MIDLAND, Texas — After remaining vacant for over 40 years, the Western United Life building on Texas Avenue in downtown Midland, along with the former West Texas gas buildings surrounding it, will soon be coming down. The demolitions will leave the whole lot empty.
This was a decision made at a Midland Development Corporation meeting.
"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 MDC.
A chapter closing on a long-awaited discussion, according to City Councilman Dan Corrales.
"The Western United Life building, there’s been discussion about bringing it down for years, and it seems the conclusion is give a clean slate to any potential developer," said Corrales. "Take the building out and start from scratch."
With the building leaving a lot of open space, a request for proposal has now been put out for the MDC and the city to find what will be put in its place.
"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 says this makes since. This is something that fits,'" said Corrales.
Those in city leadership say it looks to be a big future.
"This is going to be a really exciting opportunity for a significant new development downtown," said Harris. "We’ve seen a lot of interest and in investment in downtown to make it better, more vibrant, and that this block is gonna open up so many possibilities to make downtown even better than what it is now."