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.
(Photo: facebook.com/ElPasoCityDevelopment)
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. 

The property was recently subdivided by the city in anticipation of the mixed-use development. This is a small piece of the Southern Industrial Park Master Plan adopted by the City last year for a large section of airport land. As part of the Master Plan, the area was rezoned to SmartCode standards.

A site plan posted to the City of El Paso’s Development Department Facebook page shows a high density development with a main street lined with retail uses that leads up to the proposed hotel which has a triangular footprint.
The property was subdivided in March in anticipation of the project.
A traffic circle sits near the middle of the area, and on-street parking is offered in both perpendicular and angled slots. Hidden parking lots are strategically located within retail blocks. Retail uses also line Boeing Drive on the northern side of the property.

The City’s incentives for the project include a 100% property tax rebate, a 100% rebate of the City’s portion of sales tax, and a 50% Hotel Occupancy Tax rebate, all for a ten year period. EP Vida’s responsibilities in the agreement include creating 300 jobs at the complex and spending a minimum of $64 million to create the hotel and retail center.

EP Vida will be required to commence construction of the complex within 12 months of the date of the Chapter 380 incentives agreement, presumably within one year from now. No hotel brand or retailers are named within the agreement or agenda item.

EP Vida, LLC, was created by SAVA Holdings of Dallas and Paragon Project Resources of El Paso. The website for SAVA Holdings indicate that the developer has worked on projects that include hotel brands such as Aloft, element by Westin, and Staybridge Suites, among others. 

One Group Design, LP, a part of the SAVA group, designed the teased site plan and has recently worked on several Aloft hotel projects according to a recently uploaded YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7lur6FnHX0). Neither the lease agreement nor the Chapter 380 incentives agreement indicate if the proposed hotel will carry the Aloft name.

The El Paso City Council will consider the items at its May 28, 2013, meeting.

City Subdividing Vacant Parcel Near Airway/Montana Intersection