Thursday, May 30, 2013

Stadium Renderings Updated

Triple-A Website Debuts Refined Images

Newly posted images at the website for El Paso’s upcoming Triple-A ball club are giving the public an up close look at certain sections of the future stadium. 
Two outfield buildings will host group events and parties.
In particular, greater detail is revealed as to how the two buildings that form the right field perimeter will be used and what the interiors may look like. 
The roof deck will be open air with balcony seating overlooking right field.
The southernmost, four-story structure will have a roof deck that may offer space for functions as well as balcony seating. The plan shows several tables surrounded by chairs laid out in a dining fashion. This open air deck will shield patrons from the elements with draped canopies.
Canopies will protect ballpark patrons on the roof deck.
The third level of this structure may house a bar with additional seating areas for patrons. A bridge will connect this level to the three-level structure immediately to the north. Diagrams label this area as the “Group Sales Deck.”

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

UTEP Gets More Housing

$23M Project Will Add 83 Housing Units to Campus

The Board of Regents for the University of Texas system has approved a project to add two student housing buildings to the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) campus, and construction will begin next month on the $23 million project.
The new housing complex will include two 4-story buildings.
A total of 83 units will house 356 students beginning in fall of 2014. The total size of the project is 103,606 square feet between two four story buildings which will be located on a six acre //////plot nearby the Helen of Troy Softball Complex off of Sun Bowl Drive. A smaller building is part of the housing complex and will house a computer lab and a conference room. 

According the UTEP On the Move website (,  each of the units will have a small kitchen, a living area, and a bathroom. Some units will be one-bedroom efficiencies while others will be four- or six-bedroom suites. “Lobbies, lounges, study rooms, and laundry facilities” will be included in each building.

The Mijares-Mora architectural firm of El Paso designed the student housing project and incorporate UTEP’s Bhutanese style into the plan. The project is separate from the SmartCode development on a former parking lot at UTEP that will bring another 100 units to the school. Construction on the 83-unit project will begin on June 13.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

$64M Hotel Complex (Updated)

City to Vote on Incentives for 4-Star Airport Hotel/Retail Center

Update: Council voted 7-0 to approve the lease agreement and incentives package for the project.

Original Story:
The City of El Paso may enter into a lease agreement with a developer this week in order to bring a $64 million hotel and retail complex to airport land. In return, the City will provide EP Vida, LLC, with incentives in order to make the hotel project a reality.
The site plan for the hotel/retail complex was teased by the City Development Department and shows several retail buildings and a triangle-shaped hotel.
The development will be located at the corner of Boeing Drive and Airway Boulevard in a vacant nine acre plot of land owned by the City. According to the item on City Council’s agenda, EP Vida will build a 220 room “Four Star” hotel on the property. 

The City’s list of “Four Star” amenities include availability of presidential and executive suites, concierge service, a full service restaurant and bar, meetings rooms, and “upscale” interior finishes. The City desires a “modern, refreshing, welcoming, comfortable and exceptional guest experience” for the hotel.

An attached Specialty Retail Center will also be constructed and owned by the developer and will create 66,000 square feet of retail space, 14,000 square feet of restaurant space, and 7,000 square feet of office space. 

Weekly Edition, Issue 8

The Weekly Edition, Issue 8, has arrived! Take a look at the newest issue of our Weekly Edition, by clicking HERE.

In this edition:
  • $64M Hotel Complex: City to Vote on Incentives for 4-Star Airport Hotel/Retail Center
  • Stadium Renderings Updated: Triple-A Website Debuts Refined Images
  • More Housing for UTEP: $23M Project Will Add 83 Housing Units to Campus
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fox Plaza Announces Flea Market Upgrades

Facility Improvements, Added Parking Goal of Recent Projects
Fox Plaza Flea Market patrons crowd the area
looking for good deals during the 2012 holiday season
One of the Sun City’s longest running flea markets is still going strong in central El Paso, and recent investments have resulted in upgrades that the management of Fox Plaza hopes will keep visitors happy. The upgrades mostly took place during 2012 at the Fox Plaza Flea Market, located at the corner of Alameda Avenue and Paisano Drive. 

Canopies were installed over common areas
at Fox Plaza in 2012.
The first project replaced restroom facilities with permanent buildings at a cost of $120,000. Restrooms had previously been housed in trailer structures.

Shade canopies were also installed in the common area of the flea market, and over the stage area. These are located in the approximate center of the market and were a $15,000 investment.

