LUBBOCK, TX -- The City of Lubbock owning the Omni Building may not be too far off. At next Thursday's city council meeting, the Lubbock City Council will consider a contract that will give them 90 days to check out the Omni Building downtown and potentially purchase it.
"This way, we can at least get somebody in there, get the good information, find out all the hard facts, and I think we can make good decisions from there," Mayor Glen Robertson said.
The Omni Building has been a big topic at city council meetings recently, after some downtown business owners asked for the streets to be reopened.
Now, the City Council may be purchasing it, but not definitely. The contract the council will vote on next week will give them the ability to take 90 days, check out the building, do feasibility studies, and then decide if they want to go ahead with a purchase.
Mayor Robertson mentioned Thursday that some potential uses for the city would be a new police department, or a place for city offices, which could get some of those departments out of leased buildings.
"Find out, is the structure safe and sound? If it is, what would it cost us to re-purpose that building for several different uses. Find out what it would cost to tear it down," Mayor Robertson said.
The contract lists that the purchase price is $1,250,000, but Mayor Robertson said that it would likely cost more than that as there would be additional costs.
"I will tell you, this isn't the end, but rather another beginning," Councilman Victor Hernandez said.
Mayor Robertson said there is no guarantee on exactly what the council will do. "We're going into it with an open mind, there's not a preconceived idea that we're going to get this building in contract and purchase it regardless, we're going to use the feasibility period to get good facts, and if it warrants closing on the property and actually purchasing it, then we will," Mayor Robertson said. "But if the information comes back that the best thing we can do is walk away from it, and let it go through the courts, than we'll do that."
"The downtown area in any city is critical in my view, in order to show that the city is vibrant, is growing, and that there's a commitment by the city to help foster economic development in the downtown area," Hernandez said.
The Council takes the vote on the item Thursday, July 10th, during their city council meeting, which starts at 5:15 p.m.