10 December 2002
Where all the lights are bright
Downtown Oklahoma City, once the sun set, used to do a passable impression of a mausoleum: the offices would empty out, and nothing remained but concrete.
The redevelopment in Bricktown, across the Santa Fe tracks just east of downtown, has brought actual nightlife to the area. And the new Oklahoma City Museum of Art, about a mile west of Bricktown, is anchoring a nascent downtown arts district. However, almost everyone coming to Bricktown or the OCMA has come from a fair distance across town: there are private residences on the edge of downtown, but not many.
In an effort to reduce that "fair distance", the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority is planning 300 residential and retail units in something called "Legacy Summit at Arts Center", a few blocks north of the Museum. It's not quite as close to Bricktown as the row of renovated lofts on Broadway, but the city fathers have an abiding faith in "If you build it, they will come." Only recently has that faith begun to pay off; still, as the success of Bricktown attests, it is paying off.