Inside Texas Tech: Regis Park, A Sustainable Development

Aug 17, 2018

An Arizona real estate investment company has developed a master plan for 288 acres southeast of Lubbock’s airport that in time could be home to as many as 5,000 residents. Regis Park would have single- and multi-family housing, a K-12 equestrian charter school, retail space and an auditorium. Some of the land was rezoned from industrial to commercial last year.

“We looked at several factors,” says Rob Dwyer, a managing partner with Arizona-based Dominion Real Estate Investments, “Citizens Sunbelt, that had populations of roughly, a quarter to a half-million, or at least a census area that was no less than a quarter, 9 but around a half million—which Lubbock fit. Major university and good medical facility.”

That’s Rob Dwyer, a managing partner with Arizona-based Dominion Real Estate Investments, which is the managing company of Texas Investment Partners. The parcel of land a bit south and east of Preston Smith International Airport was purchased in 2007. It sets just east of the Lubbock Business Park.

Dwyer and his partners weren’t certain the original industrial zoning would be the best use of the property so they reached out to David Driskill, the director of the UrbanTech Design Center in Texas Tech’s College of Architecture. The work he and others at the college are doing with Regis Park is a long-term research project.

“I contacted David and came out to meet with him,” says Driskill, “And over the past ten years, we have morphed and played with it and finally come up with what we think is a very good use for that parcel in that area.”

Driskill’s work resulted in what would be an agrarian, or agricultural, community. It would include the equestrian K-12 charter school, horse trails, multifamily housing, commercial properties – including a grocery store and an airport hotel -- and an enclosed 8,000-seat horse arena for uses that would include dressage, rodeo competitions and other events.

Driskill says the city’s zoning is 100 percent industrial to the northeast and 100 percent residential with some retail development to the southwest. Regis Park, he says, could serve those who work at the airport, the Lubbock County Detention Center and Community Corrections Facility, and the Lubbock Business Park.

Dwyer says, “I think it has its own identity. I think it’s going to have a character and a feel that’s going to be highly desirable. It’s just going to be a great place to live. There’s not an opportunity to live close to where you work and that’s a very fundamental, sustainable principle. Immediately we went from 100 percent industrial to a mixed use project.”

Dwyer says the entire Regis Park project would take about 15 to 20 years to complete. The projected value of all the phases would be as much as $400 million, a sizeable addition to the city’s tax rolls. Some phases of the development could seek grant money as part of its financing.

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The higher prices of homes in southwest Lubbock currently could steer people to live in Regis Park’s garden homes or townhouses, or in tracts that would become single-family or high end housing.

“I think it’s going to be people who have been priced out of the market in the southwest part of the city,” says Driskill. “They’ll actually end up being closer in, because with how far out they have to keep going to purchase a home, you’re going to be a lot quicker here because we’re 30 seconds from the 27 to go right into town. Pretty much anywhere 10-15 minutes.”

The K-12 equestrian charter school would have a 1200-student capacity and its operator is looking at its first class starting in August 2020. Driskill says the school’s presence added much. “The equestrian school was a real breakthrough that gave us that flavor,” he says. “We were already looking at agritopias across the country, which is an active farm—so there will be an active farm and market component to this.”