Top 6 Things That Downtown Lubbock Needs To Grow
You know me, I'm a thinker.
I recently savaged the head of the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance for his off-target and tone-deaf please to make downtown Lubbock a thing. I'm now here to save his rear end with a checklist of things that could bring downtown back to life.
Even though it is far from a "vibrant" area of the city, parking is often hard or confusing downtown. It also needs to be well-lit and safe. RIght now it feels like its a crapshoot as to whether you're going to come back to a car that has been towed or broken into.
The second location of Alamo Drafthouse could make downtown. ANY movie theater downtown would draw spillover crowds at the very least. There are no theaters within 15 minutes of this area and one that has that "funky" vibe would fit in with the area quite nicely.
The cool retro lights on 34th street seemed like a good start for the area, then kinda nothing else happened. Take small areas of Downtown and start theming them out, but take it to the next level with park benches, green spaces and public art.
Taking a step back here, what is "downtown"? Does it include the Depot District, or the Courthouse Area, or what? There is a saying that I'm fond of which is, "no job is particularly hard when broken down to smaller jobs". It might be easier to tackle this if Downtown wasn't such an abstract concept.
Here's the elephant in the room; how are you going to rebuild an are into an economic force when it's also the location of the jail and the bus station? Those two places aren't bringing the best and the brightest to the area and never will. The only solution is to keep the shady types from congregating into groups that scare away folks.
As someone who has opened a bar/restaurant, I can tell you that the hardest and most confusing part of the process is dealing with the city. Now let me back up here and say that the people I dealt with with the city were awesome. The problem is that you have to chase things through various departments and jump through hoops and other nonsense due to the laws and codes that have to be enforced. In other words, the people were really nice, but you keep getting kicked from department to department. If there was some type of new business liaison (maybe there is, but I didn't meet 'em) to help smooth the journey out it could really help.