Lubbock's North Overton facelift is the largest urban redevelopment project in the country. It's 15 months ahead of schedule, and the major demolition phase is going strong. While the construction has been a headache to many in the area, the end is in sight.
Delbert McDougal announced the Overton undertaking in September of 1999. In the next two years, they developed a master plan and began purchasing the property. In March of 2002, the demolition phase started.
Then in July, construction started on the first apartment complex. In early 2003, they expect the demolition phase to be complete, and the single family house construction to begin. The apartment complex is scheduled to take tenants in May, and the entire project should wrap up with in five years.
So, what does it look like now? Well, the change in this area is already obvious. There are a number of empty lots, boarded up houses, and construction on one of the new apartment complexes has already begun. In the end, the goal is to revitalize the heart of Lubbock, allowing the downtown area to grow and prosper once again.
"If you look at the whole project, we're about 85% purchased, and we're about 15 months ahead of schedule, and we'll be starting on our single family phase very early next year," said Delbert McDougal, President and CEO of McDougal Properties.
Delbert McDougal says the demolition phase is in full swing, clearing out the houses, and businesses block by block. The master plan includes a four star hotel, more than 400 houses, apartments, and at least two parking garages near Texas Tech.
"We think the project including all of the housing will be built out in a five year time period. The housing on the frontage of University, you're looking about 18 months," said McDougal.
No matter how long the project takes, people are already wanting a piece of the project.
"We've got about 60 names of people that are interested once we get to that point, as far as the single family housing is concerned. I think there is a very large interest because of the activity downtown, Texas Tech," McDougal said.
One of names on the list is Lubbock resident Paul Thompson.
"I think it's a great idea. Obviously, it's going to improve the property values in Lubbock, and I think it will absolutely help recruit the students to come to Texas Tech, draw people to downtown, may even revitalize downtown. So, I think it's a great project for Lubbock, a great project for Texas Tech, and I want to be a part of it," said Paul Thompson.
Texas Tech is hoping their restaurant and hotel management department can work with the hotel but so far no official deal has been made. Delbert McDougal says he of course wants to work with Texas Tech any way he can.
If you're interested in living in the new Overton area, you can call (806) 797-3162 to get your name on the list.