Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) planned to move their location from the downtown federal building to North Lubbock, but concerns from the city and businesses stalled it.
The case was originally passed through the Planning and Zoning Commission in May, passing 3-2. However, when the case went to city council, the commission advised against the case. City council failed to pass the motion for the move to the Jarvis Street location.
“The proposed specific use would have a negative impact on the adjacent properties. The level of security would be much higher than what is existing in nearby areas,” said a representative from planning and zoning.
Nearby businesses were concerned with the safety in the area if the processing center moved there.
“After we met the owners of the building, they assured us there wouldn’t be detainees stuck overnight,” said Jimmy Pharr, vice president of Pharr and Co.
“This is an office space. That’s really all it is. There are no jail cells. This is a processing location. Nobody is held here overnight,” said Cody Cowin, with GWB Real Estate, the company that owns the property.
Until they put safety measures in writing, Pharr said he will not be approve of the move.
“If they will put that in writing – no detainees spending the night ever – that will take care of that,” he said.
Cowin said this facility would increase law enforcement presence in the area, as well as help with the area’s revitalization.
In the midst of tension at the border, some citizens worry if expanding the office space for ICE is the right move.
“Until we get that sorted out, we need to make sure Lubbock is being as hospitable to everybody as possible,” said Danielle Delisle, who opposes this office relocation.
GWB Real Estate submitted a second application on June 28, according to the Planning and Zoning Commission. They will present a recommendation on their case during the August 2 meeting.