Monday, June 17, 2013

City Council to Vote on Project to Revive Vacant Downtown Hotel (Updated)

Former Artisan Building Has Potential Buyer

Update: City Council approved the incentives package. The developer, Summit 11 Investment Group, will now have 90 days to purchase the building from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Original Story: 
A downtown hotel with a troubled past may get another shot if City Council approves an incentives package for an interested buyer. The former Artisan Hotel, which was open for five months before closing amid the owner’s bankruptcy, has been largely vacant for the past ten years. Now, an investment group would like to purchase the building and turn it into a 115-room brand name hotel.

The former Artisan Hotel sits vacant in
downtown El Paso. (
Summit 11 Investment Group, LLC, will spend at least $8 million to completely gut the interior of the hotel and reconstruct brand new hotel rooms within the structure. The 60,000 square foot hotel will include over 100 rooms, meeting and banquet space, an on-site restaurant and bar, a renovated pool, and a rooftop spa and fitness facility. The group will also renovate the exterior to have a modern, “avant garde design.”

The City’s Chapter 380 agreement incentives include a ten year property tax rebate on the City’s portion, a ten year ground floor sales tax rebate on the City’s portion for retailers, a ten year alcohol tax rebate, and a parking and room block commitment from the City.

As part of the agreement, the hotel will have to carry a brand name from the Marriott, Starwood, Hilton, or IHG chain of hotels. IHG hotel choices are limited to Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, or Hotel Indigo.

Summit 11 will have 90 days to purchase the building if the agreement is approved and six months to begin construction. The hotel must be open for business within 24 months, or approximately in June of 2015. Summit currently operates two hotels in El Paso, the Holiday Inn El Paso Airport and the Comfort Inn & Suites Airport, according to the City’s agenda item.

The vacant downtown hotel building, located at 325 N. Kansas, is less than two blocks from the new City Hall. City Council will vote on the incentives agreement at its June 18, 2013 meeting.


  1. It's going to be great to see this building get refurbished and start all a new! The hotel started off as the Downtowner Motor Inn back in the early 1960's along with the adjacent Southwest National Bank.Downtown El Paso is coming back to life,one building at a time,really seems like a hand full of them are coming back!

  2. Hopefully everything goes good with the 3 negatives in city council (robinson,holguin,limon) As for Oscar, he basically got in due to the Steve ortega haters and Oscar has a free ride to El Paso's positive future and Steve deserves it. Does anyone know when San Jacinto, Trolley, Museums, Arena will be started and the whole downtown renovation. What about asarcos land?

    1. San jacinto renovation should start in july. According to what I've read, the trolley construction should start in january 2014. Tentative dates for the museums and arena I believe are slated for 2015. Like you, I worry about the newfound power the curmudgeon naysayers have with the new vote no on everything city council representatives. Hopefully the damage they do to revitalization can be reversed in four years. I have not heard anything on Asarco.

  3. I'm glad that others are paying attention about our new city council because I feel that can derail several project like the electric rail trolley.
    I also hope that the new city council don't subtract any money from the arena to fund other projects in their own district.On Sunday's El Paso Times editorial it was mentioned that the arena will cost 150 million dollars down from 180 million dollars,so where's the other 30 million dollars gone? Also the new mayor has mention before that the new arena would be better suited in East El Paso! I thought we voted for a downtown arena only,so time will tell what these naysayers are actually going to do with the tax payers money.