Historic NTS Tower getting $20 million face lift, adding apartments

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — The historic NTS Tower in downtown Lubbock is going to be re-developed into the Metro Tower Lofts by new owners, MRE Capital and its partner, Austin-based Structure Development.

This will renovate the tallest building in Lubbock and add more residential units to the area. 

Located at 1220 Broadway, the tower will hold 89 residential housing units with a mix of efficiency, one and two-bedroom lofts for lease.

“NTS is actually gonna remain on floors two and three with their servers, they will remain tenants in the building, and then floors four through 18 will be apartments,” said Alison Blalock with WestMark Commercial/TCN Worldwide Real Estate. 

NTS will use the second and third floor for its servers and will continue to use the roof for its communications equipment, she said.

“I am very pleased to hear the news of the NTS Building project receiving funding from the TDHCA,” said Mayor Dan Pope. “Breathing new life into a 1950s building will be catalytic for downtown. The prospect of updating the affordable housing available for rent in downtown Lubbock will provide fuel to our redevelopment efforts.”

The 274-foot high tower was originally called the Great Plains Life Building when it was completed in 1955, according to a statement. Now, it’s getting a $20 million face-lift. 

Damage from the Lubbock tornado of 1970 has kept the building from reaching its full potential. In recent years, the fire marshal made 13 floors off limits because it could no longer meet fire code for access and fire suppression, Blalock said.

Construction on the building will begin this fall and will last until fall of 2021. 

However, there won’t be too much of a change, as historic aspects of the building will be kept, Blalock said.

“We’re going to keep as many historic features of the property as we can, the first floor will remain very similar to the way that you see it right now,” Blalock said.

MRE Capital has completed 18 residential developments across the Midwest and five in Texas, including Conrad Lofts in Plainview, Blalock said.

Historical tax credits and housing tax credits will be used to finance this project. 

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