City of Lubbock Renames Omni Building; City Council Discusses Relocating City Hall and Police Department
At their December 4, 2014, meeting, the Lubbock City Council discussed the utilization of the recently purchased Omni Building, now referred to as “Citizen’s Tower”, including the relocation of municipal departments to the building.
The city finalized the purchase of Citizen’s Tower in late-November for $1.2 million and authorized a resolution authorizing City Manager James Loomis to execute a request for quotation for Citizen’s Tower and the Lubbock City Hall Complex at the first December council meeting. The request for quotation is a process that will determine how to best utilize space and includes a bidding process.
The Lubbock Police Department is slated to receive the Lubbock City Hall Complex to replace their ailing headquarters. Previously the council had considered relocating the headquarters to Citizen’s Tower, but Assistant Police Chief Greg Stevens said the layout of the current city hall better matched the department’s needs.
Mayor Glen Robertson urged the council into sponsoring the motion stating, “We don’t have to take action tonight, but we own the building and every day we wait is another day lost.”
Council Member Karen Gibson said combining multiple municipal departments such as water and city hall in Citizen’s Tower could save citizens time and money and Mayor Robertson said LP&L and other entities like the NELCDC or LEDA could potentially lease office space. Lubbock would also be able to let go of a number of leases by housing multiple departments in one city-owned building.
More bids will be forthcoming as the RFQ commences before the new year, but current estimates for asbestos abatement and renovation of the tower and city hall are low-balled at $65 million.
The transition is expected to take many years to complete, but Robertson believes Lubbock citizens will see a strong ROI in the coming decades.