Local realtor has big plans for downtown Odessa

ODESSA, Tx (KOSA) -- The City of Odessa is working on several projects to try and revitalize its downtown, and one local realtor is doing his part to bring the area back to life.

The Rose Building on Grant Avenue has been part of downtown Odessa since 1949, when it was home to the city’s First National Bank. It is now an event venue, and as of this week is under new ownership.

“I’ve always loved this building,” John Herriage, who bought the building said. “I think it’s the most beautiful, historic, majestic building in downtown Odessa.”

Herriage owns Copper Key Realty, and also bought the building across the street from the Rose Building, and a vacant lot next door.

“I’m trying to grow downtown Odessa,” Herriage said. “Improve downtown Odessa. Bring back the livelihood to downtown Odessa.”

Herriage said he plans to build a bar in the vacant space, featuring plenty of outdoor seating and live music. He hopes the revitalization of his properties can complement the city’s projects to invigorate the downtown.

“With the hotel coming downtown, Torchy’s Tacos, Starbucks, the large conference center; I think it’s great,” Herriage said. “The more things we have downtown, we can make it a destination.”

There is a possibility that the center of downtown, the Ector County Courthouse, could soon change locations.

“I’ve talked to Judge [Debi] Hays about the courthouse,” Herriage said. “I really don’t want it to move. A lot of people don’t. But I kind of get why they’d do it, and if it does move, I don’t think it would jeopardize the livelihood of downtown Odessa.”

In the Rose Building there is a tunnel that used to connect it to other buildings downtown. Perhaps this joint effort could connect the downtown once again.