Sunday, August 26, 2012

More Large-Scale Redevelopment Slated for Downtown

Several properties located near San Jacinto Plaza are in store for redevelopment and could mean more retail, office, and residential space for the city's downtown. That's according to a story posted at the El Paso Times website, which interviews the head of an investment group purchasing two Downtown landmarks.

Lane Gaddy and a group of investors have already purchased the seven story Martin Building at the corner of Stanton Street and Mills Avenue and are looking to buy another building from River Oaks Properties directly across Mills Avenue from San Jacinto Plaza. The Roberts-Banner Building is a five story historic edifice that the City was interested in a few months back and located one block from the newly renovated Mills Building owned by Paul Foster. The group would also like to buy the Tejas Cafe Building less than one block away at 204-210 Mills Avenue.

Borderplex Properties
Another player in Downtown property redevelopment, Borderplex Community Trust (BCT), has plans for a strip of largely vacant buildings along Mesa Street from Mills Avenue to Texas Avenue. BCT would like to demolish the buildings in hopes of erecting a brand new mixed-use project at the site but has received opposition due to one of the building's historic significance. The building at 230 N. Mesa Street was designed by Henry Trost, one of the city's most significant historic figures who designed many historically-significant buildings in El Paso.

These projects are all less than a block from the upcoming CVS Pharmacy project at 201 N. Mesa Street, a 30,000 square foot building that is currently vacant. The actual drug store should take up about 10,000 square feet of space.

Read more at the Times website here:

All this activity comes amid the City's plan to reconstruct San Jacinto Plaza into a larger, more user-friendly park, and the upcoming Mills Plaza Promenade which will allow only pedestrian traffic on Mills from Oregon Street to El Paso Street. The Promenade project is being developed by Paul Foster's Mills Plaza Properties though the right of way will remain in the City's ownership.

Add to this the plans for a $50 Million baseball stadium just blocks away, a pending streetcar project, an ArtSpace housing/gallery plan, and the transformation of a parking garage into an office building (see Previously section below), and you have an increase in Downtown construction activity not seen in decades. Stay tuned for more Downtown updates.

City Interested In Historic Downtown Building
CVS Pharmacy May Open Downtown Location
Downtown Garage Transforming Into Bank, Office Building
San Jacinto Revamp Moves Into Final Design Phase
Trolley Project Could Get $90M in TxDOT Funds
City Approves Downtown Ballpark
Council Approves Artspace Project at Old Saddleblanket