Thursday, January 30, 2014

Office Park Expands in West El Paso

Ventanas Corporate Center to Begin Phase Two

A budding office park is ready to begin its second phase of construction in West El Paso. Ventanas Corporate Center, located off Sunland Park Drive west of Interstate 10, is adding two more buildings to the site, an L-shaped property tucked behind the Holiday Inn Sunland Park.
This rendering shows what the Ventanas Corporate Center will look like when construction on Phase Two is completed. (EP Riverbend Development)

The two new structures will add a total of 19,600 square feet of space and be constructed just south of the existing Phase One buildings.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Bird's Eye View of the Montecillo Town Center Project

Local contractor firm, ZTEX Construction (, posted a new vantage point earlier this month for the upcoming Montecillo Town Center in West El Paso.

This aerial photograph, posted in mid-January by ZTEX Construction of El Paso, shows progress at the Montecillo Town Center project. (

The image is a bird’s eye view of the construction site looking west. The 50-acre plus project includes moving a massive amount of dirt to make room for the Town Center, which will be constructed on a heavily sloped property.

No less than eleven structures will be built at the Town Center and will include retail, office, and residential space. An Alamo Drafthouse theater has been the only tenant announced to date.
Another view from within the Montecillo Town Center construction site, this one from ground level looking northeast. (

The new image posted by ZTEX was taken using a small remote-controlled helicopter with a camera on board. Mesa Street can be seen at the western edge of the site, with the Venue at Montecillo apartment buildings across the street.

ZTEX Construction has worked on several large-scale projects in the area, including the Fountains at Farah shopping center, the Outlet Shoppes at El Paso, and the downtown Triple-A baseball stadium.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Upper Valley Residential Development Seeks Public Input

Developer to Hold Charrette this Week 

A plan is under development for 120 acres in El Paso’s Upper Valley, and now the public has been invited to take part in the project’s design. UV 120, a local land development partnership, will hold a charrette this week in coordination with the City Development Department.
UV120 is seeking the public’s ideas in transforming 120 acres of farmland into a residential development, shown here shaded in green.

The property is located on the southeast corner of the Artcraft Road and Westside Drive intersection, about 2.5 miles west of Interstate 10. The majority of the site is currently zoned as Planned Residential, while a smaller portion is zoned Ranch-Farm. 

The development partnership is inviting anyone who would like to participate to join the charrette, including but not limited to “land development professionals, realtors, investors and people who want to influence how a great neighborhood gets built,” according to a press release.

“We want to get input before we invest a lot of time and money in a land plan in order to have the community input influence the design of this project,” states Scott Winton in the press release, one of the partners in the development.  "If we do our job right, this development will be something the community supports and is proud of."

Joseph Nester, another partner, adds, “The property has many attributes including the various drainage canals, quantity of mature trees, and its location that provide a great opportunity to make a unique place in El Paso."

The charrette will be held Thursday, January 30, 2014, at 6:00 p.m. in the Canutillo High School cafeteria, 6675 S Desert Blvd. For information contact Scott Winton at 915-637-0787 or Joseph Nester at 915-727-7476. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Final Piece of Steel Placed at Downtown Ballpark

Construction crews at the Downtown El Paso Triple-A ballpark construction site reached another milestone today as the final piece of steel was lifted into place.
A crane lifts the final piece of steel into place at the Downtown El Paso ballpark site. (El Paso Chihuahuas)
The "Topping Off" ceremony is just another step in the baseball stadium's march towards completion. A ceremonial banner was hung from the piece, which will form part of the right-field bleachers.

The banner is attached to the final piece of steel, waiting to be set in place at the Downtown El Paso baseball stadium construction site. (El Paso Chihuahuas)

A gallery of pictures from today's ceremony can be seen at the official El Paso Chihuahuas website. Opening day is scheduled for April.

More Housing for Downtown Area

Multi-Story Apartment Building Seeks City Approval

A neighborhood near Downtown El Paso could see a four-story, mixed-use apartment building in the coming years, if the project receives City approval. The “Campbell Apartments” would span a half-acre made up of adjacent properties at the corner of South Campbell Street and 3rd Avenue, one block south of Paisano Drive.
The front and side elevations of the planned structure show a four-story, mixed-use apartment building. (City of El Paso)

According to the Master Zoning Plan, there will be 82 apartment units made up of 16 three-bedroom, 49 two-bedroom, and 17 one-bedroom units spread out over four levels. The apartments will surround a central, landscaped courtyard.

In addition, four spaces at street-level will be dedicated to commercial use, with a total of nearly 4,000 square feet available for this purpose. The shop fronts will line South Campbell Street, with residential apartments on the floors above the retail space. Access points to the courtyard will be located between the shops, with an additional two access points leading out to the alley behind the building.
A central courtyard is part of the initial site plan for the Campbell Apartments planned for Downtown El Paso. (City of El Paso)

There is no parking included in the project, and the developer is seeking a 100% reduction to the parking requirement. The Master Zoning Plan states the project will be built in one phase.

