oklahoma. Preservation Oklahoma is a non-profit that every year announces its list of Most Endangered Places with hope that public discussion of threatened landmarks throughout the state might attract the right suitor to bring them back to life. Locally, two properties are of concern and are not so far gone that their fate is sealed.

  • Third phase of development underway at the former Mercedes dealership

    Third phase of development underway at the...

    By Steve Lackmeyer
    Business writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com |
    Updated: Sat, Mar 02, 2019

    The Midtown Renaissance Group led by Bob Howard is moving forward with a third phase of redevelopment of the former Mercedes of Oklahoma City dealership along Automobile Alley. The dealership relocated to Broadway Extension just south of Edmond last year, and interior demolition began last month on the main building, which will be transformed into offices for Hogan/Taylor, an accounting and audit firm currently in north Oklahoma City. Renovations, meanwhile, are wrapping up on the former “Classics Garage” that was a part of the dealership and will soon be home to an energy firm moving from a couple blocks west in Midtown.

  • MAPS 4 possibilities led this week's OKC Central live chat

    MAPS 4 possibilities led this week\'s OKC...

    Updated: Sat, Mar 02, 2019

    The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer took questions from readers during Friday's OKC Central Live Chat. You can join Steve's Q&As 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: Can you explain the concept behind the MAPS 4 endowment? It sounds like a great idea, but I am unfamiliar its intent and how it could possibly function. OK, here's how an endowment works. Let's say you get $100 million set up into an endowment. That $100 million endowment is managed by a foundation tasked with investing it and growing it. It's the interest and earnings off that $100 million that is then provided to non-profit recipients.

  • OKC Central Chat transcript, March 1, 2019

    OKC Central Chat transcript, March 1, 2019

    Steve Lackmeyer | Updated: Fri, Mar 01, 2019

    The chat kicks off at 9:30 a.m. but feel free to submit questions now!

  • 10,000-seat OKC soccer stadium proposed for MAPS 4

    10,000-seat OKC soccer stadium proposed for MAPS 4

    By Steve Lackmeyer
    Business writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com |
    Updated: Fri, Mar 01, 2019

    A 10,000-seat multi-purpose arena is being pitched to be part of a MAPS 4 ballot, with backers including the owners of the Energy FC. The proposal was submitted Thursday to Mayor David Holt and suggests the stadium would be built in the downtown area with an estimated cost of $65 million to $80 million for construction and $6 million to $12 million for site acquisition.

  • Hotels canceled, others put on hold as development stalls in Bricktown

    Hotels canceled, others put on hold as...

    By Steve Lackmeyer
    Business writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com |
    Updated: Thu, Feb 28, 2019

    Three of several planned hotels in Bricktown are “officially dead,” while others are postponed and just one is set to move forward “soon.” Bricktown and the immediate surrounding area has seen a hotel building spree with nine of 10 hotels opening in the past decade. That spree has ended. Champ Patel, owner of Champion Hotels, has a for sale sign posted at the 4.8-acre property at 100 Charlie Christian Ave. Patel and partner Fred Mazaheri purchased the site for $8 million in 2015. They cleared the land with plans to build three hotels, including a nine-story 147-room Canopy by Hilton. Other hotels were to include a La Quinta and Cambria hotel.

  • Plans approved for first OnCue location in OKC urban core

    Plans approved for first OnCue location in OKC...

    By Steve Lackmeyer
    Business writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com |
    Updated: Wed, Feb 27, 2019

    Plans for the first urban core OnCue won final city council approval Tuesday after overcoming protests from some area residents that the chain is a poor fit with surrounding historic neighborhoods. Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid cast the only “no” vote after unsuccessfully attempting to convince fellow council members and OnCue’s attorney David Box to amend the zoning application to eliminate a drive-thru on the west side of the station.

  • Debate over Midtown tower is about far more than design

    Debate over Midtown tower is about far more...

