Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekly Edition, Issue 26

The Weekly Edition, Issue 26 has arrived! Take a look at the newest issue of our Weekly Edition, by clicking HERE. (Note: The newsletter will open in PDF format.)

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Magoffin Home to Add Visitor's Center

One of El Paso’s oldest structures will soon get a new Visitor’s Center. The addition will be across the street from the Magoffin Home State Historic Site, just to the east of Downtown El Paso.
Elevation of the Visitor's Center set for the Magoffin Home. (City of El Paso)

The Texas Historical Commission (THC), which owns and manages the site, purchased a residential property at 1117 Magoffin Avenue in 2012 which it will renovate and turn into a Visitor’s Center. The 2,450 square foot building was constructed in 1926 and was a private residence until last year when the THC bought it, according to the latest Central Appraisal District record.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

City to Hold Meeting on Downtown Pedestrian Pathway

A community meeting will be held this week to update the public on the upcoming Downtown Pedestrian Pathway project. Officials from the Engineering and Construction Management Department indicate that work will soon begin on the pathway.
The Pedestrian Pathway project will undergo construction in phases.

The Convention Center North Pedestrian Pathway will take the place of a parking lot and maintenance paths on the northern side of the Convention Center. The project also includes enhancements to Durango Street from San Antonio Avenue to the baseball stadium site and portions of Main Drive and Sheldon Court near Arts Festival Plaza.

‘Fountains’ Weekend 1: Many Shoppers, No Actual Fountains Yet

Point of View

Thousands of El Pasoans flocked to the Fountains at Farah this past weekend as three stores have now opened at the new shopping center. Dick’s Sporting Goods, Best Buy, and Stein Mart saw throngs of customers during their grand opening weekend.
The sheer number of visitors to the Fountains at Farah shopping center last weekend forced many to park in front of stores that haven't opened yet. Parking areas in front of Dick's Sporting Goods and Best Buy were completely full at times.

Parking was difficult to find in the upper level parking lots, especially in front of the Best Buy and Dick’s locations, which are right next to each other. Patrons parked in lots further east and walked in front of still-closed retailers to reach the new stores. Despite the pleasant temperatures in the region, the mass of concrete and lack of greenery made for a steamy hike. Large, empty planters most likely mean that plants will soon be added.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Destination XL Opens at 'Fountains'

Seller of apparel for big and tall men, Destination XL (DXL for short), has opened it Fountains at Farah location, according to a press release issued by the company yesterday. It is the fourth store to open at the new shopping center which has not yet celebrated its official grand opening.

DXL sells more than 100 brands for big and tall men, including Polo Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Michael Kors, DKNY Jeans, and Lucky Brand Jeans. Its sizes begin at XL and up, waist sizes of 40" and up, and shoe sizes from 10-16 in larger widths.

"The DXL concept is an emerging and innovative retail offering that is attuned to our customers' needs and we are excited to open our latest store in El Paso," David Levin, President and CEO of Destination XL Group, Inc., stated in a news release, adding, "We are confident that the success of our other stores in Texas will be replicated in El Paso."

Dick's Sporting Goods, Best Buy, and Stein Mart are already open at the Fountains at Farah. DXL is located in the upper big-box area of the center.

For more information, read the press release.

Closer Look: Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing

Building Adds to School of Medicine Campus

The Paul L. Foster School of Medicine campus will get a major new addition by 2015. Groundbreaking for the new Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing building took place last month. 

Construction crews are now laying the foundation for the 34,000 square foot facility which will be located on North Concepcion Street across from the School of Medicine’s Medical Education Building. The building will include 12,000 square feet of simulation labs, four classrooms, and collaborative learning spaces.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Read the 25th Issue of the Weekly Edition!

The Weekly Edition, Issue 25 has arrived! Take a look at the newest issue of our Weekly Edition, by clicking HERE. (Note: The newsletter will open in PDF format.)

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Clint I-10 Overpass to be Reconstructed

Texas Department of Transportation officials will hold a community meeting next Tuesday to provide information about an upcoming project to replace the FM 1110 bridge over Interstate 10 in east El Paso County.
Crews will construct a six-lane overpass to replace the current two-lane bridge. The current overpass allows one lane of traffic in each direction. The TXDOT meeting notice states that the bridge will “improve the movement of both personal and commercial traffic, reduce congestion and improve safety.”

The interchange is where Darrington Road connects to Interstate 10, approximately five miles south of the outermost residential areas of Horizon City. No timeline has been provided for the project.