Weekly Edition, Issue 41

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sam’s Gets City Approval for Northeast El Paso Store

Sale of Alcohol Required City Council Exception

A new Sam’s Club location planned for Northeast El Paso hit a bump in the road this month that required the retailer to ask for City permission to sell alcoholic beverages on the premises. A City ordinance prohibits the sale of alcohol within 300 feet of a church, school, commercial day care, or public hospital.

City Council approved the exception yesterday. The property, at the corner of Diana Drive and Gateway North, is located across the street from the Transmountain Early College High School, a short 95 feet away at its closest point. The high school is part of El Paso Community College’s Transmountain campus, but is part of the El Paso Independent School District.

City Council approved the item at its January 21, 2014, meeting.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

TI:ME at Montecillo Unveils Tenant Lineup

The upcoming TI:ME at Montecillo "non-traditional" shopping center posted an announcement today showing its tenant lineup. The center's Facebook page made the announcement with a simple message: "This is TI:ME."

Names include previously announced tenants HommeWork, GlowDry, Modern Hookah, and Black Dot.

New to the list are ALDesign, Le Trendy, Trendy:Decor, HommeWork Jewelry, and The Backyard Patio. The tenant list includes a mix of clothing, home decor, and outdoor living retailers.

Three eateries are also on the list, Stonewood Modern American Grill, Cantina Malolam, and Hillside Coffee & Donut Co. According to previous media reports, the development trio behind the TI:ME shopping center will also own and operate the three restaurants.

The center should open in the coming months on Mesa Street at the smart growth Montecillo development.

Related (click to open):
Retail Buzz: TI:ME at Montecillo Reveals Two More Tenants
TI:ME at Montecillo Reveals Two Tenants
TI:ME at Montecillo Introduces Layout

What’s In Store For 2014

These Are the Major Projects to Look Forward to This Year

It’s a new year in El Paso, and several major development projects are scheduled to get underway or be completed in 2014. From freeway projects on the West Side to major medical facilities on the East Side, most parts of the Sun City should see major activity.

Here’s a look at some of the larger developments that should see progress this year.

Projects slated for El Paso this year include (counterclockwise from top left) I-10 Collector-Distributor Lanes, the Montecillo Town Center, the Triple-A Ballpark, San Jacinto Plaza’s renovation, the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing building, the Airport Hotel/Retail Complex, Eastside Crossings, the Sierra Providence East Medical Center expansion, the William Beaumont Army Medical Center replacement hospital, and the Northgate Transit-Oriented Development.

I-10 Collector-Distributor Lanes
Plans to add collector-distributor (CD) lanes to Interstate 10 in West El Paso have been in the works for years, but the project recently got a shot in the arm in the form of funding support from the County of El Paso. Now, the $150 freeway project could be set for construction to begin by the end of 2014.

The CD lanes will create a buffer for the main lanes by “collecting” and “distributing” traffic to and from on- and off-ramps between Executive Center Boulevard and Mesa Street. The number of lanes will vary along the five mile stretch of I-10.

Initial renderings of the planned project included toll lanes when first unveiled years back, but now only include regular main lanes in the middle of the freeway. No word on whether or not toll lanes will be included after all. The future, toll-only Border Highway West will have an interchange with I-10 within the boundaries of this project.

Montecillo Town Center
West El Paso should see a good amount of progress on the highly anticipated Montecillo Town Center project which will include the Alamo Drafthouse theater location as an anchor. The SmartCode development’s “Entertainment District” will include street retail, a big box retail space, commercial office space, and 99 residential units, according to initial site plan details.

No concrete timeline has been disclosed by the project’s developer, though the Alamo Drafthouse’s announcement in March of 2013 indicated it would be soon, and has indicated plans to open in Fall of 2014. Crews finally broke ground in November 2013 and have been working to clear the site for construction ever since.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Weekly Edition, Issue 40

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Loop 375 Widening to Extend Through Ft. Bliss to NE El Paso

The northern portion of the Purple Heart Memorial Highway, the section of Loop 375 that travels through Fort Bliss, will also be widened as part of an overall effort to expand freeway facilities in the Far East and Northeast parts of El Paso.
This concept image shows planned improvements to the Sgt. Major Blvd./Loop 375 interchange in East Fort Bliss. (Neomedia Design Group)

The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) held a meeting last month to inform the public about the coming project, which stretches about 7.3 miles along Loop 375 from Dyer Street to the Spur 601 interchange.

One lane in each direction will be added on the inside of the existing freeway for the majority of the project length, from just east of Railroad Drive to a point near Spur 601. Approximately half a mile of Loop 375 will be completely reconstructed in East Fort Bliss.

