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Welcome To Case's Column

Let me say a big welcome to all of you for joining me here. I'm going to call these blog meetings Case's Column. I wanted to use "Corner", but that was already taken. Since 2008, it's been a real privilege to come on here and share some of my life with you, and it's a big world where we live.

In these blogs, I'll just speak whatever is on my mind, but we will be playing within the rules here. I may pick a particular topic, point out an event, or shoot the breeze. I'm a little bit of an essayist at times, so I'll just speak what's on my mind, and I might tell a story or two. Or, I might spew out an opinion or three. There will be some serious moments, some tender, some poignant, but there will also be those moments that you'll just bust out laughing. But, hopefully, everything will be in good fun here. And, of course, there's a place below for your comments and thoughts as we go along here. So feel free to join me for the ride -- I sure as heck hope I'm doing this right and not making any mistakes.

Thanks for taking your time in reading Case's Column. Hopefully, you'll enjoy being entertained by it as much as I've enjoyed putting these writings together. And thanks for the time you spend in City-Data.com, where it's great to be alive!



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What If Lubbock Had A Full Metro Area? - Part One

Posted 04-13-2024 at 11:42 AM by case44
Updated 04-13-2024 at 12:52 PM by case44

Folks, sometimes, you've just got to love these "What if...?" posts. Sure, we've had "What if...?" thread starters on the forums, but your favorite blogger has decided to present a "What if...?" blog post. After all, doesn't anything we do in life begin with a single thought?

Here's my expanded thought for you: What if Lubbock, Texas, had a full metropolitan area? Now, it is a metro of sorts, but it's a long way from being what Austin, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio have become in recent years. From time to time, you'll see this writer call the Lubbock area the "West-o-plex", and I know how corny and nutty that sounds. It's just that I believe Texas is now living in a time when more people want to move here than at any time in the state's history. By the same token, Lubbock is in the middle of the biggest growth period that city has ever seen. And where better to make new things happen than in West Texas? All the aforementioned areas are very big, but there's room to grow in West Texas. It doesn't take a rocket scientist.

What Lubbock lacks in creativity, it actually has in space. Oh, there's space, alright. I've seen the city's annexation map, and I still maintain that that's not all there is. Why not just add a little more land in the northwest, the north, the far southwest, the northeast, and the east? I can already tell you that there's not enough neon in the city. Lubbock could use more neon lighting throughout the area. Imagine a large, two-sided Dr Pepper billboard at the foot of McKenzie Park near the Interstate 27/U.S. Highway 82 interchange, complete with a 10-2-4 trademark clock and Vegas-style lighting inside the Dr Pepper letters. Creativity. Badly needed.

I've talked before about downtown. That part of town, besides the things it's already getting, is going to need new buildings and additional office space, not to mention lofts and condos. Lubbock's tallest building cannot continue to be the Metro Tower (NTS) which looks like a pillar at the north-south perspective. Yuck. So, if you could just imagine a new, 40-plus-story office tower with a financial center, retail at the bottom floor, revolving restaurant and observation deck near its top, and a spire with a beacon at it. And can you picture a 22-story office tower with a large, four-sided analog clock which lights up at night? Gives London's Big Ben some competition around here.

South of that location, specifically, south of 19th Street, we could see a district called Depot South, a series of eateries, shops, and a theater, maybe a club or two, and many of them with neon lights, pedestrian spaces, and fancy architecture. There'd be decent visibility from I-27 if coming in from the south. The word Depot derives from the neighboring Depot District north of 19th, so this new thing could bring new tenants and possibly residents into the new zone.

Speaking of new zones, Lubbock could incorporate a number of what I call "city centers" within the city's boundaries. In the southwest, I could see a Leonardwood development (not a real name, just a working title for now) with million-dollar homes, corporate offices, and a 40-story office tower. Next to it could be a hotspot which I've mentioned previously on this blog page, and that's European Gardens, which consists of courtyards and garden space, as well as Euro-themed shops and eateries. Imagine going to a British pub or taking in some French fine dining, or, perhaps, some German food, and all in the same cluster. Another city center could happen in Northwest Lubbock with Los Altas, which could be a smaller version of the Las Colinas business and leisure development that's in Irving. Well, something similar to that could happen in northwest Lubbock if built properly.

Want some more zones?

I'm going to spew out some existing names, but I also want to add some potential working names for towns which currently don't exist. Let's see if we can saturate as much of Lubbock County (and a few portions of some neighboring counties, too) with some reasonable new places to settle. First, let's get to the three with the most to give right now: Wolfforth, Woodrow, and Shallowater. Three areas with tons of potential, and one of them now has some actual growth taking place. Wolfforth is taking the smart growth route, but there's going to come a time when surface street thoroughfares are going to need to be developed, even if growth doesn't come until a few years thereafter. Then comes the realization that land is being saved for the new State Loop 88 which will plow through a portion of that town. My thing is, grow west and south as far out as you can, and stretch north to where it touches Lubbock. North of Highway 82, it can't go any more east and where that line is is what will be. Wolfforth is the one place with loads of potential for suburban growth in Lubbock. However, I don't feel that it stops with that.

