City Council to decide future of Omni building

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Updated: 5/01 9:34 pm
It's left a big mess in right in the center of downtown. The once-accommodating high rise office building on Avenue K has been vacant for years and falling apart as pieces of the building come crashing down to the road below. And the barricade that surrounds it has curbed traffic flow for more than two years.

"Nothing has fallen off of the Omni building for quite some time. Last week, we had two to three days of 60 miles per hour winds and nothing happened," said Chuck Lanehart, an attorney who works downtown.

The City of Lubbock filed a lawsuit in August of last year, asking a judge to require the owners to bring the building up to code. So far, the owner hasn't done anything to improve the building.

Because the fate of the building is tied up in the suit, the city can't really do anything with the building right now.

If the city does acquire it in the future, it could cost millions to tear down, according to attorney Davis Smith who practices in the area.

"I've heard cost estimates on tearing that building down as high as $4 million and as low as $2 million, but definitely not lower than 2 million to tear that building down," said Smith.

Lanehart said he hasn't noticed anything falling off the Omni in last few months. He believes it is no longer a safety hazard.

"We want the street opened again. And all of our neighbors down here want the street opened again."

Neighbors like owner of Back Door Diner Trish Varnell said business has slowed because of the amount of time it takes to detour through the barricade.

"I think that it'd be really nice if they tore it down and make us a parking garage or a parking lot that we, the attorneys- everybody down here- could utilize," said Varnell.

On Thursday, city officials held a public works meeting to fine tune the traffic situation around the Omni.

"We have a few things we have to do before we can open the road back up but if everything checks out okay, we should have the road opened back up by the end of next week or possibly the week following," said Neil Welch, assistant city engineer.

 Discussion is slated as an agenda item at the next council meeting May 8. If you'd like to register a complaint about the building, Lubbock Omni Office, Inc., you may send them to the owner: Hung Nguyen, 20119 Baldwin Oak, Katy, TX 77449.
 


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Shark - 5/1/2014 9:32 PM
0 Votes
Leave the nickel and dime minor violations alone, until this multi million dollar violation is rectified. Bullies pick on defenseless people. True leaders obey the laws, and make the elite obey the laws that are currently imposed only onto the oppressed masses. If it has been condemned and getting worse for about a decade, chances are that it will never get fixed. Tear it down and make a public parking lot with up to 2 hour parking. Long term parking would be gobbled up by the nearby attorneys that asked for a taxpayer subsidized parking lot.

Shark - 5/1/2014 9:30 PM
0 Votes
Leave the nickel and dime minor violations alone, until this multi million dollar violation is rectified. Bullies pick on defenseless people. True leaders obey the laws, and make the elite obey the laws that are currently imposed only onto the oppressed masses. If it has been condemned and getting worse for about a decade, chances are that it will never get fixed. Tear it down and make a public parking lot with up to 2 hour parking. Long term parking would be gobbled up by the nearby attorneys that asked for a taxpayer subsidized parking lot.
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