The third project involved replacing several palm trees that had perished in the historic freeze of 2011, some up to 30 feet in height. Replacing the trees had a cost of $14,000.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Loop 375 Northeast Project Should be Finished by July 2014

The project to complete the Loop 375 freeway in northeast El Paso continues as planned, and the new mainlanes should open to traffic in July of 2014. That’s according to an update received by the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority (CRRMA) at its May 8, 2013 meeting.

Overpasses at three interchanges are still under construction, but most have seen significant progress. Work continues to complete the bridges at Kenworthy Drive, Rushing Boulevard, and Alcan Avenue.
Excavation work continues at the Loop 375 freeway project
 in northeast El Paso. (TXDOT/CRRMA Photo)
The freeway’s only underpass will occur as Loop 375 travels underneath US-54 and its Gateway frontage roads. Crews continue to excavate the earth in this section.

Walmart Denied: Retailer May Appeal Decision to City Council

The third time was not the charm for Walmart in its attempt to get City approval for a central El Paso Walmart. The City Plan Commission (CPC) denied the retailer’s rezoning application at its May 16, 2013 meeting.

It was the third time the item appeared on the CPC’s agenda, but the first to actually get a vote. Previously, the item had been postponed to allow Walmart representatives to make changes based on City and public input. The Commission voted 6-3 to deny the application, despite a recommendation to approve from the Planning Division.
Walmart added "subdistricts" to its site plan in its latest revision.
Walmart had initially sought rezoning to Planned Commercial District for four adjacent properties bounded by Montana Avenue, Chelsea Street, and Trowbridge Avenue in the Chel-Mont neighborhood, when representatives for the City recommended denial of the request. The City wanted the building to be moved closer to Montana Avenue with the parking lot switched to the back. It granted a two week postponement at its April 18 meeting to allow Walmart to make changes.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Weekly Edition, Issue 7

The Weekly Edition, Issue 7, has arrived! Take a look at the newest issue of our Weekly Edition, by clicking HERE.

In this edition:
  • Walmart Denied: Retailer May Appeal Decision to City Council
  • Loop 375 Northeast Project Should be Finished by July 2014
  • Fox Plaza Announces Flea Market Upgrades
  • ‘Fountains’ Updates Construction Aerial Photos
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Zaragoza Interchange Could Open by November

The $26 million project to bring direct connectors to the Zaragoza Road/Loop 375 interchange on El Paso’s east side is scheduled for completion on November 9, 2013, according to an update this month from the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT).

Two ramps are under construction at the site, one that will take drivers directly from Zaragoza Road southbound to Loop 375 southbound and another that will travel from Loop 375 northbound to Zaragoza Road northbound.

Some concrete beams have already been placed on the southbound direct connector, while beams for the northbound ramp are scheduled to begin placement in this quarter.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

UTEP’s SmartCode Plan: Former Rudolph Lot To Become Mixed-Use Project

A 7.645 acre plot of land at the University of Texas at El Paso that formerly housed a car dealership may soon see new life as an infill housing and retail development. And a new rezoning application indicates that SmartCode will be used to help create a pedestrian friendly space.
The property is between Mesa Street and Sun Bowl Drive.
Campus Developers, LLC, signed a 50-year lease with the property’s owner, University of Texas system, and will construct approximately 100 units for student housing and hundreds more apartments that will be priced at market rates. The ground floor of the apartment buildings will contain retail uses.

The site is sandwiched between Mesa Street and Sun Bowl Drive and contains a narrow sliver that sticks out of the southern end, sliding behind current Taco Tote and Village Inn locations.

According to the newest site plan, four buildings will make up the development. The largest will span the entire width of the property and looks to house a parking garage within the structure lined with retail uses.
Four buildings will make up the SmartCode development at UTEP. The northernmost building, at left, will contain a parking structure.
Two similarly sized buildings makeup the midsection of the property, one lining Mesa Street and the other abutting Sun Bowl Drive. The latter may also include parking within the building.

Walmart Changes Zoning Request: Plan Will Get CPC Vote This Week

The City Plan Commission (CPC) will make its third attempt this week to vote on whether or not to approve zoning that would allow a Walmart grocery store to be constructed in a central El Paso neighborhood.

