Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Closer Look: Cheryl Ladd Park Breaks Ground

Local Property Goes from Trash to Treasure

A former landfill that was once used to dispose of medical waste in the middle of an East El Paso neighborhood will soon begin a transformation that will turn it into a 6.3-acre neighborhood park. The $1.67 million Cheryl Ladd Park project, which will use funds from the 2012 Quality of Life Bonds approved by voters, broke ground earlier this month.
A multi-purpose field will take up the majority of Cheryl Ladd Park’s space, with the northern portion (right) having a concentration of amenities. (City of El Paso)

New amenities planned for the park include a new multi-purpose field, playground areas, a canopy shelter, picnic tables, benches, bike racks, paths, rock walls, lighting and an angled parking lot. The picnic tables and parking spaces with be compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

UTEP to Get Sebastián Public Art Sculpture

One of the world’s most renowned public artists will create a sculpture to honor the University of Texas at El Paso’s (UTEP) centennial, the school announced last week. Mexican sculptor Sebastián will create the piece titled Esfera Cuántica Tlahtolli for UTEP on behalf of the people of Mexico via the Consul General of Mexico in El Paso.
This concept image shows the size of the sculpture that will sit in front of the Fox Fine Arts Center. (UTEP)

The sculpture, which has a generally spherical form with undulating lines formed by intersecting and morphed cones, will be 13 feet in diameter when completed and will be placed at the entrance of the Fox Fine Arts Center on UTEP’s campus. A smaller scale version was on hand last week at the announcement which was attended by the artist himself.

The Mexican gift is a symbol of friendship between the United States and Mexico, and between UTEP and the Mexican students that have been part of the university since its inception.

Sebastián attended the announcement ceremony at UTEP.
Sebastián has received acclaim for his public art pieces for decades, and recently received local notoriety for his large-scale sculpture in Juarez called La Equis, the red ‘X’ visible from many parts of the binational community.

“I am extremely honored that UTEP has accepted this gift from Mexico,” Sebastián stated during the announcement ceremony, according to UTEP News Service. “This quantic sphere symbolizes the good relationship that exists between the people of my country and Texas, as well as the dreams and great achievements that through communication and education we are called to accomplish together.”

The final sculpture should be completed in 2014, and will be dedicated as part of the Centennial Celebration.

MCA's Vision Becomes Reality

Fundraising Effort for First MCA Tech Park Building Gains Steam 

The Medical Center of the Americas (MCA) Foundation is ramping up its fundraising efforts to help make the planned Tech Park a reality at the medical campus in Central El Paso. Business and political leaders alike attended a fundraiser held last week for the future Cardwell Collaborative building, which is scheduled to break ground in 2014 at the new MCA Tech Park.
A display at the fundraising event for the Cardwell Collaborative shows construction materials that may be used in the building.

The fundraising effort has resulted in $10.3 million thus far, about 70% of the Foundation’s goal. This leaves around $3 million still left to raise.

The November 21, 2013 gala also honored businessman Jack Cardwell who donated an undisclosed “multi-million” dollar amount for the Tech Park’s first building, which has been named for him. Mr. Cardwell is known for creating the first Petro Stopping Center in 1975 and building it into a national company. The company was sold in 2007.
This concept site plan shows what the eventual layout may look like for the Tech Park. The Cardwell Collaborative building is nearest to Gateway East Boulevard, at the top of the image. (MCA Foundation)

Gala organizers also honored the United States Economic Development Administration (EDA) for a $1 million grant awarded to the Cardwell Collaborative. The federal money can be used towards design and architecture costs. According to its website (, the EDA “supports development in economically distressed areas of the United States” by making “strategic investments that foster job creation and attract private investment.”

Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekly Edition, Issue 34

The Weekly Edition, Issue 34 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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Famous Dave’s Coming to Airway Boulevard

East Central El Paso will soon get a new Famous Dave’s restaurant location. “Opening Soon” signs have popped up at the former Jaxon’s Restaurant spot at 1135 Airway Boulevard. 
A "Famous Dave's Opening Soon" sign hangs on the former Jaxon's location on Airway Boulevard.

It will be the third location for the barbecue restaurant in El Paso. The future location is still not listed at the company's website (, and no opening date is available.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Retail Buzz: TI:ME at Montecillo Reveals Two More Tenants

One of El Paso more unique retail developments, TI:ME at Montecillo, has recently revealed two more retailers that will be located at its center. Black Dot, a clothing store, and GlowDry, a “beauty bar”, have been “welcomed” by TI:ME’s Facebook page.
This picture from October, posted at, shows re-purposed shipping containers at TI:ME at Montecillo.

