• Staying in the Loop on Lubbock’s Growth, Development, and Redevelopment

    Staying in the Loop on Lubbock’s Growth, Development, and Redevelopment

    If you’ve lived in Lubbock long enough, you have seen the tremendous growth our city has accomplished. From new business growth providing job opportunities to housing developments providing affordable options that Lubbock is now well-known for. Our low cost of living and pro-business commercial atmosphere have made us an attractive place to call home for many.

    During the City of Lubbock’s ongoing conversations regarding impact fees, many topics related to Lubbock’s growth and infrastructure spending have come up that illustrate the answer to such questions.

    Gateway street fund
    Lubbock’s gateway street fund collects revenue from utilities (LP&L, Atmos, Suddenlink, etc.) using City right-of-way and funds infrastructure projects for areas of growth. This includes successful projects in southwest Lubbock like the Milwaukee Avenue corridor but has also funded projects throughout the rest of Lubbock. $12.5 million was used from the gateway fund for Phase 3 of the Marsha Sharp Freeway, serving central Lubbock inside the Loop. An additional $16.3 million was used for Erskine Street across north Lubbock, and another gateway street project was for North Slide from 4th street to the Clovis Highway.

    Very few in Lubbock can claim that the gateway fund hasn’t invested in at least some roadways they commonly use. But this fund is only for new infrastructure development, which tends to be concentrated outside Loop 289. Does that mean redevelopment inside the Loop has been neglected?

    Street maintenance
    The answer to this question is also “no.” Lubbock’s street maintenance figures were discussed during a City Council meeting earlier this week. Over the last five years totaling more than $50 million worth of funds, street maintenance projects from inside the Loop outweigh those from outside the Loop by nearly a two-to-one margin. For the current budget cycle, that discrepancy is even wider; spending on street maintenance inside the Loop totals $8.5 million while projects outside the Loop total less than $2 million. That’s more than a four-to-one ratio of street maintenance dollars being spent inside the Loop vs. outside the Loop where most newer developments are located.

    Population growth away from southwest Lubbock
    If the City of Lubbock moves forward with the implementation of impact fees, it would be based on different geographic service areas throughout Lubbock. Of the eight service areas proposed, the one that would see the second most growth over the next 10 years is in north Lubbock, comprising an area north of 4th street in between Interstate 27 and Slide Road. This service area would even see more growth than the service area in west Lubbock outside of Loop 289 and a service area in south Lubbock between I-27 and Slide Road south of 98th street.

    Beyond this anticipated residential growth in north Lubbock, we have also seen commercial momentum in the area. In addition to the development of restaurants, a movie theater, apartments, medical facilities, and more along North Loop 289, the brand new Lubbock County Expo Center is set to begin construction soon at Loop 289 and North University. This will bring even more tourism, jobs, and development to north Lubbock outside of the Loop.
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    The entirety of this data is not just important in understanding the economic context and realities in Lubbock. Understanding the truth about development and redevelopment in Lubbock is necessary for other policy discussions related to population growth and development. If the foundation of those efforts are flawed, we can expect flawed policy proposals as a result.

    The Chamber is proud to represent businesses and employees across Lubbock and the broader West Texas area, and we look forward to continued growth that elevates our entire community.

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