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Sunday, June 1, 2003
Last modified at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28, 2003
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photo: economy

  New home construction continues to be one of the driving forces in the Lubbock economy. While other sectors of the local economy have struggled, new homes seem to be springing up in virtually ever part of the city.
t A-J File Photo

Lubbock continues to grow amid sour economy

A-J Business Editor

Just when you thought things couldn't get any better, they did.

For Lubbock area developers and builders, 2002 turned out to be a record year.

While most of Texas took it on the chin, Lubbock kept right on building, issuing more than 1,000 single-family home permits for the second year in a row.

Among the mix were 1,281 single-family home permits along with 99 duplexes, triplexes and quadraplexes.

Total valuation of those 2002 permits, according to the Lubbock Building Inspections Department, was $181.3 million, compared with $145.9 million a year earlier.

Lubbock builders were active on a number of fronts � from Southwest's Lubbock's sprawling Monterey addition being developed by Betenbough Cos. to Creative Homes' Southridge development located in South Lubbock.

In fact, builders could be found in just about every sector of the city.

In addition to construction, existing homes sales also hit a record level.

Multiple Listing Sales activity, as compiled by the Lubbock Association of Realtors, found 2,869 homes sold in 2002, compared with 2,631 the previous year.

Sales volume for the latest 12-month period totaled $312 million, compared with $266.3 million one year earlier.

In Lubbock, the median price of a home was pegged by LAR at $86,900 in 2002, compared with $83,500 in 2001.

The year's biggest development news came in March when a consortium of land owners came together to announce the North Loop Development Plan � an integrated mix of single- and multifamily homes, shopping centers, hotels, medical and entertainment facilities.

McDougal Cos., attorney Kevin Glasheen, Dr. Lillian Chou and North Loop Properties Ltd. said they plan to develop more than 1,000 acres in North Lubbock, stretching from Slide Road to the fork of the Loop 289 and the Clovis Highway.

In addition to the NLDP, McDougal Cos. is preparing to break ground soon on The Centre at Overton Park � a $26 million hybrid project that will incorporate upscale retail shopping with a multi-story apartment complex near Texas Tech.

Overton Park is a largest privately funded revitalization effort undertaken in U.S. history.

When completed, the 325-acre project will feature homes, apartments, restaurants and shopping stretching from the shadows of Tech off University Avenue to Avenue Q.

There were plenty of commercial construction projects going on in 2002, many ongoing at Tech, including the $84.9 million renovation of Jones/SBC Stadium.

Other construction underway or just about completed include:

n Tyco Corp.'s new $15 million sprinkler head plant � the largest of its kind in the world. The 500,000-square-foot facility, located north of Lubbock International Airport, is expected to be fully operational later this summer.

n Waston-Sysco's new $10 million refrigerated warehouse. The 76,000-square-foot facility, which recently opened, is located just south of the institutional food suppliers' 614 Second Place operation.

n The Lubbock Heart Hospital � a $32 million project now being built in North Lubbock at 4810 N. Loop 289. The 100,000-square-foot facility is expected to open later this year.

n University Medical Cen ter expansion � a $32 million project that calls for the addition of a fifth and sixth floor.

Chris Van Wagenen can be contacted at 766-8744 or [email protected]

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