This time, the Planning Division is recommending approval of the application due to changes made to the site plan, increasing the likelihood that the item will pass. The zoning type being requested has changed.
Walmart has added space for future buildings in its site plan.
Walmart representatives are now seeking General Mixed Use zoning which would allow additional buildings to be built on the site. This is in response to the City’s request to move the Walmart store’s footprint closer to Montana Avenue.

Two “subdistricts” have been added along the sidewalk on the site’s southern side on which retail buildings may be built in the future, giving the property a more urban, walkable element.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

See Video of Shipping Container Becoming Art Piece at the TI:ME at Montecillo

Project Gets New Facebook Page

The upcoming TI:ME at Montecillo retail and restaurant area on North Mesa Street will be partially constructed by reusing shipping containers, and now you can see one become a work of art in a new video released on Vimeo.

Container Mandala from EXIST1981 on Vimeo.

The time lapse video shows a short overview of activities at the Montecillo SmartCode development site before focusing on the shipping container that will be used as a public art monument at the TI:ME location, according to previously released renderings of what the final structure will look like when it's completed.
TI:ME at Montecillo has a new Facebook page.

A new Facebook page was recently created for the TI:ME at Montecillo project. The developers behind the project, Nick Salgado, Octavio Gomez and Rudy Valdes, have stated that they plan to open three new restaurants simultaneously at the site, a coffee shop, a Mexican cantina serving street food, and a casual steakhouse. There will be other retail spaces available at TI:ME.

Facebook page:
Video webpage:

Downtown Upgrades

Several Public and Private Projects Planned for Downtown El Paso

For years, El Paso officials and business owners alike have made all sorts of moves to get the city’s largely dormant downtown back on the upswing. 

Areas around and south of Paisano Drive have been abuzz with shoppers for decades, but the business sectors of downtown have seen somewhat measured investment. 
Relatively recent revitalization highlights include the Mills-Plaza area, which is still under development, and the dynamic Union Plaza area, where an entrepreneurial element sparked several years back leading to trendy restaurants, clubs, and more recently, shops and apartments.

Now, a combination of big moves are culminating in several construction projects planned for the next two years and beyond. Here are some of those projects and their location within the downtown area.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Twin Peaks Restaurant Headed to 'Fountains'?

Facebook Page, Job Listings Tease New Tenant

A Facebook page was recently created for a future Twin Peaks Restaurant location at the Fountains at Farah shopping center on El Paso's east side.
No confirmation or press release has been issued, but employment listings have popped on Craigslist and various websites which all but confirm the company's plan to open up in the Sun City. A new commercial permit issued by the City earlier this month listed Twin Peaks as the applicant with an address at the Fountains.

Twin Peaks' concept includes offering "man food," serving beer at 29 degrees, and offering "scenic views" which refers to the restaurant's female servers, according to the company's website, in the same vein as Hooters.

The chain has over 25 locations in United States and hopes to open 50 by the end of 2013.

Twin Peaks website:
Facebook page:

Weekly Edition, Issue 6

The Weekly Edition, Issue 6, has arrived! Take a look at the newest issue of our Weekly Edition, by clicking HERE.

In this edition:
  • Downtown Upgrades: Several Public and Private Projects Planned for Downtown El Paso
  • Zaragoza Interchange Could be Opened by November
  • UTEP's SmartCode Plan: Former Rudolph Lot To Become Mixed-Use Project 
  • Walmart Changes Zoning Request: Plan Will Get CPC Vote This Week
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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

University Projects Continue

UTEP Gets Ready for Centennial Plaza Construction

New chain link fences, reconfigured parking spaces, and temporary sidewalks are all part of recent prep work for construction of the future Centennial Plaza at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), what could be one of the largest projects for the school’s “Campus Transformation.”

That’s according to the latest update to the school’s UTEP On the Move website which highlights coming projects and how they will affect campus access.
UTEP’s future Centennial Plaza will eliminate vehicular traffic at the center of campus.
Work began in April when a trench was built along Randolph Drive in order to install a guardrail. A chain link fence will also be installed in order to protect pedestrians from planned construction.

On May 1, construction began on a 10-foot wide sidewalk along Randolph for student access. Chain link fences will also provide a “layer of separation” between pedestrians and construction vehicles and personnel.

