Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mixed-Use Apartments Proposed for West El Paso

Two Four-Story Buildings to Include Housing, Commercial Spaces

A rezoning application with the City Plan Commission reveals a mixed-use apartment complex planned for West El Paso. Two four-story buildings will make up the project, located on De Leon Drive, just off North Mesa Street.
(City of El Paso, City Plan Commission)

The project includes a total of 16 apartments, including 12 two-bedroom and four one-bedroom units, spread between both buildings. The apartments comprise a total area of 16,064 square feet.

Another 3,210 square feet will be dedicated to retail space on the ground floor of each building. A total of three retail spaces will be available.

A reduction of 40% of the parking requirement will be requested as part of the application; a project of this size requires 43 parking spaces in Residential Mixed Use zoning, while only 26 are proposed. According to the application, a traffic study has shown that there are 71 spaces within a 300 foot radius of the property.

The surrounding area has a mix of uses, including single-family homes, multi-family apartments, and commercial properties. The recently completed Fiesta-Balboa pocket park is also nearby.

The Planning Division is recommending approval of the rezoning application for the property, which is located at 2 De Leon Drive. The City Plan Commission with consider the item at the April 24, 2014 meeting.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Less Than One Week Left for Stadium

Crews Have Only Six Days Until Triple-A Home Opener

In just six days, the seats at the brand new Triple-A ballpark will be filled to capacity in the very first game for the El Paso Chihuahuas at Southwest University Park. Construction crews are working non-stop to ensure the stadium will be ready for opening day on April 28, 2014.
The field at the Downtown ballpark is lush with green grass. Construction is ongoing behind right field. (Armando Landin/El Paso Development News)

A tour of the stadium on Saturday made clear that there is much left to do before the gates open to the public. Construction workers seem to be working on every level, installing wiring, laying pavers, and generally honing in on the details that need finishing up.

The concourse, which was somewhat soaked from an afternoon downpour, has clear views of the field. Concession stands and carts sit ready to be filled with food and drink.
Stenciled wayfinding signage is included along the concourse at Southwest University Park in Downtown El Paso. (Armando Landin/El Paso Development News)

The team store has empty shelves and display units awaiting merchandise like t-shirts and baseball caps. It is accessible from the concourse level. Nearby, elevators will take game attendees to and from the upper concourse as well as to the suite levels on the upper floors.

Suites are nearly complete, with some including features such as kitchenettes and high-definition monitors. A nearby bar area is also nearing completion, with groups of chairs huddled together with plastic coverings still wrapped around some furnishings.
A bar with views of the field will serve patrons in the suites area of the upper floors at the Downtown ballpark. (Armando Landin/El Paso Development News)

Rooms for the TV, radio, and written press are nearby, as well as the public announcer’s quarters. Future plans include adding additional suites to areas ready for construction.

Far below, beneath the stadium seating, team areas feel much more finished. Locker rooms seem ready for use, with wooden player cubbies etched with “EP” and an enormous Chihuahuas logo decorating the carpet. Nearby, the team’s mascot Chico gets his own dressing room.
A downpour on Saturday left the stadium soaked. The long range forecast calls for sunny skies on April 28, opening day. (Armando Landin/El Paso Development News)

Within the umpire locker room, a giant steel door marks the entrance to the stadium’s humidor. Inside: the baseballs that will be used during games. Humidors have been used in other high-altitude major and minor league stadiums to “deaden” the balls, which keeps the balls from carrying further through the thinner air. This may be especially important in the relatively small Downtown El Paso stadium.

Also underneath the stadium seats, bullpens and batting cages can be used during games and practice. The dugouts are just steps away.
Construction workers set pavers at the base of one of the right field buildings at Southwest University Park. Opening day is April 28, 2014. (Armando Landin/El Paso Development News)

The field itself looks like a lush cloud of grass. Small signs saying “Please Keep Off” are placed along the turf’s edge.

Two buildings that tower over right field seem to need the most work before they can be used. Crews are working at a furious pace to make that happen. The structures will be used for events as party decks with a connecting bridge.

Open panel areas await a colored glass art installation
on the clock tower along Durango Street.
(Armando Landin/El Paso Development News)
Even the main entrance is seeing lots of work. Most of the series of colored glass panels that will decorate the clock tower on Durango Street were not yet in place on Saturday. The clock itself has been installed. It will be powered by parts salvaged from the Insights Museum that once stood at the site.

The former City Hall building was demolished at the site just over one year ago, after a local business partnership purchased the Tucson Padres Triple-A team, now known as the El Paso Chihuahuas. The 7,500 seat stadium will be owned by the City, and leased by the team.

The first official pitch will be thrown just after 7:00 p.m. on Monday, April 28, seven short days away, when the Chihuahuas take on the Fresno Grizzlies. The game sold out within hours earlier this year when single game tickets went on sale.
Panoramic view of the Triple-A stadium in Downtown El Paso. Click to enlarge. (Armando Landin/El Paso Development News)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Weekly Edition, Issue 52

The Weekly Edition, Issue 52 has arrived! Take a look at the newest issue of our Weekly Edition, by clicking HERE. (Note: The newsletter will open in PDF format.)

In this edition:

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

TxDOT to Present Proposed I-10 Collector-Distributor Design

Public Hearing Set For End of April

The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) will hold a public meeting on April 30, 2014, to provide progress details on the proposed Interstate 10 Collector-Distributor (C-D) lanes. The project stretches from Executive Center Boulevard to Mesa Street in West El Paso.
(Texas Department of Transportation)

The C-D lanes will be additional, outside lanes that run parallel to the main lanes in the center of the freeway. C-D lanes will “collect and distribute” vehicles entering and exiting the freeway along the 5.75-mile stretch of I-10. This allows traffic in the main lanes to flow for several miles without having to deal with on- and off-ramps.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Digital Wall to Be Housed in Protective Pavilion

Museum of History Chooses New Design for Entrance Plaza

The project to bring the country’s first TouchCity Digital Wall to the El Paso Museum of History took another step forward recently when officials chose the tentative design for a pavilion that will protect the new installation.
A 1,661 square foot pavilion will protect the future TouchCity Digital Wall and its users at the El Paso Museum of History. (Courtesy MNK Architects)

Designed by MNK Architects of El Paso (www.mnkarchitects.com), the 1,661 square foot pavilion features a protective roof with distinctive angles, new signage for the museum and the Digital Wall, and materials that both distinguish it and marry it to the existing building. In effect, it will serve as an entrance plaza to the Museum’s exhibit spaces.

The Digital Wall itself will be attached to the south-facing wall of the museum building, to the west of the existing entrance doors. The five screens that make up the Digital Wall will be enclosed in an insulated structure, supplied by EuropTec USA of West Virginia, a company specializing in anti-glare glass.

A solar study was conducted using 3-D imaging to determine how the path of the sun will affect the pavilion. (Courtesy MNK Architects)

The protective glass will actually float above the screens, allowing a 1/8 of an inch gap of air. It will have a LUXAR antireflective coating to lessen glare, and will include an easy-to-clean treatment that will lessen effects of fingerprints from users. Dust-proof enclosures will protect HyperSound speakers from dust.