LUBBOCK, TX -- Since about May 2013, streets near the Omni building in downtown Lubbock have been closed, after the City shut them down because of concerns with debris falling from the building.
For Mark Umstot, this has been a problem. He owns a photography studio in less than a block from the Omni. He said originally, when the City went to shut down streets, they almost closed down the street that gives access to his studio.
Thankfully, he said, he and the City were able to work it out, and push the road closing up half a block to give street access to his studio. He said for him, foot traffic isn't the main driver behind his business, but he knows for some of his business neighbors, foot traffic is a big part of business. He said he feels bad for those businesses affected with the street closures who thrive on people being able to walk right in.
"I think the possibility of not having an end time is probably the worst thing about it," Umstot said. "I feel sorry for a lot of my other neighbors who depend on foot traffic, they're not getting it."
In August, the City of Lubbock filed suit against the owners of the Omni, citing code issues and safety issues with the building, and asking it to be taken care of, or removed. In October, lawyers for the Omni filed a response, saying they want proof of what is wrong in the building.
Umstot said he also has not been told when the roads will reopen.