What Happened to Lubbock’s North Side Mercado Project?
On the north side of Lubbock, you're greeted with a gateway to nowhere.
If you're looking for solid answers to what happened to this project, I don't have them. I have questions, and a bit of history -- and that's all.
There was a time that north University Avenue just past Texas Tech was targeted for redevelopment. It sounded like a good, unique idea. It was supposed to be an area for an outdoor Mercado type area, with vendors selling fruits and vegetables, indoor and outdoor cafes, shops, a monorail (just kidding about the monorail). All of this seems to have disappeared after 2014.
So...what happened? I guess it died due to a lack of interest or a developer and/or the city unwilling to put money into the project. Instead, you have the gentrified corner of 4th and University, with a chicken sandwich place and pretty much the same businesses and lack of business beyond that. They did put in some cool street lights that are capable of supporting banners.
Let's be fair, though -- there have been some wonderful businesses that have invested in the area, like Dollar Tree, R N R tires, and some auto parts stores. I think United Supermarkets also deserves credit for doing a fantastic job with Amigos, bringing some very cool Mexican influences into the store and the available food.
All of these businesses deserve credit for propping up the area, even though the idea of a Mercado, or Mexican-influenced shopping area, seems to be long gone.