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Live at 6:30 p.m. - panel discussion with David Wanzer, Allison Bailey and Nathaniel Harding

The rebuilding of downtown Oklahoma City is far from being complete. But as I visit with readers and civic leaders, the question does pop up - how can we draw from the lessons of the past 20 years and apply them to other aging areas of our city?

Can Oklahoma City look at all that has been accomplished in the urban core and select tactics that might improve other suffering areas of town? What can we do to improve the Will Rogers Courts/Rotary Park area in south Oklahoma City? How can we tap into the great vintage architecture, stable ownership and tenancy along the 3000 block of N Pennsylvania Ave. and create the sort of wonderful corridor we've seen emerge along the Plaza District on NW 16? Can we create great places and great corridors in areas like Hefner and Western, SW 45 and Western Ave., NE 36 and Kelley, and NW 10 and MacArthur?

I don't have the answers. But tonight I will be giving members of the Urban Land Institute a tour of The Oklahoman's new digs at 100 W Main. They requested the tour. I extorted them into giving something in exchange - their own experience, expertise and ideas.

The Central Oklahoma Chapter of the ULI is a who's-who in the banking, real estate, development and planning community in Oklahoma City. The tour is closed to the public. But at 6:30 p.m., we will gather in the NewsOK studio and I will be joined by retail specialist Allison Barta Bailey, developer David Wanzer and MAPS 3 streetcar subcommittee chair Nathaniel Harding.

These three, and many more in attendance, represent the most promising up-and-coming civic leaders - folks I believe will be involved in shaping Oklahoma City for years to come.

The panel will be broadcast live on NewsOK, and also will be aired on The Oklahoman's large outdoor screen at Robinson and Sheridan Avenues (across from the Myriad Gardens).

Got questions you want me to ask? Email them to me before 4 p.m. and they may get included in the discussion. I hope this discussion will be the start of an ongoing discussion, and not just a one time event.

Steve Lackmeyer

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... Read more ›