Monday, November 10, 2014

Airport Hotels Suing City of El Paso and Westin Developer

Two (possibly three) hotel operators near the El Paso International Airport are suing the City of El Paso and EP Vida, LLC, the developer of the high-rise Westin Hotel and attached retail complex that are planned for airport land.
The timeline for the Acequia Park hotel/retail project near the El Paso airport has shifted multiple times. A lawsuit naming the developer, EP Vida, will be discussed in Executive Session at the next City Council meeting. (Ronkot Design Vimeo Channel)

The City is scheduled to discuss two items in executive session on Tuesday, November 11, 2014, relating to EP Vida, which wants to build the Acequia Park hotel and retail complex that would include the Westin brand. The first item is the pending legal case while the second regards the Chapter 380 incentives package approved for the project last year.

Details of the case are not available, but the names on the agenda item indicate that the lawsuit was brought by three airport hotel operators: EP Hotel Partners, LP, which operates the Radisson Hotel; Spokane Equities Limited Partnership, parent company of the Wyndham Hotel; and CP El Paso, Ltd., the operator of the Marriott Hotel. A previous claim was filed a year ago without a "Cause Number" by EP Hotel Partners and Spokane Equities. In addition, although CP El Paso is listed in the City's agenda item, it is not listed as a plaintiff in the online Register of Actions.

In May of 2013, the City of El Paso awarded an incentives package to EP Vida, LLC, to develop a nine-acre property at Boeing Drive and Airway Boulevard into a four-star hotel and retail complex. As part of the agreement, the developer will construct a hotel with at least 220 rooms along with an 80,000 square foot retail complex. In all, the project is expected to cost $64 million, according to the incentives agreement.

The Acequia Park project's timeline has shifted multiple times, with initial plans to begin construction towards the beginning of 2014, according to the developer, later setting summer of 2014 as the target time frame. In July, the developer stated that revisions to the property’s plat had delayed the project and that they were not sure when construction would begin.

It is unclear if the delay of groundbreaking on the project has been affected by the pending legal case as well; details will most likely be kept sealed as City Council will discuss the case behind closed doors. A new vote may be required if the City opts to change or amend the Chapter 380 agreement with EP Vida.

Previously: Westin Hotel/Retail Complex Teased in New Video