LUBBOCK, Texas — Market Lubbock Inc. held a press conference Wednesday, Oct. 25 to talk about 23 businesses that have participated in the organization’s Downtown grant program. Each of the businesses was awarded grants that would help them thrive in downtown Lubbock.

A collective private investment of $30 million dollars was invested into the grants for the various businesses over the past year. The hope is that by improving old or vacant downtown buildings, the businesses, new residences, or restaurants will move in and as a result, bring more people into the downtown area.

For business owners like the superintendent of the Betty M. Condra School, Merinda Condra, the new location and revitalized building have made a huge impact on the school.

“We have a permanent place for our kiddos, and they know that, and they feel that and that’s important for children. They need that stability. They need those roots,” Condra said.

The Condra School moved to their current location at 1502 10th Street last year and Condra said there couldn’t have been a better place for the school to be.

“We felt like that would be the most central place to allow children from all over Lubbock to be able to come to our school,” Condra said.

The new building now has temperature controls that teachers can move based on if the students need more energy or help winding down. It also has new air conditioning and chairs that move with the kids. According to Condra, it couldn’t have happened without the funding.

“We wouldn’t necessarily have had that funding because we would have had to spend it on construction,” Condra said.

John Osborne, the President and CEO of Lubbock Economic Development Alliance, said Condra School’s success story is one of many since these grants were awarded. Other businesses such as a downtown Airbnb, Burrito King and the Historic Cactus Theatre are recipients of the grants as well.

“It’s really exciting to hear their different stories and to understand what has motivated them to be downtown,” Osborne said. “There are people that are inspired to be downtown. They see the opportunity. They see the vision.”

Osborne said he hopes to see more people coming into downtown Lubbock whether that be to live, work or simply hang out.

“We’re still seeing a lot of buildup and momentum and a lot of just general excitement about being downtown,” Condra said.