LUBBOCK, Texas – The Lubbock Economic Development Alliance said the city is working to help spark growth in the Lubbock economy by helping revitalize downtown.
John Osborne, President of LEDA, said the downtown area used to be a more thriving area.
“At one point in time it was the happening place to be and then probably around the 1970’s people started changing their spending habits and they started going to malls,” said Osborne, “That spiral downward was really a tough spiral to break.”
Osborne said downtown is already on its way to helping promote a more robust economy including new residencies in the area that are under construction.
“[We have] the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts downtown,” he said. “We also have the South Plains College that’s in the middle of their renovations of their academic center downtown, and that will bring 2,500 students downtown.”
Osborne said although it could take a lot of investment and risk to bring downtown back to its booming times, he said it’s worth it to help the overall economy of Lubbock.
“This is a major recruiting tool students coming to our universities for residents to want to live here, for students when they graduate to want to want to stay here,” said Osborne.
Robert Vitela, co-owner at Giorgio’s Pizza, said he’s excited for the growth downtown.
“We are all for it, them renovating half these buildings and people buying them to renovate buildings and that will help the economy and help us also,” said Vitela.
Vitela said he hopes with the continued growth of the area that the city will consider adding additional parking to the area to encourage new customers to venture downtown.
Mike Nghiem, partner at Dirk’s, a restaurant in downtown Lubbock, said he feels the city is doing a good job at incentivizing new businesses to establish downtown. Nghiem said he hopes more local residents will revisit downtown to see its growth.
“I would say, come downtown and give it a shot, give it a chance,” said Nghiem,”I moved here in 2002 and there wasn’t a lot going on and the landscape has changed. There’s a growing nightlife not just for college students, but young professionals and families as well.”
For information on things to do downtown, click here.