The “non-traditional” retail and restaurant center slated for the corner of Mesa Street and Montecillo Drive is one of the latest additions to the Montecillo development in west El Paso. The 12,000 square foot center is incorporating re-conditioned shipping containers in some of the construction. A mass of shipping containers of different colors can be seen just off of Mesa Street.
Construction began earlier this year on the project, driven by the creators/owners of Crave Kitchen and Bar and 1914 Lounge. Previously revealed tenants for the TI:ME center include HommeWork clothing boutique and Modern Hookah.

Facebook Page:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

From Avenue to Freeway

Montana Project May See Substantial Expansion

The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) revealed its latest plans for Montana Avenue at a public meeting last week, and its newest vision for the thoroughfare has grown considerably in less than a year. The thoroughfare, also known as US 62/180, may now become a freeway for over seven miles on El Paso’s East Side.
The new US 62/180 freeway may have direct connector ramps to and from Loop 375, as shown in this schematic design. (TXDOT)

The project’s limits stretch from half a mile west of Yarbrough/Global Reach Drive to a half mile east of North Zaragoza Road. TXDOT schematics show a controlled-access freeway with three lanes in each direction that will create overpasses and underpasses at major intersections.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Weekly Edition, Issue 33

The Weekly Edition, Issue 33 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, November 14, 2013

Officials to Study Need for Downtown Parking Structure

Editor's Note: This story was first published at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, November 11, 2013 in our Weekly Edition

The City of El Paso is teaming up with the Downtown Management District and the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority (CRRMA) to fund a study that would assess the need for a new parking facility in Downtown.
This image shows a concept parking structure encased by liner buildings that could be used for housing, office, or retail, from the Design Manual of Plan El Paso.

The three parties will contribute $20,000 each toward the study for a total of $60,000. The area of focus will be near the new City Hall.

The CRRMA will manage the development of the study and will most likely award the contract to Atkins North America, Inc., the General Engineering Consultant for the Authority. The study should be completed within one year of the agreement’s start date.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Retail Buzz: Possible New Tenants Revealed for 'Fountains'

Editor's Note: This story was first published at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, November 11, 2013 in our Weekly Edition

New tenants will continue to be revealed for the Fountains at Farah due to the numerous vacancies along the lifestyle promenade area of the center. Two possible eateries have been recently been revealed.
Image of the interior of a La Madeleine
restaurant, from

The first is a restaurant that is already listed on the shopping center’s map, La Madeleine Country French Café. La Madeleine’s menu and décor are inspired by the French countryside, according the its website (

Dallas-based La Madeleine has over 60 stores nationwide and specializes in fresh-baked baguettes, bold espressos, and delicate pastries. The typical restaurant is 3,500 square feet in size and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Fountains location will be situated at the southeastern end of the promenade.

A frozen yogurt shop may also add to the Fountains mix. Craze Yogurt Lounge ( has applied for a Commercial Tenant Improvement permit through the City of El Paso for a location at the Fountains at Farah. The locally-owned chain has two locations in the city, one on the east side and another on the west side.

No opening date has been revealed for either tenant.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

'It's More Than Baseball' Video, Part 3

El Paso's Triple-A baseball team has released the third video in its It's More Than Baseball series. The video focuses on the logo and the work that marketing firm Brandiose did in developing the logo.

Check it out below.

‘Fountains at Farah’ Officially Opens

Lifestyle Promenade Filled with Amenities, Empty Spaces

The Fountains at Farah shopping center celebrated its official Grand Opening this past weekend, debuting the promenade area to the public. Despite the throng of visitors to the Fountains, many spaces along the lifestyle area remain empty with only a few stores open.
Visitors to the Fountains at Farah shopping center get an up close look at the “splash pad” fountain. The feature may be more popular in the summer.

Patrons at the center were greeted by entertainment, activities, and various fountains along the 1,800-foot “main street” promenade, the shopping area closest to Interstate 10. This lifestyle portion of the center includes one lane of traffic in each direction divided by a large median. Vehicles can park in angled spaces along the drive.

In the park-like median, shoppers will find interactive and decorative fountains, kiosks, and an amphitheater. An ice skating rink will soon join the lineup and is scheduled to be operational before the end of November.
Vehicles can park in angled spaces along the promenade at the Fountains at Farah.

