The Lubbock City Council voted unanimously at Thursday's meeting to create a downtown redevelopment commission. The commission would be 11 people created from downtown businesses who will determine which types of shops and restaurants would draw Lubbockites and tourists back to the downtown area.
Downtown Lubbock use to draw people from all over to shop, eat and spend money, but as the population moved south, the businesses followed. "I can remember as a kid in the 50's and 60's Lubbock was the thing. You would shop eat, it was the hot bed of activity." Don Caldwell, Owner of Cactus Theater and Caldwell Productions has helped develop the area and hopes that someday downtown will be the exciting hub he remembers as a child. "Moving back into the downtown area is something that is happening all over the United States. Using downtown renovation as a huge economic development concept is great because of young executives."
"We need improvement in retail, shopping, and entertainment. We've got the civic center, government headquarters, but how do we tie it together and make it more urban?" City manager Lou Fox is focused on creating a downtown Lubbock can be proud of. "It's time to get going."
Fox says a successful downtown area can bring in $15 to $20 million in revenue every year, but now they just need the backing of the local businesses.
City council will vote on the official committee in the next two weeks, and the first line of business will be to decide if they'll hire a consultant to help research what would make a successful downtown.