    Updated: Tue, Feb 26, 2019

    Architect Rand Elliott and developer Marva Ellard may be among the most recognizable people in the urban core when it comes to showing up at design review meetings to protest projects needing approval to proceed. Elliott’s most recent objections were against designs for the Broadway Park building now being built at NW 11 and Broadway and to the recently completed addition to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation at NW 9 and Broadway. In both cases, the project architects were forced to go through one revision after another as those on the design committee were swayed by Elliott's numerous arguments.




Steve's OKC Central Today at 2:23 PM RT @OKCPD: This man was involved in 3 business robberies in SW OKC between 6:30-7:15a.m today. He's considered armed & dangerous so please…
Steve's OKC Central Today at 2:08 PM RT @douglassorocco: Don’t. Miss. This. We have only a handful of tickets left to this very exclusive evening March 28th with Graham Colton…
Steve's OKC Central Today at 1:48 PM RT @okczoo: Take in the view of these baby blues 💙 The Zoo's Cub Cam is back and available to stream now on https://t.co/h5qb8UKMdK! #okczo…
Steve's OKC Central Today at 7:47 AM RT @myriadgardens: Wowee! The Myriad Gardens turns 31 on Monday, March 25. 🎂We'll offer free admission from 9am-5pm. Here's a brief history…
Steve's OKC Central Today at 7:16 AM RT @MarilynMead: Is Rick Sanchez Cracker Barrel’s new creative director? #CrackerBarrel #RickandMorty #ComeOnHome https://t.co/kz0VU6xmYQ
Steve's OKC Central Today at 7:15 AM RT @NewsOK: Just nine weeks into his first term, @GovStitt has become the most powerful governor in modern state history https://t.co/YlhYw…
Steve's OKC Central Today at 7:14 AM RT @LaceySwope: Another sunny mild day! Rain chances go up tomorrow afternoon in the NW and will ramp up in OKC tomorrow night. Rain totals…
Steve's OKC Central Today at 7:13 AM RT @jackmoney48: 'A good sign.' Dueling developments proposed (Exclusive, by @stevelackmeyer) https://t.co/NjduYH4J1a via @newsok
Steve's OKC Central Today at 7:01 AM RT @KenRoth: Interpol issues red notices for 20 suspects in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, including a top adviser to the Saudi crown princ…
Steve's OKC Central Today at 6:59 AM RT @SherylNYT: SCOOP from @markmazzettinyt @nytben: Prince MBS of Saudi Arabia authorized a secret campaign to kill dissenters & built a sp…
Steve's OKC Central Today at 6:59 AM RT @NWSNorman: Get out, if possible, tomorrow and enjoy another spring-like day across Oklahoma and western north Texas. #okwx #texomawx ht…
Steve's OKC Central Today at 6:54 AM RT @dongho_chang: Wow, this is nice bike parking @BrockRides https://t.co/tkFQx3srpv
Steve's OKC Central Today at 6:53 AM RT @BBCWorld: Dead Philippines whale had 40kg of plastic in stomach https://t.co/2GaQu4WDNI
Steve's OKC Central Today at 6:53 AM RT @paul__armstrong: Amazon Primed: Warren Goes To War, Amazon Caves, 50% Prime Penetration In 2020 #amazon #strategy https://t.co/RXkqmgn…
Steve's OKC Central Today at 6:50 AM RT @BBCWorld: Cyclone Idai: 'Massive and horrifying damage' in Mozambique https://t.co/FpOtmiEEhV
Steve's OKC Central Today at 6:49 AM RT @USATODAY: At least two deaths were blamed on flooding, and two other men have been missing for days. https://t.co/hSb53JZzLb
Steve's OKC Central Today at 6:45 AM RT @nelson_aj: Missouri River spills into Hamburg, Iowa, other cities; more rain could be on the way https://t.co/MQaB7e0xAU
Steve's OKC Central Today at 6:43 AM RT @USATODAYmoney: His iPhone showed a call from his daughter, but the voice screamed demands for cash and threatened violence. The FBI cal…
Steve's OKC Central Today at 6:38 AM RT @rebeccaballhaus: The Department of Transportation is investigating the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval of Boeing Co.’s 737 M…
Steve's OKC Central Sun, Mar. 17 2019 11:35:10 PM CST Yes. This. Every damn day. https://t.co/qXhhh1h0rz