Shops and restaurant spaces line each side of the “main street,” with storefronts along the northwestern side hiding the lower level of the parking garage. Escalators help shoppers get to and from the upper big-box level of the Fountains. And pleasant music fills the air from outdoor speakers placed strategically along paths.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Weekly Edition, Issue 32

The Weekly Edition, Issue 32 has arrived! Take a look at the newest issue of our Weekly Edition, by clicking HERE. (Note: The newsletter will open in PDF format.)

In this edition:
'Fountains at Farah' Officially Opens
Retail Buzz: Possible New Tenants Revealed for 'Fountains'
Officials to Study Need for Downtown Parking Structure
NewsBits by El Paso DevWire

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mulligan Building Facade Makes Big Strides

After less than a year of construction, the newly-renamed Mulligan Building is starting to look like its old self. An updated photograph posted by architecture firm In*Situ on its Facebook page (below) shows that windows have been installed on the façade facing North Campbell Street.

The building looked much different earlier this year after decades of inactivity left the structure empty and with a previously “renovated” look. The brown and beige façade covered up historic brickwork and details.

Mulligan building prior to construction
this year. (
Paul Foster, one of the partners involved in bringing a Triple-A ball club to El Paso, donated the 62,400 square foot building to the City in September of 2012 after officials voiced concern over the sales price of the building. The City had been looking for office space in order to facilitate relocation of departments so that the former City Hall could be emptied to make room for the Triple-A baseball stadium.

Two months ago, the building was renamed from the “Luther” to the “Mulligan” Building in honor of John Mulligan, the Irish immigrant who built the structure in 1915.

The $13.7 million project should be completed later this year, according to In*Situ’s website ( The building will house the City’s Information Technology and Engineering & Construction Management departments.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pedestrian Pathway Breaks Ground

The City of El Paso broke ground yesterday on the Convention Center North Pedestrian Pathway, a project that will connect the cultural/museum district of the city to the Union Plaza entertainment area. Currently, pedestrians must travel around the Convention Center to reach restaurants, clubs, and retail in Union Plaza.

The Pathway will be built in multiple phases, with the first focusing on areas around the Triple-A ballpark currently under construction. The project should be completed around February of 2015.

Read about the project in greater detail in our story from earlier this year:
Closer Look: Convention Center North Pedestrian Pathway

New Urbanism Puts El Paso in Spotlight

City Approached to Help Others Learn Planning Concepts

The City of El Paso shifted its focus a few years back to promoting smart growth, mixed-use, and walkable developments, and now officials in other U.S. cities are reaching out to El Paso when it comes to learning about new urbanism.
Mesa Street near UTEP reimagined using new urbanism and smart growth principles. (Plan El Paso)

El Paso officials developed a nine-week session on new urbanism to help affiliate internal department heads and engineers with the principles of mixed-use and sustainable neighborhood development, led by Mathew McElroy, Director of the City Development Department. Shortly thereafter, the sessions were opened up to local developers.

The fruits of the City’s labors have become clear as developments using new urbanism ideals are sprouting up. The developer of the Montecillo smart growth community has begun construction on SmartCode zoned lots, a first for El Paso, and another SmartCode development, Aldea, is planned immediately to its south.
New urbanism concepts include creating walkable neighborhoods with a mix of housing types. This concept image envisions such a neighborhood for the corner of Rojas Drive and Zaragoza Road where a credit union is currently located. (Plan El Paso)

Now, officials from other cities have taken notice and invited the City to teach new urbanism to their engineers and development personnel. In January, McElroy will run a learning session for scores of government workers in Oklahoma City, and another session is planned for Austin.

An article last month in Governing Magazine ( highlights the City’s efforts and goals in developing the learning sessions.
This rendering shows a new vision for Mesa Street in front of a shopping center which currently holds a Walmart and Home Depot. (Plan El Paso)

The City’s biggest new urbanism effort has been the implementation of Plan El Paso, the extensive planning document that was adopted into the comprehensive plan last year. The plan calls for creating walkable, smart growth neighborhoods throughout the city, incorporating many concepts of new urbanism.

Plan El Paso won the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement and has been lauded by development agencies and publications throughout the United States.

The entire Plan El Paso document can be seen at The Lead Consultant on the project was Dover, Kohl & Partners of Florida (

Monday, November 4, 2013

Weekly Edition, Issue 31

The Weekly Edition, Issue 31 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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