Lubbock City Council to Explore Options with Omni Building

Published 07/10 2014 10:41PM

Updated 07/10 2014 10:56PM

By Monica Yantosh

LUBBOCK, TX -- Thursday, the Lubbock City Council voted to accept a contract that will give them 90 days to check out the Omni Building, see if it may be a building they can use, and then have the option to purchase it.

The Omni Building has been vacant for years, and was an issue for the last few after debris started to fall from it, causing the streets to need to be closed nearby.

Now, the City Council voted unanimously to accept a contract, and use a 90 day period to conduct a feasibility study to see how they may be able to use the building. This contract would also give them the option to purchase the building if they felt they could use it.

This contract, however, does not mean that the city has purchased the Omni, just that it's a possibility.

"I'm excited, the council's moving forward, we're showing leadership in the downtown area, I think it's beneficial not only for downtown redevelopment, but for the entire city, and so I'm ecstatic, so push forward," Councilman Victor Hernandez said.

Already, there has been talk about the possibility that the building could become the new police department.

"If we could do it in that building for half the cost of going out and building a new one, that'd be great for the taxpayers, that'd be great for downtown,  I don't know if that can be done," Mayor Glen Robertson said.

"The only concern I've got there especially for PD is how long they would be able to use that facility before they outgrew it. In a sense, for the short term, money wise, that might be the best route, but long term, money wise, there's a downside to it," Councilman Hernandez said.

The 90 day feasibility study will be done to allow the city to see if they could re-do the building, or if they would need to instead have to demolish it and use the land and rebuild there.

The city would also have the option to walk away from the property and contract, or assign the contract to a private investor.

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