Thursday, November 1, 2012

City to Buy Texas Ave Bldgs, Revamp Luther Bldg

City Council may vote next week to finalize the purchase of two buildings at 801 and 811 Texas Avenue in downtown El Paso in order to continue with the relocation of City offices. Additionally, the Council will consider allocating funds to renovating the donated Luther Building for more space, all in hopes of vacating the current City Hall site to make way for an upcoming Triple-A baseball stadium.

801 Texas Avenue Building
Two items on the Council's agenda relate to the purchase of the Texas Avenue buildings, which will house the City Development Department. The first item is to approve the purchase of the building for $2.3 million, while the second item will move to select Mijares Mora Architects for the rehabilitation of the building to modern standards. The main building and the annex contain a combined 68,000 square feet of space.

The City also hopes to approve expenditures of $8.86 million to renovate the Luther Building at 300 N. Campbell which was donated to the City by Paul Foster. According to the agenda item, money will be used which was previously allocated to other projects but which is now available because the projects are not proceeding, have been completed, or have been funded through other programs. The City may choose In*Situ Architecture of El Paso as the architect on this project on a separate agenda item.

There is no agenda item to purchase the El Paso Times building as the City had previously considered doing. It is unclear if the City has scrapped that plan in favor of rehabilitating the Luther Building. The City is on a tight schedule and hopes to vacate the current City Hall site by early 2013. Construction on the stadium must be complete by April 2014.

City Council agenda:
Mijares Mora Architects website:
In*Situ Architecture website:

Glimpse of Ballpark Plans Included in Council Agenda
Triple-A Club, Ballpark Debut New Website
No Ballpark Veto; Next Steps for Downtown Stadium
Rep. Acosta, Mayor Cook May Wreck Ballpark Deal
Ballpark Update: Paul Foster May Donate Luther Building
City Finalizes Quality of Life Ballot Questions
Council Votes to Purchase Buildings for City Hall Relocation
City to Decide Fate of Downtown Ballpark This Week (Updated)
City May Demolish City Hall for Ballpark