Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Infill Project Planned for Vacant Downtown Property Along I-10

Recent rezoning plans filed with the City of El Paso show an office/retail project may be planned for a prominent property near Downtown along Interstate 10.
An infill project is planned for a long-vacant property across I-10 from Downtown El Paso. (City of El Paso)

The property sits adjacent to the westbound lanes of I-10, sandwiched between West Yandell Drive and Prospect Street on the southern edge of the Sunset Heights neighborhood and is currently vacant.

According to the site plan, two buildings are planned on the development with relatively small footprints, a narrow building with zero setbacks on Prospect Street and a larger building that will sit along West Yandell Drive.

A parking lot will take up the largest portion of the property, with landscaping planned throughout. Twenty-four parking spaces are required by City code, according to the site plan, while over 60 will be provided.
El Paso Development News has overlaid the site plan over satellite imagery of the property and surrounding neighborhood. Downtown El Paso is across Interstate 10 from the development, which is on the southern edge of Sunset Heights.

The total building area will be over 11,300 square feet, though the plan does not indicate the height or number of floors planned for each building.

The rezoning request is to change from Apartment/Special Permit to Special Development. The new zoning will allow the developer to include retail uses, though it is unclear if apartment uses have been excluded.

The project sits about 750 feet north of the El Paso Chihuahuas ballpark.

According to the application, the owner, Yandell Tower & Horizon Properties, will be required to submit a detailed site development plan before building permits can be issued.

No timeline, budget, or renderings have been disclosed. As with any project, it is possible the site plan is preliminary and could be subject to change.


  1. Back in the early 1980's a developer came forward and wanted to build these condominiums on that same property,at Yandell Drive and Prospect Street.
    It was to be a 25 story building called Avianca Tower. Nothing ever got built and the property remained vacant,then again in 1985/86 another developer wanted to build a 14 story glass mirror reflective office building.
    A Sunset neighborhood activist by the name of John Carr came out in protest,and he lobbied city council under Mayor Johnathon Rogers not to approve the zoning change for the the building. The project was shot down the developer moved on and so the property still remains vacant,now comes another developer by the name of Yandell Tower & Horizon some building in which would be very small about the size of a 7-11 store or smaller. Big property small intentions small minds, per say, waste of land and space.At 11,300 square feet is not very big for a building,but this is El Paso for you, I would figure that maybe someday they would build something big and notable on that property,like a highrise residential mix office tower,something El Paso proud not something that leaves me scratching my head in dismay.

  2. The property is too narrow for a viable commercial project. Sandwiched between noisy I-10 & a historic residential neighborhood, a high-rise would require a large garage. During the rush hours, the traffic jams at W. Yandell & the I-10 on-ramp would be epic.

    A rare concept for EP's concrete jungle, the most congenial solution would be a City- or neighborhood-owned open-space area, to allow the neighborhood a chance to breathe.

    1. Total waste of real estate, if the city wants people to move downtown then they best start making better plans on how to convince people to move there.
      This property was originally schedule for a 25 story condominium,last I heard was that the developer felt that El Paso was not yet ready for such types of development.El Paso Community College acquired some property in that same area, and destroyed some old historic homes,I assume that there is where John Carr went on the rampage. And became anti modernization as he was also anti neighborhood traffic,but now with the ongoing growth at UTEP and El Paso, traffic jams are now inevitable everywhere though out the city.The population of the Sunset District could not support an open space area, and there would be many safety issues as well. Everybody would like to have a nice park in their neighborhood,but to breath fresh air in open spaces where many El Pasoans take their dogs for walks and don't bother to pick up after them.
      No pun intended, but now comes Yandell Tower and wants to build a parking lot with two small buildings, Yandell Tower is just a start up company with only five employees,they should rent office space at 300 Main or the Mills Building.Leave the property available for other developers with deeper pockets and better hindsight on what to build at this location.

  3. BTW, John Karr was not a lone activist. He lived in a classic Sunset house, the next block over on Prospect. For many years, he was the president of the Sunset Heights Neighborhood Association.

    1. That was back in the day, today is January 28, 2015,times have change and it's time to move on.

  4. I see a lot of potential in this site, but it's going in the wrong direction once again as much of the city get built. It really annoys me how parking lots dominate the vast majority of space in this city. It's not areas that people enjoy being in, where they can walk, converse, sit and enjoy the view... it's always parking, and to develop in this "strip-mall" type style so close to the downtown core on a piece of land that could possible offer residents a spectacular view, is a huge let down. This is not the 1980's anymore. A mid-rise development would at least dignify the adjacent historic neighborhood, while a stripmall development just says "fuck you" to it.

  5. El Paso: King of the strip mall and giant parking lots.

    1. That's a good one! even worse when they build something small in downtown with a large asphalt parking lot.Total waste of real estate property,then have the nerve to call themselve's, Yandell Tower!
      What Tower?

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