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LUBBOCK, TX-Work has begun on a $47-million addition for the re-gentrification of Overton Park. The long-awaited project, ticketed to deliver in 18 months, will add 304 hotel rooms and a 45,000-sf conference center to the city.

The Overton Hotel and Conference Center is part of an overall attempt to re-gentrify Overton Park, once filled with substandard housing and dilapidated businesses. The hotel and conference center will be situated between Mac Davis Lane and Avenue X.

“Overton Park is in an area that was very depressed and blighted for many years. It’s currently going through an urban revitalization, which has involved ripping down dilapidated structures and removing the crime element in the area,” says David Welber, project executive for Turner Construction Co. The Dallas-based Turner and Lee Lewis Construction of Lubbock are the general contractors and design builders for the hotel and conference center.

The dual-pronged project was to have begun earlier, but its developer had funding hurdles to clear. Dallas-based Garfield Traub Development ultimately came up with a financing package that mixed city and public funds, foundation grants, equity and loans. In the process, Garfield Traub entered into a partnership with the City of Lubbock and 1859 Historic Hotels Ltd. of Galveston, which will operate the hotel. “It took Traub awhile to find a way to figure out how to finance this deal, but they managed to put it together,” Welber tells GlobeSt.com.

Welber says Garfield Traub is building the conference center on ground-leased city land and bought additional acreage from a private owner for the hotel. “Though both projects are joined, they contain different moving parts,” Welber explains, adding the unifying factor is Garfield Traub, which is the development manager for both projects, and DLR Group Architecture & Planning Inc. of Portland, OR. “Both the hotel and conference center will be built concurrently,” he adds, “and there will be a common thread.”

The local media has dubbed Overton Park area as the single largest private redevelopment project in the nation, with several miles of substandard housing being razed and replaced with for-sale residential, multifamily, office and retail space. McDougal Cos. of Lubbock, Ambling Cos. Inc. of Valdosta, GA and Fairfield Residential LLC in San Diego have built Overton Park’s for-sale residential and multifamily components. Gulf Coast Commercial Group of Houston and local firms Graco Real Estate Development Inc., Craig Wallace Construction, Minnix Commercial Inc. and Teinert Commercial Building Services worked the retail side.

Welber stresses the Overton Hotel and Conference Center wouldn’t have seen the light of day without cooperation and partnership with the City of Lubbock. It could be a forerunner for the city. “We could see more of these public-private partnerships in this area,” he adds.

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