The interchange at Sgt. Major Boulevard will also be improved as part of the project, including additional lanes on the ramps and turnarounds. All bridge structures will need to be retrofitted to accommodate the new freeway lanes.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

3-D Digital Wall Coming to Museum of History

Multi-Purpose Glass Structure Also in the Works

Visitors to the El Paso Museum of History will have a new, high-tech 3-D interactive wall to play with later this year, the first TouchCity Digital Wall in the country and only the second in the world. The 180 square-foot interactive digital wall we be built just outside the Museum’s entrance and will stretch 36 feet long and five feet high.
Digital Wall users will be able to upload photographs to the wall as
well as send postcards anywhere on the planet. (Museum of History)
The wall will consist of four large plasma screens that will present a “3-D” view of the El Paso area’s history. Users will be able to upload images to the wall from any location, including from hand-held devices such as smartphones. And visitors to the Museum will have the option of sending digital postcards to anywhere in the world using the wall.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Weekly Edition, Issue 39

The Weekly Edition, Issue 39 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, January 10, 2014

DMD Seeking Applicants for Façade Improvement Program

El Paso’s Downtown Management District (DMD) has $200,000 in funds available for downtown business and property owners as part of its Façade Improvement Program and is currently seeking applicants.
The Texas Store in Downtown El Paso received a $10,000 grant in 2009 to improve its façade. (Downtown Management District)

The grant money, if approved for façade improvements, will cover up to 75% of the project’s total cost, with a maximum grant of $50,000 for individual projects. Improvements that qualify, according to the DMD website (, include window work, paint, canopies, signs, and restorative work. Changes to the property that are made in order to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements may also qualify for grants through the program.

Several downtown businesses have taken advantage of the program in previous years with many property owners seeing valuation increases due to improvements, according to the DMD’s Façade Program Report published in 2012.

Businesses interested in applying for the façade grants should contact Lilia Granillo at 915-400-2294. Improvements must be completed by July 2014 in order to qualify for the grants.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mulligan Building Nears Completion

Updated look at the storefronts along
N. Campbell Street at the Mulligan
Bldg. (In*Situ Architecture)
Storefronts along the ground floor of the Mulligan Building in Downtown El Paso have been fitted with doors and windows, as seen in a photo posted at the Facebook page of firm In*Situ Architecture,

The five-story building will provide 73,000 square feet to the City of El Paso to be used by the Information Technology and Engineering & Construction Management departments.

The $13.7 million project is part of the City’s decision last year to vacate the former City Hall in order to make room for the Triple-A baseball stadium scheduled to open this year. The building was donated to the City by local businessman Paul Foster.
A look at the interior of the Mulligan Building, which is nearing completion in Downtown El Paso. (In*Situ Architecture)

The rehabilitation project has restored many of the building’s historic features which were covered up for decades by a beige façade. The project is scheduled for completion within the next few months.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Newest 'Chihuahuas' Video Shows View Within Concourse

The latest El Paso Chihuahuas video, titled It's More Than Baseball - Part 4, takes a look at a major part of baseball history in the area, the 1949 state baseball championship captured by the Bowie High School team. Surviving members of the team recall the good and the bad that they experienced at the time.

The video also shows a look inside the construction zone from different angles, including a view from inside the concourse area with steel beams arching above the walkway.
Members of the 1949 State Champion Bowie Bears get a tour of the Triple-A Stadium's construction site. Here, they walk through the concourse area, with steel beems above. (Video capture from

Watch the video at the El Paso Chihuahuas' YouTube channel:

Ballpark Readies for 'Chihuahuas'

Public Art Projects to Surge in 2014

Dozens of Installations Planned for El Paso

The City of El Paso will receive an update this week on the 2014 Public Art Plan that will list projects already in progress as well as those expected to start this year.

About 29 projects in all are listed in the plan, 21 of which are already in progress while another eight are designated as new. Eight other projects are listed as completed in 2013.

Three of the ongoing public art projects will be located at the upcoming Triple-A baseball stadium, which is expected to open in April. The largest, a $500,000 project, is being developed by Ball-Nogues, a California firm that has exhibited around the world. The working title is “Not Whole Fence” according to the firm’s website,

The other two projects will be created by local artists, a graphic installation by Gaspar Enriquez highlighting the area’s baseball history, and what looks to be a stained-glass installation by Robert Davidoff with local historic imagery that will decorate the baseball stadium’s clock tower.
Two of the public art installations planned for the Triple-A stadium include a piece on the clock tower (first image) and another along a fence. (City of El Paso)

A few roundabouts throughout the city will benefit from public art installations, including a $500,000 project for the Spur 1966/Schuster Avenue roundabout at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Artist Donald Lipski will develop the installation in coordination with UTEP’s Centennial Celebration.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Weekly Edition, Issue 38

The Weekly Edition, Issue 38 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, January 2, 2014

San Jacinto Plaza Readies for Next Construction Phase

Updates Include Café, Water Features

The City of El Paso will vote today on an item to award a $4.5 million contract to construct the next phase of the San Jacinto Plaza renovation project. City staff has recommended Basic IDIQ, Inc., a construction firm with an office in El Paso, for the project.
This rendering shows a shade structure that will protect the Los Lagartos sculpture. (City of El Paso)

The bid includes construction of several amenities, including a shade structure and a reflection pool for the famed Los Lagartos sculpture which is currently in Ohio undergoing rehabilitation. The piece of public art will be located in the center of the plaza.

Another major feature is a full service café, which will be located on the western side of the park. It will be constructed to the City’s specifications, but no word has been released on whom will occupy the space.