Nestled among the buildings of downtown Lubbock sits an abandoned old hotel. It's been sitting there at Broadway and Avenue K since the 1920's, when it was Lubbock's only skyscraper. It was originally six stories before a five story addition in the 50's and soon, it will take on a new purpose: luxury condominiums called "The Pioneer".
"We're going to restore the exterior of the building to its original as-built condition," said Mike McDougal, President of McDougal Properties.
McDougal says he is not used to this type of project. "This is a brand new venture for us. We're into new construction. You've seen what we've done, a lot of tearing stuff down and rebuilding from scratch, so this is a really different animal for us," McDougal said.
The demolition is the first step in the project. The removal of the building next door will make space for a four level, 100 space, parking garage for the residents and business people who will use the Pioneer building. Soon, the revamping of the hotel will begin turning the 11-story Pioneer into 3-stories of office and ballroom space and 8-stories of luxury condominium space.
"The lobby, we're going to restore that as closely as we can to what it looked like in 1927 and 1929," McDougal said.
Even restoring the 9 foot front desk that's been in storage for decades.
McDougal added, "We really see it as not only a great asset to Lubbock, but as some way to return a little bit and saying we're not just about tearing stuff down and rebuilding new. We're about restoring and about doing something to restore Lubbock."
President of the Chamber of Commerce Eddie McBride said, "We're excited about it. For the business community to have this private investment coming to downtown is just outstanding. I think what ever they do here will generate more opportunities downtown, so I think it'll be a catalyst for future growth."
McDougal went on to say, "If people aren't living downtown, retailers don't want to be down there, restaurants don't want to be down there because at 5 p.m., it becomes a ghost town."
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