Chances are, you drove past one today. Lubbock now has forgotten 'Friends' at just about every other major intersection. The South Plains lost Friend's Convenience Stores last January. The gas stations shut down, and haven't opened since. All of them, nearly a dozen, sit idle. They remain boarded up with food still on the shelves inside.
The stores were owned by descendants of the Horkey oil family, but the owners filed for bankruptcy. So now, the property belongs to the lien holder, CIT lending services out of New Jersey. But sources say that company may be on the brink of bankruptcy itself. We contacted CIT, but they did not call us back.
These are prime corners in the world of realty, and are now reportedly for sale. The city has received several complaints about the properties and has been out to cut weeds, clean up and even board up one of the properties after vandals broke in. The city is billing CIT for those services.
All-Aboard! Those two words haven't been uttered in the Hub City for years, but Lubbock resident Sue Castles is conducting an effort to bring passenger rail service back to the Hub. She's already attracted interest from Amtrak and several politicians including Congressman Randy Neugebauer. The proposed route is called the Caprock Xpress and would extend from Fort Worth, through Lubbock and on to Denver.
Right now, it's in the planning phase. Later this month, on Saturday, October 25th, the Texas Association of Rail Passengers will have its quarterly meeting in Lubbock. There, they plan to begin talks with several reps from Amtrak.