Another step in Lubbock's downtown redevelopment took place Thursday night as the city council voted to purchase the Omni Building, located at 1206 14th Street (14th Street and Avenue K).

The vote was 5-1 in favor, with Mayor Glen Robertson dissenting and District 4 Councilman Jim Gerlt absent.

Before the vote took place, the proposed purchase price for the Omni was reduced by $25,000 to $1.2 million and Tract IV (four) of the property, was deleted in the purchase contract.

After the council meeting, Mayor Glen Robertson told KAMC News, “Nobody really seemed to commit to any option other than to buy it,” he said.  “We didn't do a good job of gathering facts. Could we use it for a police department or city hall? We should already know the cost. I couldn't vote to buy the building just because it's ugly and something needs to be done.”

The Omni Building has been in a state of disrepair for over four years.  In 2010, the marble panels on the exterior of the building began falling off.  In 2011, a fire started inside the building. Over the past few years some of stucco used to replace the marble panels has fallen off the building too. Also, copper wiring and light fixtures were taken from the building too.

Parts of 14th Street and Avenue K surrounding the Omni have been blocked from vehicular and pedestrian traffic over public safety concerns, while the future of the building remained in doubt.

Tract IV of the contract (July 10, 2014; City Council Resolution No. 2014-R0240) is described as, "Lots Eight (8) Nine (9) Ten (10) Eleven (11) Twelve (12) Thirteen (13) and Fourteen (14), Block One Hundred Forty-Eight (148), ORIGINAL TOWN to the City of Lubbock, Lubbock County, Texas, according to the Map, Plat, and/or Dedication Deed thereof recorded in Volume 5, Page 384, Deed Records of Lubbock County, Texas."

Lots 8, 9 and 10 of Block 148 are on Avenue K directly bordering, or near to, 14th Street.  Lots 11, 12, 13 and 14 are on Avenue J, directly bordering, or near to, 14th Street as well. (see photo below for map detail)

That grouping of property will remain with the seller of the Omni Building, Hung P. Nguyen of Katy, Texas. He operates Lubbock Omni Office, Inc.

GIS & Data Services, City of Lubbock
GIS & Data Services, City of Lubbock

At some point in the future, the Omni Building may become home to the Lubbock Police Department, Lubbock Power & Light administrative offices and the new City Hall. But before city departments can move into the Omni Building, extensive rehabilitation of interior and exterior will have to take place.

Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson will discuss the purchase of the Omni Building during the 7am hour of the Friday edition of Lubbock's First News on News/Talk 790, KFYO.

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