County Commissioners approve development agreement with Lubbock County Expo Center Group

Lubbock County Expo Center developers moving too fast?

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The design process for Lubbock’s planned multi-purpose Expo Center is now underway, after Lubbock County commissioners signed a development agreement with the Lubbock County Expo Board.

Voters approved the Expo Center project just over a year ago. Today’s agreement starts the ball rolling by making it possible to begin the design phase.

“I can't go anywhere without someone asking me, ‘Randy what’s going on with the Expo Center?’ When are you going to start moving dirt?’,” said Randy Jordan, the chairman of the LCEC board. “Today was the first step in that journey and now we can start designs.”

The bond counsel said today Lubbock County can anticipate 33 to 36 million dollars worth of bonds, leaving the non-profit Lubbock County Expo Center organization to pick up the rest of the tab.

“If the county is in at 36 and our costs is say 50 milllion, that’s 14 million. We’re thinking that we need to raise 20 million on the construction and there’s 10 million on the endowment side. If we don’t accomplish that, then all of the work we’ve done for 18 months, it's for naught. So we’ve got to accomplish that,” said Jordan.

Today’s agreement also allows for the on the land on North Loop 289 and University to be the new home of the expo center and the ABC Rodeo.

“In fact, as soon as I walk out of this meeting and interview, I'll be calling my realtor. We’ve got those contracts in place hoping that today would happen, so we’ll be able to put it on that, so we’ll be acquiring that track of land there on the corner of North University and North Loop 289.”

Right now, Jordan says the HOT tax revenues are coming in at 250,000 a month.

He says the goal is to have the whole project completed by April 2022.

“The design and planning of it is going to take 120 days to 6 months, so let’s say we get started December 1st, which is easily done. Six months from there kicks us in. It’s going to take 18 months to construct the project. So, really, from January 1st, we have two years.”

Jordan says fundraising starts now.

In the meantime, County Judge Curtis Parish is looking forward to a nice space.

“Well, multi-purpose means just that. If we were building just a rodeo arena, we would not be going through this. This facility will suit the needs of Lubbock County for the next 50 years and be a first-class facility. I want to build something that the people of Lubbock will be proud of. That they can say this is a crown jewel of what we do in Lubbock.”

Judge Parish says the development agreement helps plan for the future.

“Knowing how big of a facility we have will let us know how much we need to set aside for potential operations."

The next phase is the construction phase and finally, the operations phase.

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