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Demolition of Western United Life Building highlights 2023 Midland Development outlook

The Midland Development Corporation expects the demolition to take place before March and is excited for what the new year could bring.

MIDLAND, Texas — The Western United Life Building in Downtown Midland is set to be demolished at some point early this year.

The Midland Development Corporation, or MDC, says they do not have a specific date in mind yet, but the building should be torn down before March.

They are still currently taking request for proposals for anyone interested in redeveloping the block, and those bids will remain open until March 31.

The MDC held its first meeting of the new year Monday afternoon in the Midland Chamber of Commerce board room.

After many exciting projects in 2022, they are looking forward to what 2023 has to offer in aiming to strengthen and diversify Midland’s economy.

“Go out, find prospects… businesses that are interested in relocating or expanding to midland, or businesses that might be interested in doing something new here," said Sara Harris, Executive Director of the Midland Development Corporation.

Harris knows there will be challenges as well.

“(An) ongoing challenge with Midland is we have a really low unemployment rate," said Harris. "There’s a lot of good jobs here, and almost everyone who wants to work is working, so when we’re talking to businesses looking to coming to Midland that’s usually one of our hurdles. They think that there might not be the workforce here that they need, so that’s something that we can also help address through workforce training, through helping to retain young people who grew up here.”

One certainty in 2023 will be the demolition of the Western United Life Building in Downtown Midland.

Once the bidding period ends, some city council members and MDC board members will begin to narrow down what new development will take its place.

“So the request for proposal is open," said Harris. "It does not stipulate what kind of development it has to be. It does say that it needs to fit the general purpose of Downtown Midland, so there’s a lot of possibilities for what developers could look at for that block."

Also at the meeting on Monday, thanks and recognition were given to Stephen Lowery with his six-year term as MDC Board Chairman coming to a close.

Harris had high praise for the job he did, and she also has confidence in the job new Board Chairman Chase Gardaphe will do as he moves up from First Vice Chair of the board.

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