North Overton Renovation Project nearly complete

Reported by: Henry Ramos
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Updated: 9/13/2013 9:10 pm
Once known as the 'Tech Ghetto' to many it is anything but a ghetto now. The North Overton area is full of fine living spaces, eateries, and an upscale hotel. The multi-million dollar project is nearly complete. 
 
Eleven years ago 900 structures were demolished.

Delbert McDougal said, "It was known by everybody as the 'Tech Ghetto' it sure was not a good omen to compliment Texas Tech."

In 1999, McDougal had an ambitious vision to re-develop the area.

"We can see the light at the end of the tunnel," he said.

McDougal said the North Overton project is about 97 percent complete.

"Actual land left to sell, we've got about 400,000 square feet on all the Avenue Q side," he said. 

Fourteen years later, the area is full of luxurious-student living, a four-star hotel, and lots of places to grab a bite.

"Downtown will never get redeveloped without Overton being redeveloped first, because you cannot have a ghetto as a buffer between Texas Tech and downtown," he said. "Certainly it was a major problem to Texas Tech and now it's probably one of the greatest assets Texas Tech has."

City Councilman Victor Hernandez raised his family in the North Overton area, which is his district. He said the project has its pro and cons.

"It has created an anchor for the district, which has brought to district one in particular a lot of commercial venture that we would have never seen."

Hernandez said a negative is this project got rid of a lot of affordable housing.

"You could argue that the housing wasn't very good, but from my perspective this city has had a problem with in terms of affordable housing to begin with. and this somewhat exacerbated that". 

McDougal estimates the project should be fully finished in a couple of years. He created the masterplan for the project.
He said that plan changed a lot with developers coming in.   

Overton Park was the largest privately funded revitalization project in the country.  The McDougal's redeveloped 325 acres.
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Liberty Seeker - 9/13/2013 11:15 PM
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Before they tear down South Overton for condominiums, I better sell my remaining Overton properties and leave Lubbock.
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