South Overton residents express concerns over proposed student housing complex

Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 7:21 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The possibility of a new student housing apartment complex being built in a central Lubbock neighborhood is raising concerns for some residents in the area.

The South Overton area lies between Broadway and 19th Street in between University Avenue and Avenue Q. Although residents there have seen their fair share of commercial real estate go up over the years, many say a new student housing apartment complex is less than ideal.

“I think a paramount concern is the privacy for those neighbors who will be just adjacent, once you get up two or three stories you are obviously going to be able to see in people’s backyards,” Tonja Hagy-Valdine, a South Overton resident, said.

Privacy concerns aside, Hagy-Valdine says the new complex would also bring seven hundred more people and vehicles into a neighborhood that already struggles with high traffic on narrow roadways.

“In the four years I have lived here, we have witnessed six really severe accidents on Avenue X between 16th and 19th. A gentleman who lives on the corner of 18th and Avenue X has had his front porch driven into twice,” said Hagy-Valdine.

Being so close to campus, the residents in South Overton understand an influx of bodies and traffic during the semester. However, Hagy-Valdine says the potential influx of seven hundred more students leaves the residents concerned for their property.

“We had an instance several months back where an inebriated Tech student ripped our glass storm door completely off the frame of the house in a drunken rage,” Hagy-Valdine said.

These concerns were presented to Ken Abraham, the owner of the homes that will be demolished to develop the complex. In a statement released to KCBD, Abraham stated that the plans for this complex are sound and will contribute to a more vibrant and prosperous neighborhood.

Ken Abraham's statement on the new development
Ken Abraham's statement on the new development(KCBD)

However, South Overton residents disagree.

“We are not expendable; there are very real, very wonderful, very diverse people living in this neighborhood who deserve to have the same lifestyle that every other neighborhood in central, west, and south west Lubbock enjoys,” said Hagy-Valdine.

The fate of the complex will go before the zoning and planning commission on Thursday evening at 6 p.m.