A proposed high-rise building in the historically designated South Overton neighborhood was recently voted down.  The seven-story complex would have housed 707 beds and 529 parking spaces. Many Lubbockites didn't want it for various reasons.

It would have been quite dense for the area and, to put it lightly, the planned design wouldn't have meshed with the area's architecture. Or as one person said, "It's not quite East German surplus housing." The disparity between beds and parking spaces raised eyebrows since Lubbock is very much a city where people drive, and an increase in street parking could have caused congestion. Additionally, residents of the neighborhood seemed to prefer the mix of students and families and didn't want to see that part of the neighborhood engulfed by one massive structure.

But Texas Tech's student body grows every year and there is a need for affordable and convenient student housing. Where should it go and what should it look like? I think the answer is very simple: Downtown. It should be there and it should maintain the current aesthetic.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Walking from Downtown Lubbock to Tech would be quite a trek, but the addition of a dedicated bus route could solve that problem easily, as it already does for students who live in the Tech Terrace area and by the West Loop. Bike lanes already exist and could be expanded to suit the needs of more students there.

We all want a vibrant and culturally rich Downtown, and this seems like an incredibly obvious solution. With more people living downtown, and perhaps even occupying a quirky and lovely building that already exists there, more Downtown businesses would be frequented, more would choose to be there and all of Lubbock could benefit.

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