The meeting will be held by TXDOT in an informal fashion with project maps and display available for attendees. It will be held on Tuesday, September 24, 2013, at the Lower Valley Water District Office, 1557 FM 1110, in Clint from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Google Maps Now Includes Floor Plans of City Sites

Simplified floor plans of some City of El Paso points of interest are now part of Google Maps. City sites such as the Convention Center and Plaza Theater have floor-level details that may help visitors find their way around the buildings.

The Convention Center’s layout in the map shows the location of different halls, meeting rooms, and passageways and includes details as minute as drinking fountains and vending machines. The Plaza Theater’s map includes the location of the Main Stage and seating areas.

Other sites include the Museum of Art and Museum of History, showing lobby areas, exhibition halls, and gift shops. The airport’s layout includes concourse and gate numbers, shop areas, and even the security access point.
Screen captures from Google Maps ( show floor plans of City sites, like the Convention Center.

Icons show users where to find common amenities like restrooms, water fountains, escalators, and elevators. The mobile app version of Google Maps on Android was also found to let users choose the level for which detail is shown, such as first or second floor.

Floor plans are not limited to governmental buildings. Retailers such as Best Buy, Chili’s, and Home Depot also include them in some locations on Google Maps. Cielo Vista and Sunland Park malls are also part of the floor plan program.

Google Maps users can try it out by going to or using the mobile app.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Downtown Management District Receives Awards for Leadership, Marketing

El Paso’s Downtown Management District (DMD) will receive two awards this year from the Washington, D.C.-based International Downtown Association (IDA), one for Leadership and Management, and another for Downtown Marketing and Communications.

The DMD will receive the IDA Pinnacle Award for its work in helping streamline the permitting process for holding events downtown. A special events record was broken last year as Downtown El Paso saw 20 events held. This is the first time in 12 years that the award has been won in the El Paso area.

In a press release, DMD Executive Director Veronica Soto stated, “These awards only reaffirm that Downtown El Paso is moving in the right direction, and now recognized by the international community as a driver of economic growth and civic health for the entire region.”

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

'Fountains' Unofficial Opening Arrives

Dick’s Sporting Goods, Stein Mart to Open This Week

Two stores at the Fountains at Farah shopping center will open this week, ahead of the center’s official opening next month. Stein Mart and Dick’s Sporting Goods will open their doors to patrons towards the end of the week.
Three Fountains at Farah retailers have announced plans to open their doors this month, some as early as this week. Dick’s Sporting Goods will open on Friday while Stein Mart will open on Thursday. (Site plan from

Stein Mart, a closeout store offering department store products at discount prices, will be the first retailer to open at the Fountains at Farah. The retailer announced in recent weeks that its grand opening will be held Thursday, September 19, 2013.

Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, Stein Mart has over 260 stores in 29 states, including a location in West El Paso. The Fountains store will open at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

A merchant new to El Paso, Dick’s Sporting Goods will open its store this Friday, September 20, 2013, to begin its three day grand opening weekend. The retailer will bring NFL Hall of Famer and former Dallas Cowboy Tony Dorsett to the store on Saturday to sign autographs and will also have gift card giveaways on Friday and Saturday. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weekly Edition, Issue 24

The Weekly Edition, Issue 24 has arrived! Take a look at the newest issue of our Weekly Edition, by clicking HERE. (Note: The newsletter will open in PDF format.)

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Introducing El Paso Dev Wire

We'd like to introduce a new feature at our development news site:
El Paso Dev Wire.

El Paso Development News is not changing. We are adding a "news wire" blog page where we will post stories and links to development news in El Paso and surrounding areas curated from around the Internet.

There are many sources that report news in our city, and a few have recently ramped up their efforts when reporting on development stories, including transportation, transit, retail, housing, and master planned projects, to name a few.

El Paso Dev Wire will collect and post links to these stories which pertain to development news. And we will continue to create new posts and stories for the El Paso Development News site.

All stories will be posted to our Facebook page, However, we have created a special Twitter feed for the Wire blog,, so be sure to follow us there!

In addition, we have a dedicated link to the Dev Wire blog on our menu bar. Just click on Dev Wire to go to that page.
We hope you enjoy this new section of El Paso Development News.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Work Begins on Ballpark's Eastern Entrance

‘Front Porch’ Will Be Along Santa Fe Street

Construction crews have started work on the Downtown baseball stadium’s eastern entrance along Santa Fe Street. The entrance will be part of a pedestrian deck positioned over the railroad tracks that run alongside the ballpark site.
The eastern entrance of the downtown baseball stadium is now under construction. (City of El Paso)

Alan Shubert, the City’s project manager for the ballpark, call the entrance the stadium’s “front porch,” adding, “This eastern entrance will allow spectators to access the ballpark from the Santa Fe Street side which creates connectivity between the ballpark and other downtown amenities.”