Monday, May 6, 2013

$500M Loop 375 Extension

Border Highway West Project May Begin Construction in 2015

Construction on the massive Border Highway West (BHW) extension project could begin in two years, according to the Abbreviated State Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) just released by the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT). The nine mile project would create a tolled expressway from downtown El Paso, where Loop 375 currently ends, north and west to a point just south of the Interstate 10 at Paisano intersection near Sunland Park.
New ramps will connect the Border Highway with Paisano Drive and Delta Street just east of downtown El Paso.
The abbreviated EIS is an update of the one approved in September of 2012 and highlights any changes that were made to the original. This includes changes to the previously chosen “Alternative 2,” the route that was preferred by the state and announced last year.

Revisions have been made to westbound access to the toll road along the southern edge of downtown as well as changes to the proposed Coles/Paisano interchange. This interchange would give downtown commuters and entrance to Loop 375 eastbound.

The new tolled portion of the expressway will take a 7.1 mile southeasterly route from the west side to downtown. It will run along US 85 (Paisano Drive) from its western terminus and head southeast, then take an eastward turn just past Doniphan Drive. Doniphan currently ends in a dead end west of Racetrack Drive but is extended in the plan to form on- and off-ramps that will provide access to Loop 375.
A schematic design from the state’s Environmental Impact Statement shows the elevated Border Highway West extension in the vicinity of Doniphan Drive and Racetrack Drive.
Border Highway West will then cross the current CEMEX industrial property and take a southward turn at the planned interchange with Executive Boulevard, just west of I-10. The Loop will then run parallel to the Interstate within current TXDOT right of way, on the eastern side of the former ASARCO smelting property.

Weekly Edition, Issue 5

The Weekly Edition, Issue 5, has arrived! Take a look at the newest issue of our Weekly Edition, by clicking HERE.

In this edition:
  • $500M Loop 375 Extension: Border Highway West Project May Begin Construction in 2015
  • University Projects Continue: UTEP Gets Ready for Centennial Plaza Construction
  • Walmart Vote Postponed Again
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Sunday, May 5, 2013

New Feature: DevLink

Check out our newest feature: DevLink.
There are lots of great articles out there on development projects involving El Paso, and we'd like to share them with you. On the DevLink page, we list the stories we've found at other sources, making it easier for you to read these articles.

Clicking on the links will take you to the original article. So take a look!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sundt Completes Prep Work for New Beaumont Medical Center on Fort Bliss

Sundt Construction has completed a “heavy civil construction” project at Fort Bliss to help prepare the area for the upcoming brand new William Beaumont Army Medical Center (WBAMC). That’s according to an update at the company’s blog.
Rendering of the future William Beaumont Army Medical Center on Fort Bliss.
According to the post, Sundt completed “extensive infrastructure and site development work” on the location off of Loop 375 in East Fort Bliss.

The $48 million project included “fencing the entire 320-acre site, installing wet and dry utilities, concrete paving,” and “building an electrical substation for the hospital.”

A major component of the project was the construction of a street bridge over the freeway and the related on- and off-ramps that will allow access to the site.

With the project completed, vertical construction may soon begin. The $1 billion WBAMC project includes construction of 1.13 million square foot complex on the site which will be a LEED certified building when completed. Sections of the hospital will vary from four to seven stories in height, and a 135-bed wing will be located in the tallest structure.

Sundt Blog:

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Retail Buzz: Potential ‘Fountains’ Tenant Names Emerge

Store, Contractor Websites Reveal Possible Retailers 

The developer behind the fast approaching Fountains at Farah shopping center has remained tight lipped with regard to retailers and restaurants that will occupy the site, but some possible names have been revealed by both store and contractor websites on the internet. No announcements have been made for the tenants mentioned below. 

Plans for a Carter’s apparel store have been disclosed at the website ( for the seller of baby and children’s clothing. A search for stores in the El Paso area reveals a future location at the Fountains at Farah that is “Opening October 2013.” Carter’s history dates back to 1865, and the retailer now sells both Carter’s and OshKosh B’gosh brand clothing. This will be the second location in the city; the first is located at the Outlet Shoppes at El Paso on the west side.

A proposed Fountains location for Jared, The Galleria of Jewelry has been revealed through an employment listing for the company. Job openings are for sales associates at the coming store. Jared is a division of Sterling Jewelers, Inc., which also operates Kay Jewelers stores nationwide.
Rendering of the future  promenade area of the Fountains at Farah.
Rumor Mill

Other retailers do not currently have coming locations listed on their websites, but contractor and subcontractor sites give hints as to which projects are available at the Fountains. Some of these possible tenants have been previously rumored to have locations planned for the center, but none have been confirmed.