Thursday, March 31, 2016

Traffic Alert: Downtown Lane Closures Will Affect I-10 Exits

Lane closures necessary for work related to the streetcar project in Downtown El Paso may cause backup on Interstate 10 exit ramps in coming weeks.

Officials with the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authorith (CRRMA) are encouraging drivers to seek alternate routes.

Yandell Drive will be reduced to one westbound lane at Stanton Street beginning Monday, April 4, 2016, just one block away from merging traffic using the westbound Mesa Street exit at Downtown. This may have the biggest impact on commuters as actual lane reduction may begin two blocks before the actual closure.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Downtown Aloft Hotel Transformation Gets Facade Improvement Grant

By Armando Landin

The historic Bassett Tower in Downtown El Paso is undergoing a transformation thanks to local investors, and now the project to open an Aloft Hotel at the site has received a facade improvement grant.

Bassett Tower in Downtown El Paso has received a facade improvement grant. The historic highrise will become an Aloft Hotel, scheduled to open in April 2017. (Downtown Management District)

Work is underway on the adaptive reuse project which will turn the 15-story former office building into a 100 room hotel. Bassett Tower was completed in 1930 and designed by Henry Trost, making the building architecturally significant and a historic landmark.

New Ordinance Could Mean More Downtown Street Vendors

Visitors and residents of Downtown El Paso may soon see more street vendors popping up along Downtown streets thanks to a new ordinance passed by City Council.

A parking space in Downtown El Paso will soon be occupied by a food vendor on certain days of the week. (City of El Paso)

This includes allowing vendors, such as food trucks, to park in the spaces for longer than the time limit indicated on the meter. Vendors will have to receive a "Special Privilege" license from the City in order to do so.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Major I-10 Ramp Improvements at 'Fountains' Shown in Video

By Armando Landin   

An upcoming Texas Department of Transportation project will reconfigure existing Interstate 10 ramps and add a braided ramp near the Fountains at Farah in East El Paso, and a new video shows what the improvements will look like once completed.

A braided ramp is part of planned improvements to Interstate 10 near the Fountains at Farah in East El Paso. (Texas Department of Transportation)

The freeway will also get auxiliary lanes between Viscount and Airway Boulevards, lanes that are created at an on ramp and must exit at the next off ramp.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Courtyard by Marriott Plans New Hotel Next to Downtown Ballpark

Details have emerged on a brand new Courtyard by Marriott coming to Downtown El Paso. The new multi-floor hotel will have a prominent spot along I-10 and across the street from Southwest University Park, home of the El Paso Chihuahuas.

A Courtyard by Marriott hotel is planned for Downtown El Paso, as seen in this rendering from the architect. (Mitchell Carlson Stone, Inc.)

As first reported by El Paso Inc., the hotel project is led by Jim Scherr, the lawyer and businessman behind the renovation of the crumbling and vacant International Hotel into the Doubletree Hotel, just block away from the new Courtyard project.

Olympic-Size Pool, Aquatics Center First Up at Massive Eastside Regional Park

By Armando Landin

Far East El Paso residents will see an aquatics center first as Phase One proceeds for the upcoming Eastside Regional Park. The massive 92-acre park is located off of Hueco Club Road, south of Montana Avenue and east of Rich Beem Boulevard.

This rendering shows how the entrance to the Eastside Regional Park in El Paso may look like once completed. (City of El Paso)

The aquatics area will include a natatorium with a 50-meter "competition-ready" pool and an adjacent a warm up/cool down pool as well as an outdoor recreational pool, splash pad, and lazy river.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Planned Lofts Could Overlook Downtown Ballpark

By Armando Landin

The architect behind a planned lofts project adjacent to Southwest University Park in Downtown El Paso is teasing what the project may ultimately look like once built.

Three planned "upper end" apartments could have views of El Paso Chihuahuas games. (

'Ballpark Lofts' is the name of the project which will include three 2,600 square foot apartments.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Topgolf Shows Interest in El Paso, But Where?

With Topgolf's announcement last week that it is looking to expand into the El Paso area, it leads us to wonder... where should it go?

A typical Topgolf facility includes a three-level structure with "bays" on each floor. The national chain is looking to expand into the El Paso market. (Topgolf)

Topgolf, a driving range entertainment venue, announced last week that it wants to expand to small and mid-sized cities, including El Paso. Topgolf locations vary in size but typically require around 15 acres of space.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

P.F. Chang's, Mooyah Among Several New Tenants Heading to Fountains at Farah

By Armando Landin

The Fountains at Farah shopping center in East El Paso is seeing new retail and restaurant activity thanks to new tenants that have opened or will be coming soon, located along Gateway West between Viscount and Hawkins Boulevards.

A "Coming Soon" sign announces a future P.F. Chang's location at the Fountains at Farah in East El Paso. (El Paso Development News)

On the horizon for the 600,000 square foot hybrid lifestyle/power center are multiple new eateries and a dessert shop. P.F. Chang's, Mooyah, and Ruth's Chris Steak House lead the list of upcoming dining options.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Alamo Drafthouse Now Hiring 200 Employees for West El Paso Location

By Armando Landin

The latest addition to the Montecillo smart growth development in West El Paso is now hiring in anticipation of its opening. Alamo Drafthouse cinema seeks 200 employees for its upcoming location.

The Alamo Drafthouse is now hiring for its West El Paso location, shown in this rendering. It will be an anchor tenant in the upcoming Montecillo Town Center. (Alamo Drafthouse/Triple Tap Ventures)
The new movie house will be an anchor tenant in the Montecillo Town Center, located at Mesa Street and Montecillo Boulevard. No other tenants have been announced for the center, which is part of the larger Montecillo development.

Spray Parks to be Themed, Start Construction Soon

By Armando Landin

The City of El Paso is taking steps to complete the first phase of spray parks it has planned for different areas around the city. Phase One of the plan includes four spray parks, which will be themed.

This rendering shows what the spray park at Pavo Real Park may look like once in operation. Pavo Real is located in El Paso's Lower Valley. (City of El Paso)

City Council will consider awarding the first part of a design-build contract next week to begin infrastructure work on the four parks. The first to be constructed will be in Districts Two, Three, Four, and Six.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

'La Villita' will be Retail Center Attached to Whole Foods Market

By Armando Landin

Whole Foods Market is scheduled to open in West El Paso in late 2016 and will anchor an attached retail center called "La Villita." The center will include retail, restaurant, and office space at the corner of North Mesa Street and Pitt Street.

These renderings show what the La Villita retail center may look like, now under construction in West El Paso next to an upcoming Whole Foods Market. (RJL Real Estate)

La Villita will include approximately 26,500 square feet of retail space, 6,900 square feet for restaurants, and 12,000 square feet for upper level office space.