Downtown is a bustling hub for the medical community and the government, and City of Odessa officials are hoping to capitalize on the area’s revitalization.
The Odessa City Council approved on Sept. 25 to fund a study to determine if building a hotel with a convention center in the downtown area is feasible.
The council agreed to allocate $16,500 of motel/hotel tax funds for the study, which will be conducted by Houston-based firm DP Consulting. Main Street Odessa will contribute $1,000 to the study.
“With the healthcare facilities (downtown) there might be a demand for that type of thing,” District 4 Councilman Dean Combs said. “Hopefully it will rejuvenate downtown and help downtown to grow.”
Part of the study will determine if there is enough room and a suitable location to house such a large project, Combs said.
“That has not been determined. (But) I think there’s a lot of room downtown,” District 2 Councilman James Goates said. “We may have to tear out some old buildings, but there’s plenty of room.”
The study has yet to begin, but Main Street Odessa Executive Director Nancy Wells said she hopes it will be complete by the end of the year.
Well said development is needed in the downtown area as northeast Odessa continues its growth surge of homes, hotels and commerce.
“There are a lot of hotels going up but they’re all along the (Highway) 191 corridor. When you look west of (John Ben Shepperd) Parkway, there are very little resources for people,” Wells said. “People come to the downtown area for medical or business or entertainment reasons and there’s nothing available.”
The feasibility study is the next step for Main Street, which just completed an Economic Development Survey that indicated a renewed interest in downtown dwelling.
“It’s all about revitalizing and repurposing the downtown area and what you want downtown to be,” Wells said. “We are part of a national trend that is taking another look at downtowns.”