Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Aldea Seeks Frontage Road & Overpass Agreement (Updated)

Update: The Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority voted unanimously at its July 10, 2013 meeting to approve the agreement.

Original Story:
Deal May Help Green-Light Construction for SmartCode Project

The final prerequisite that could allow the Aldea SmartCode development to move forward may be settled this week at the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority (CRRMA) meeting. A resolution on the agenda, if approved, could give the developer the green light to begin construction.

The resolution seeks the approval of an agreement between the CRRMA, in coordination with the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT), and the City of El Paso, Walmart Stores, and Geltmore Aldea, LLC, the project’s developer, to construct a new interchange and frontage road adjacent to the Aldea property.
The planned frontage road and overpass will provide access to the SmartCode Aldea development. An agreement with the CRRMA and City may mean the project will break ground as planned. (Image modified; Original: aldeaelpaso.com)

Under the agreement, both the City and Geltmore will make contributions towards completion of the project, which will construct the interchange at Interstate 10 and the future Mesa Park Boulevard, about half a mile to the north of Executive Boulevard. 

In addition, a frontage road will be constructed from Executive to Mesa Park. According to schematic drawings included in the resolution, the frontage road will provide multiple access points to the development. 

For its part, the CRRMA will coordinate with all parties to help stick to the project timeline. If all goes as planned, the schematic design for the project will be completed this month with environmental clearance anticipated for October 2013. 

Mesa Park Boulevard will connect I-10 to Mesa Street.
This roundabout is in the 'rambla' district. (aldeaelpaso.com)
The parties hope that all funding is secured by June of 2014 with construction beginning the following August. The interchange project has a tentative completion date of March 1, 2015, while the frontage road project is scheduled for completion in August of 2016.

Last month, Geltmore received an extension to its incentives package with the City which originally required construction to begin on Aldea by May. The newest contract requires ground to be broken by May of 2014. Geltmore cited the lack of an agreement with TXDOT to build the frontage road as the reason it needed the extension. 

The agreement is one of five requirements in the contract with the City in order for Geltmore to qualify for incentives. Once the agreement is approved by all parties, the developer may begin construction on Aldea. 

Aldea El Paso will be developed to SmartCode standards and will create over one million square feet of retail/entertainment space, 250,000 square feet of office space, and 350 rooms between two hotels. A mix of housing options will make up 1,245 residential units. 

The 204 acre project will be broken down into “districts” including big box areas which will house a Walmart, residential districts, and a town center “rambla” which will create an urban area. The Aldea brochure, among many other documents, may be seen at the project website, aldeaelpaso.com