I grew up in Lubbock, and like many people who did, we know how notoriously awful Applegate Trailer Park was and had been for many years. 'Applegate' became shorthand for crime, dilapidation and, well, meth.

My friends and I would find ourselves nearby since I liked to watch my friends skate the "cowbowl" concrete drainage area. I also visited friends of friends in the park a couple of times, and always felt wildly uncomfortable. I do my best to not be judgmental, but I felt unsafe.

Now, I certainly don't mean to degrade or defame anyone who lived there, though many will live in infamy by their own merits. Poverty can happen to anyone, and the majority of us are a paycheck or two away from it. Everyone will do what they need to in order to survive. But Applegate, in particular, was a haven for the worst kind of drugs. And hard drugs lead to crime leaking out in adjacent areas.

I spoke with a friend who lives nearby in a relatively new tract of nice brick houses. He's completely relieved by the new owner's move to renovate the Applegate area:

When we had our house built 12 years ago we were told this trailer park was being demolished. We were lied to and for 12 years we have dealt with home break-ins, residents from the trailer parks stealing packages, digging through dumpsters, stealing bikes, stealing mail, kids from the trailer park running through streets breaking lawn ornaments, etc. One night we caught a 12 year old kid at 2am on a weekday (his 3 other friends got away), but the cops said this was normal behavior for them and the parents did not care. One resident has had men peeping over her fence through her windows, and people have had fence panels stolen off their yards, which later turned up in the trailer park used to build makeshift fences around some of the mobile homes. I know there are some good people who live in this area that are now needing to find a new home, but for our area we hope we are finally be able to get a good nights sleep without all the gunfire, burglaries, and drug dealing that was occurring in this place.

According to KCBD, who spoke with the new owners, the area will be completely transformed:

They plan to create an RV park with both permanent and overnight hookups, a gym, laundromat and dog park.

Some of the permanent residents may include people living in ‘Tiny Homes' [...]

They also want to sell part of the land for commercial development, including the possibility of a hotel.

The plan calls for new roads through the area, as well as new electrical lines.

Current residents who live in trailers at the park will be given a set time to move.

I feel for those displaced, I really do, and I hope they find themselves in better circumstances than before. But it was time for Applegate to go, for the benefit of every Lubbockite.

The opinions presented in this blog are entirely my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Townsquare Media. 

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