Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Luther Building Gets Additional $4.5M Injection

City Transfers Money to Project

The El Paso City Council voted today to approve an additional $4.5 million for the Luther Building project in downtown. The 62,000 square foot building is currently undergoing renovations to make room for City offices.
Rendering of what the Luther Building will look like once completed. (www.insituarc.com)

A majority of the money, $3.3 million will come from the Bus Rapid Transit System's Montana corridor project which has been delayed by at least one year due to federal funding cuts. The money would have been the City's funding match, which it expects will now be pushed back to summer of 2016 at earliest.

The building's condition prior to
renovation work beginning.
The other $1.2 million will come from surplus funds from City projects that have already been completed. In all, the budget for the Luther Building is $13.4 million. Once complete, it will house the City's Information Technology and Engineering & Construction Management departments.

Earlier this year, the City authorized $8.86 million for the project despite an expected cost of $13.7 million. Council directed City staff to locate additional funding for the building's renovations. The historic building was donated to the City last year by Paul Foster. Foster, one of the partners involved in bringing a Triple-A ball club to El Paso, gave the building to the City to facilitate the emptying of the former City Hall in order to make room for a new baseball stadium at the site.
This photo shows how far crews have come from the building's previous condition.

Work has been ongoing on the project for several months now at the corner of Campbell Street and Mills Avenue. Renderings of the building show that the recently barren facade will be replaced by the historic brickwork and architectural details the structure once had. Storefronts will line the sidewalk.