Update on Downtown Lubbock Park, which when finished, should help downtown’s ongoing comeback

Downtown Lubbock Park, artist rendering

Image from downtownlbk.us

Decades back, downtown Lubbock was the place to be with department stores Hemphill-Wells and Dunlap’s and movie theaters the Lindsey and Clifton.

Ongoing efforts to bring downtown back to its glory years hope to get a boost from the Downtown Lubbock Park at Broadway and Avenue L.

Western Bank, Cotton Court, Citizens Tower, the Pioneer Hotel, the West Table and Nicolett restaurants, Brewery LBK and more have opened downtown following redevelopment efforts.

But there are still plenty of empty shops and dark windows in the area.

Turning the patch of dirt at Broadway and Avenue L into the park will help after organizers finish raising $12.4 million.

“We’ve raised 53 percent of our total goal,” said Brad Moran, fundraising chairman for the park. “We raised a little over $1 million last year for the park.”

One of Moran’s cheerleaders is Chuck Colbert, owner of Colbert’s General Store in the Metro Tower building.

“A huge impact,” is how Colbert described the park. “It would be great for the businesses, and it would bring more businesses in.”

Colbert said similar parks made a big difference in other Texas cities.

Looking ahead

The park is privately funded and there will be opportunities to rent space for birthday parties, company get-togethers or other private events.

Moran said, “There’ll be a dedicated staff built in to run this park.”

“It’s going to be programmed. So, think of it as a building. It’s got events going on in it all the time there. There just is not a roof structure over it,” Moran said.

Evening concerts will be on the list as well.

Park features include:

  • Covered stage
  • Public restrooms
  • On-site security
  • Pet relief area
  • Shade area
  • Splash pad
  • Food truck court
  • Public art corner
  • Game zone for outdoor activities

Composite Slideshow: Some images of the park location from LubbockLights.com and some images from artist renderings on downtownlbk.us

The timeline

“We would love to be under construction by the end of this year. To have our funds raised would be our goal, so that we could have this park constructed. We think it’ll probably take inside of a year to get that done,” Moran said.

The park’s website said the original timeline was to open in late 2024. But there’s still work to be done.

“We don’t really see an advantage in doing it in stages. And we want to come out complete,” Moran said.

A little more than $6 million has been raised. There’s a little less than $6 million more to go.

“We have applied for numerous grants, and … we’ve had some local foundation support. We’re out pursuing statewide efforts right now,” Moran said.

COVID was not much of an issue, Moran said. Neither was inflation.

Click here for the park webpage, including information for donating.

Will it work?

The park is not up and running yet, but it’s already had an impact.

Moran said, “There’s a group that’s working on turning one of the buildings adjacent to the park into a downtown entertainment restaurant environment, and the reason that it’s coming together is because the park will be right across the street.”

“We’re happy to have that because we’ll both benefit each other,” Moran said.

Cameron West owns The West Table, Dirk’s and Brewery LBK – all within walking distance of the park.

“I think it will really help everybody … It’s really just another nice amenity to downtown that’s going to keep it moving in the right direction.” West said. “There’s been some resurgence in office spaces as well.”

Citizens Tower (Lubbock’s new city hall) is only about a block away from the park. It too had an impact already.

Moran said, “You see the success of restaurants like the West Table and the Pioneer Hotel that’s right above it and the LBK Brewery.”

“The McDougal building being fuller than it’s ever been – it’s really shocking,” Moran said. “The Metro Tower was at 90-something percent occupancy the last time I got a report.”

In addition to the general store, Colbert said he has 69 “tax credit” units for low-income housing in the Metro Tower. Twenty more are just regular housing units and 10 are suites on the top two floors.

The park will be a big deal for Colbert’s store.

“Those people are gonna need clear purses to take into the venue. They’re gonna need water afterwards,” Colbert said. “Just anything you’d see at a park.”

He thinks it’ll be an opportunity to sell ice cream, hot dogs, sunscreen, pet goods, frisbees and picnic items. He’s already getting some traffic from other nearby venues.

“People going to the Buddy Holly Center or the Civic Center, they’ll come by here and grab something on the way there or on the way back,” Colbert said.

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Author: James Clark- James Clark is the associate editor of Lubbock Lights. He worked in radio, television and digital media for a combined total of more than 30 years. He was Director of Digital News Content at KAMC, KLBK and EverythingLubbock.com for nearly 10 years.