ODESSA, Texas — Plans to make downtown Odessa a hotspot have been in the works for years. On Tuesday, the Odessa city council will consider allocating $1 million in hotel occupancy taxes to Odessa College for the Downtown revitalization project.
NewsWest 9 spoke with Michael Marrero, City Manager for the City of Odessa. He said the college and city would like to establish a downtown community space. The project would be located on Fourth St., next to the Marriott hotel and Torchy's restaurant.
"The project itself will be an enhancement to what we have been doing in downtown," said Marrero. "Over the last few years, and more recently with the update of the city's masterplan, projects like this will bring more people into downtown to improve the quality of life for our residents and for them to have more things to do."
Marrero said that its not all fun and games. The hope of the project is to provide an area for events, where they hope it will attract things like food trucks. The multi-phase project plans to include an area for a college-level entrepreneurial program.
"The first phase will be the construction and development of the large community space to be able to host events in downtown," Marrero said. "The second phase is a project that the Odessa College will undertake to provide more educational opportunities for students."
Marrero said the city considers many factors when allocating funding for projects like these.
"The city had been very deliberate on how it identifies dollars for redevelopment projects of downtown," said Marrero. "We focus on a variety of projects through issuance of debt, hotel-motel dollars, and excess sales tax to really define and identify things that are important to work on in order to have a successful project."