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incentive some property at a nearby city water pumping station, the developer who owns the Town and Country shopping center isn’t interested in reopening. Someone, Melton said, will move in. “We’re going to provide a corner that can be redeveloped, and there should be room in there for a couple of pretty large stores including a large supermarket if somebody wanted to come in there and build one. The traffic counts will be there, the access will be there, and it’s just a matter of time before it redevelops. This corner will be the heart of the freeway.” The United store is going to be rebuilt, but no one else seems to have bitten yet. G. Randall Andrews of Graco Real Estate Development, Inc., which is developing a shopping center anchored by the new United store for the area, told a meeting of citizens concerned with the construction of a new United store that no other tenants were yet committed, despite the displacements from Town and Country. Lubbock banks, led by American State Bank, put together a $62-million dollar package of low-cost loans and loan renegotiations which, Melton says, is designed to support commercial and neighborhood development along the freeway project and to help tide businesses over during construction. The bank pledged low-cost, non-tradi tional loans that would be combined with the city tax abatements, a communityde velopment fund and other civic initiatives. The package of incentives, says Constancio, is good, but she hasn’t yet seen any effects. Andrews, of Graco, admitted at the public meeting that although he was familiar with the incentives package, he didn’t know of some Way of making rents at the new shopping center competitive enough to attract merchants away from the suburbs. The freeway is also related to plans for a multi-sports downtown arena to encourage businesses to stay in the Central Business District and the eastern parts of the city, although it is difficult to see what benefits an arena and its ring of parking lots would provide for the trailer park, the few low-end retailers, and the liquor store already there. The freeway and the arena are, however, meant to justify each other. “One of the stated reasons for the selection [of the site] is to encourage growth in the eastern part of the city and the east-west freeway will provide the access to the facility,” Melton says, noting that the arena and the freeway are both strongly supported by the AvalancheJournal. City officials are awaiting approval of the environmental impact statement so that state officials can give them the go-ahead on right-of-way acquisition. Melton said he has received verbal indications that the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Texas Department of Transportation environmental affairs division will approve the project. The only agency holding back, Melton said, is the Federal Highway Administration, which has concerns with the wording of the air-quality portion of the statement and some information relating to the hazardous-substance site survey. Melton said he believes those concerns can be addressed and he hopes for final approval of the document in June. At that point, he said, the city can go ahead with acquisition and relocation. The actual construction of the freeway, which could take 10 to 20 years, depends largely on federal highway appropriations, which are expected to pay 80 percent of the construction costs. Maye Constacio believes there are more than bureaucratic formulas involved in the decision. “Very small-town politics, but politics here are big,” Constancio said. “We have a good mayor, but we have a lot of politics. Talk is cheap.” Perhaps the answer lies in what Parsley says Senate Finance Committee Chair Montford told her in December of 1993: “You can’t imagine all the flack I get for spending all these freeway dollars on the Triangle [in Southeast Texas] and none of it going to West Texas.” CLASSIFIEDS ORGANIZATIONS WORK for single-payer National Health Care. Join GRAY PANTHERS, intergenerational advocates against ageism and for progressive policies promoting social and economic justice. $20 individual, $35 family. 3710 Cedar, Austin, TEXAS AIDS NETWORK dedicated to improving HIV/AIDS policy and funding in Texas. Individual membership $25, P.O. Box 2395, Austin, TX LESBIAN/GAY DEMOCRATS of Texas Our Voice in the Party. Membership $15, P.O. Box 190933, Dallas, 75219. 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