I've mentioned Shallowater and Woodrow, as well. It's time for the both of those, although I see the latter as somewhat limited in total size compared to the previous two. Houses are already going up in that area, and neighborhoods south of Loop 88 are quietly going into place.

Now, for the other towns which also flank Lubbock: Smyer, Opdyke West, Levelland, Roundup, New Deal, Abernathy, Idalou, Roosevelt, Posey, Ransom Canyon, Slaton, and Ropesville. I am going to need more posts in this series to give space to these locations, plus some new ideas for town names (please note that these are just ideas for right now). I'll begin in the north.

Broadview: This one is inspired by a nearby train stop which actually bears this name. High-end suburb between Shallowater and New Deal. I envision this as the new Beverly Hills of West Texas. It will have a neat combination of shops, many with a cowboy flavor, as well as high-priced homes and condominiums. Thoroughfare plan may deviate some from Lubbock County's penchant for grids, but that still has to be determined. Potential for 80,000 residents at full buildout.

Mandeven: Located east of New Deal. Bedroom community. May just top out at 20,000 residents.

East Liberty Corner: Also a bedroom community, which would be located just east of Lubbock/Preston Smith International Airport, and an opportunity for a northern arc of State Loop 88 (which would also traverse through Broadview). Potential for about 20 to 30K residents.

Roundup Corner: A renamed Roundup municipality, right off U.S. 84 just beyond Shallowater. Bedroom community.

Now, let's look south, where I really believe a lot of growth will eventually happen.

Union City: I can clearly envision this one. Imagine a full-blown town center with municipal facilities, including some mall icons such as Dillard's, J.C. Penney, Nordstrom, and Macy's. Those things, plus a new corporate park, and numerous high-end residences. It would encompass a relatively large swath of land bordering Woodrow on the west and south and stretching to South Loop 88 and a possibly-expanded Slaton to the east. I can also imagine something substantial at U.S. 87 (future Interstate 27) at the FM 41 interchange.

Southwayside: Just beyond a potential Union City. It can flank what could be a new Joint Reserve Air Force / Space base south of town. No, nothing like that is proposed at this time, but it can happen, and it'd be a good replacement for the departed Reese Air Force Base from many years back. They've got enough land south of the Lubbock County line to make it work. As for a potential Southwayside, it could be a bedroom community.

Posey: This name does exist, but it's mainly a train stop southeast of Lubbock. With lots of land off of U.S. 84, there's no way anyone could miss this. Bedroom community, possible 60,000 residents if completely built. It's quite possible that the Llano Estacado Winery could be incorporated within their potential city limits.

Slide: Another community which actually does exist, and the namesake for an important boulevard in Lubbock. Potential bedroom community between a future Union City and Ropesville.

I'll stop right here for now. Periodically, I will plan to make some new installments of this hypothetical in West Texas. It just seems most likely that out of Amarillo, Midland, and Lubbock, I still believe that the latter one has the most to break out with and may burst its bubble. Time will tell.
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  1. Old Comment
    Good ideas. Not sure about the neon DP sign next to a historic park (might be appropriate for Waco), but the other ideas may be worth exploring.
    Posted 04-13-2024 at 05:12 PM by shoe01 shoe01 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    There's just not enough space to explain what really should be explained, so I'm going to do a series and try to break it all down.
    Posted 04-14-2024 at 11:04 AM by case44 case44 is online now
  3. Old Comment
    Originally Posted by shoe01 View Comment
    Good ideas. Not sure about the neon DP sign next to a historic park (might be appropriate for Waco), but the other ideas may be worth exploring.
    I get that Dr Pepper is big in Waco, but why not an ad that's visible from the freeways? Look, they had a Coca-Cola ad in Tulsa that just lit up on one of their freeways, so that was the impetus for an idea in Lubbock. Now, if they ever build direct-connects from 82 onto I-27 and you have to try to look at the Dr Pepper billboard while exiting/entering, then you'd have to be careful not to get in an accident. But if you're a passenger in that car, then it'd be worth it.

    Plus, also know that Dallas has had a beer ad with a waterfall on I-35E near downtown for many, many years right at the location of the famed escarpment. That also provided an idea for that Dr Pepper sign. Lubbock needs to think outside the box.
    Posted 04-14-2024 at 11:09 AM by case44 case44 is online now
  4. Old Comment
    ^Haven’t thought about that. I remember as a kid almost being hypnotized by a rather simple sign that a bread company put up, that just featured a wheel moving in circles, with bread slices painted on it, behind a stationary loaf. That probably caused accidents, too, because of people who were out at the bars too late.
    Posted 04-14-2024 at 06:53 PM by shoe01 shoe01 is offline

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