Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Details Emerge on East El Paso’s ‘Montana Commons’

Shopping Center Plan Replaces Former ‘El Cruzero’ Smart Growth Layout

Editor's Note: This story was originally published in our Weekly Edition newsletter. Be sure to subscribe to the newsletter by clicking HERE.

A prime corner in Far East El Paso will be home to a 500,000 square foot shopping center in the coming years, and details are emerging regarding its layout and possible retail tenants. Montana Commons will begin construction in 2016 at Montana Avenue and Joe Battle Boulevard on land that was previously slated for the El Cruzero smart growth development.
The Montana Commons site plan has been modified to show possible retailer locations within the center. (Original site plan: LoopNet)

The shopping center will be laid out in a traditional power center fashion, as indicated by the site plan, with large box stores along the back of the development and smaller shop and restaurant buildings closer to the street. Large parking lots will be located in front of the stores.

The site plan shows that the largest tenant may be a 140,000+ square foot Sam’s Club location, which includes a fuel island near Montana Avenue. Two other possible stores include an Academy Sports & Outdoors location and a Burlington discount store. Like other tentative retail centers, the list of possible tenants is dynamic and may change before ground is even broken.

The original site plan for the
canceled El Cruzero project
shows a mix of uses at the property.
The 60-acre site was formerly part of the El Cruzero smart growth community that was canceled last year when the land was sold to River Oaks Properties of El Paso, the company that is now developing the Montana Commons project.

El Cruzero envisioned a hotel block, mixed-use buildings, residential homes, and a town center for the area now being developed as Montana Commons. When River Oaks purchased the property last year, the developer told El Paso Inc. it might develop a portion as “Town Center on the Loop,” though there were no official plans on the drawing board.

Last week, in an El Paso Times story revealing the Montana Commons shopping center, there was no mention of “Town Center on the Loop,” though River Oaks did indicate it plans to sell off the remainder of the former El Cruzero acreage to other developers and homebuilders.

Construction of Montana Commons will begin in 2016.