Odessa

Photo Credit: Downtown Odessa, Inc.

If you love wine tasting, craft beer, and live music, we have an event you’ll love.

Round up your besties or make it a date night, it’s time to mark your calendars for the 2nd Annual Tap Into Downtown Odessa eventThe 21-and-over event will take place Saturday, Sept. 30, from 6 p.m to 10 p.m. on Grant Avenue between 4th and 6th streets. (more…)

The 2014 Firecracker Fandango event is the largest fundraiser of the year for Main Street Odessa. All photos: Gloria Hernandez

The 2014 Firecracker Fandango event is the largest fundraiser of the year for Main Street Odessa. Photo: Gloria Hernandez

Downtown Odessa is in the middle of a dramatic, ongoing revitalization designed to bolster economic development and preserve the historic treasures of the area.

As part of that change, the Odessa City Council voted last month to withdraw Main Street Odessa from the Texas Main Street program and instead rebrand it as Downtown Odessa, Incorporated, a 501(c)3 organization formed by the city in 2005.

“The evolution of Main Street Odessa began last year when the city of Odessa became their partner and a strong supporter of their mission to revitalize downtown Odessa,” said Gloria Hernandez, Executive Director of Main Street Odessa. “The focus on creating a viable economic center in downtown Odessa and our new partnership with the city is the reason for the rebranding.”

Downtown Odessa, Inc. was set up under Main Street Odessa in order to allow individuals and businesses to make tax-deductible donations. This rebranding does not change the mission of the organization: to revitalize downtown Odessa as a center of commerce for the city and residents, who have continued to express an interest in a vibrant downtown.

“As a 501(c)(3), Downtown Odessa, Inc. qualifies for more grants and tax-deductible donations and all of the funds we raise from events, such as our signature program Firecracker Fandango, a July 4th celebration in downtown Odessa, will go toward economic development projects for downtown Odessa,” Hernandez said. “And now, our partnership with the city allows 100 percent of donations and funds raised to directly go back into projects that revitalize downtown Odessa—no proceeds or donations are spent on operating costs.”

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News roundup

This abandoned water park in Odessa could be yours – or you could just watch the drone video.

In this week’s news roundup, we look at one magazine’s assertion that crime rates for Midland and Odessa are the highest in the state, a property deal the city of Odessa is eyeballing, a property acquisition by Vistra Energy, fracking and the water situation in the Permian Basin, and a cool drone video of a bygone attraction. (more…)

Saturday, July 1, 2017 marks Odessa’s 22nd Annual Firecracker Fandango, and for the first time in a long time, the celebration is FREE to the public! That’s right, FREE.

Odessa’s longest running patriotic street festival promises to be bigger and better than ever with a new, family-friendly time slot from 5 to 10 p.m., and a fantastic line-up of live music and entertainment, children’s activities, food vendors, a beer garden, and of course a spectacular fireworks show to end the night.

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Photos Courtesy of Odessa Council for the Arts & Humanities, Downtown Odessa Inc.

Round up the kiddos and pack up the lawn chairs, Odessa’s Hot Summer Nights Concert Series is back with an incredible line-up of artists. From sassy Swing, to smooth Jazz, and of course, boot thumpin’ Country, Odessa residents are in for a treat this year!

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9330 Clevenger Road Odessa, Texas, Currently listed for $1,395,500 by Amy Turman, Legacy Real Estate Brokerage

Ideally located in prestigious Musick Estates in Odessa, Texas, lies a recreational Equestrian retreat built for those looking to live large in West Texas. Situated on a sizable 2.84-acre lot with three-stall horse barn, sparkling resort pool, spectacular covered patio, and lush green space, it offers the best of private pastoral living, just minutes from downtown Odessa’s cowboy spirit.

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employment growth

In Texas, it’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs.

A new report from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University says that the Texas economy gained 276,400 nonagricultural jobs from June 2014 to June 2015, an annual growth rate of 2.4 percent, compared with 2.1 percent for the United States. Many of the major metropolitan areas saw much bigger gains, like Midland-Odessa.

Midland ranked first in job creation, followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, Odessa, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Austin-Round Rock, and San Antonio-New Braunfels. Fort Worth-Arlington ranked No. 7 with 2.7 percent job growth.

In fact, every single Texas metro areas except Wichita Falls had more jobs in June 2015 than one year prior.

Big sectors for job growth were:

  1. Leisure and Hospitality: 5.05 percent growth
  2. Education and health services: 3.87 percent growth
  3. Professional and business services: 3.54 percent growth
  4. Transportation, warehousing and utilities: 3.52 percent growth
  5. Construction: 3.34 percent growth

All these new jobs in the Texas economy were created despite lower oil prices. Real Estate Center research economist Ali Anari says there hasn’t been much impact from dropping oil prices yet. But that could change.

“The oil companies hedged into the future and they have oil contracts, many of them extending to the end of this year,” Anari said. “If there is a downtown, it would not be apparent until next year.”

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Photo courtesy Charles Henry via Creative Commons

Photo courtesy Charles Henry via Creative Commons

In our culture of “bigger, better, newer, faster,” historic theaters may well be one of America’s most endangered buildings.

There are at least 160 of these beauties in the Lone Star State, once the center of a city’s entertainment district. But now these Arcadias, Palaces, Majestics, Paramounts, and Pioneers often sit in states of disrepair.

Some municipalities or private groups have stepped up and renovated these architectural treasures, like the Pines Theater in Lufkin, the Historic Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff, and the Crighton Theatre in Conroe.

But all too often, these buildings are demolished to make way for new development that looks flashier and brings in more rent per square foot.

In Odessa, the Ector Theatre is at the center of just such a situation now, with a proposal to make it part of a new downtown hotel and convention center, a $73 million project. Dallas-based Gatehouse Capital, a real estate investment company, made the proposal for development of the area that would include retaining the historic Ector image, but details are sparse.

The Odessa City Council approved a 90-day, $192,000 study on Jan. 13 by Gatehouse and third-party companies to examine the options for the theater, and nothing is off the table yet. Jump to read more!

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