Downtown Midland View Set To Change With Destruction of Ancient Building
Downtown Midland still has one "eye sore" building that has been vacant for more than 40 years, but it will soon be coming down along with the buildings next to it.
According to NewsWest 9, The Western United Life Building has been vacant since the 80s after the oil bust of 1985 and since then has been broken into and vandalized several times.
It has been the place of tragedy too when a kid fell to his death in the building just a few years ago after falling down the elevator shaft when he and his friends decided to go skateboarding in the abandoned building.
So the Midland Development Corporation said enough is enough and at an MDC meeting decided to demolish the 12-story building.
"My board and city council decided that the time has come to take it out and create a blank slate for redevelopments that better fit downtown today," said Sara Harris, Executive Director of the Midland Development Corporation.
After long discussions and deals falling through on refurbishing the building, the time has come to just move on and have the ability to build something nicer in Downtown Midland.
"The Western United Life building, there’s been discussion about bringing it down for years, and it seems the conclusion is to give a clean slate to any potential developer," said Midland City Councilman Dan Corrales. "Take the building out and start from scratch."
The old West Texas Gas buildings behind it will also come down clearing off the whole block for more development.
"So the request for proposal gets us to reach out and say, 'hey here’s what we would like y'all to consider proposing to the city and MDC. How can we put something here, whether it’s office space or a hotel? Whatever the case may be that MDC and the city say this makes sense. This is something that fits,'" said Corrales.
City leadership says with the block being vacant, it will be easier to sell it to builders looking to build that hotel or office building.
"This is going to be a really exciting opportunity for a significant new development downtown," said Sara Harris. "We’ve seen a lot of interest and an investment in downtown to make it better, more vibrant, and this block is gonna open up so many possibilities to make downtown even better than what it is now."
It is not known at this time if the demolition will be an implosion or not, but the easiest way to bring the building down will be with explosives.
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