Friday, September 6, 2013

UTEP Update: Schuster Roundabout Completed, 'Transformation' Work Continues

A new roundabout at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) opened to traffic in time for the first day of classes last Monday. The roundabout is part of the larger Schuster extension project that will take the avenue over Interstate 10 and connect to West Paisano Drive.

According to the school’s On the Move website (, a portion of the P-4 parking lot has been restriped and opened for use. Pedestrians can also now walk underneath the completed roundabout to access the campus.
Traffic flows smoothly through the new roundabout at UTEP. (

The new road is officially titled Spur 1966 in reference to the national champion Texas Western basketball team, the college that would be renamed UTEP years later. It is still the only university in the state of Texas to win a national championship in basketball.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Retail Buzz: Restaurants Expand Further East in El Paso

A 16 acre shopping center in far east El Paso is creating a restaurant row of sorts at the northeast corner of Joe Battle Boulevard and Edgemere Boulevard. Three restaurants will join McDonald’s and Taco Tote locations already at the site.
Site plan of the tentative shopping center from the marketing brochure. (

Applebee’s, Village Inn, and Starbucks Coffee will all have a presence at the shopping center, according to a marketing brochure at the website of RJL Real Estate Consultants ( The brochure highlights other available spaces at the center, including a restaurant space and a bank building.

The newest restaurants will line Joe Battle Boulevard in the typical strip center fashion that El Pasoans are accustomed to experiencing. The 16.9 acre center is across Edgemere Boulevard from the Sierra Providence East Medical Center complex which is also undergoing expansion.

As usual, potential tenants in developing shopping centers are subject to change, and this may not be the finalized list of restaurants to be located at the site.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Yucca Park Improvements Highlighted at Meeting

The City of El Paso held a community meeting last week to inform residents of scheduled improvements to Yucca Park. A 1.65 acre expansion will add recreation area on the northern side of the park.
Improvements to Yucca Park include a chess-playing area with game tables. (City of El Paso)

Improvements to the park include new sod, trees, and landscaping as well as a dedicated 2,000 square foot chess-playing area that will be sheltered by a metal canopy. This area will include four game tables with a chess board insert; each will have three attached seats and an empty spot for wheelchair access. A large, 144 square foot red and black chess board will be located on the floor in the middle of the area.

The park expansion will also add four new 16’ by 16’ picnic units with shade structures, multiple concrete paths, benches, scores of new trees, and runoff controls. Yucca Park is currently at 16 acres in size and is located at the corner of Yarbrough Drive and Yermoland Drive just south of Bel Air High School.

City Council awarded the construction contract to Globe Builders of El Paso in July. Construction should begin this month with the completion expected by February of 2014.

City Parks Benefiting from 2012 Quality of Life Bonds

City Debuts Renderings of Airport Rental Structure

The Consolidated Rental Car Facility at the El Paso airport will have a three level parking structure. A covered pathway will take travelers to and from the baggage claim area. (Rendering courtesy of City of El Paso)
Public Art One of Project Highlights

New renderings provided by the City show what the future rental garage will look like at the El Paso International Airport. The structure, officially called the El Paso Consolidated Rental Car Facility, or CONRAC for short, will also include a City-commissioned piece of public art that will hang in the lobby.
The lobby of the CONRAC structure will be three levels high. (Rendering courtesy City of El Paso)

The CONRAC structure will be a three level parking structure at the airport which will be used by rental car companies for pick up and return of automobiles used by travelers. It will include 650-700 parking stalls and was designed using smart growth principles, including a focus on pedestrian accessibility.

Included in the structure will be Ready and Return areas, customer kiosks, fueling and car wash areas, a light maintenance facility, and vehicle storage for use by the rental companies. The architectural design is by Demattei Wong Architecture, Inc. of California under a contract approved by the City last October.

This rendering shows what the culturally-inspired Mandala
will look like when seen from directly below. (
Inside the three-level tall lobby of the CONRAC will hang a public art piece that will float above travelers’ heads. A three-dimensional “Mandala” will incorporate iconography from El Paso’s mix of cultures using multiple colors to suggest a sunset, according to the website for the co-designer, MetaLab Studio of Houston ( MetaLab designed the piece in collaboration with RE:site Studio.
The CONRAC facility will be located immediately to the west of the terminal's baggage claim. (Rendering courtesy of City of El Paso)

Construction should begin within a year on the $45 million CONRAC project, according to the Department of Aviation’s Capital Improvement Plan revealed last month. The structure will be located immediately to the west of the baggage claim area of the airport terminal.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Weekly Edition, Issue 22-23

The Weekly Edition, Issue 22-23, has arrived! This is a Double Issue. Take a look at the newest issue of our Weekly Edition, by clicking HERE. (Note: The newsletter will open in PDF format.)

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