Thursday, June 9, 2016

New Westside Tower Stirs Up Opposing Views

By Armando Landin

Supporters of a proposed 22-story tower in West El Paso have set up a Facebook page and online petition that urges City Council to approve the ambitious project unveiled in April.

Shadow Mountain Tower would rise 22-stories in West El Paso, as seen in this rendering. City Council will consider approving the project in the coming weeks. (Meyers Group)

Meanwhile, opponents have also setup an online petition calling for the City to deny the required zoning change for the project unless the height of the tower is lowered or it is moved to Downtown El Paso.

One of the developers behind the project, Josh Meyers of Meyers Group of Florida, met with both sides at a community meeting held by City Representative Peter Svarzbein on Wednesday. Mr. Meyers heads Meyers Group's El Paso office and lives in the same area as the proposed tower.

The supportive Facebook page is called "Rise El Paso" with the corresponding online petition stating:

"This innovative mixed use building will give our citizens a place to live, work, and play. Let’s take actions that promote the economic vitality of our beloved city and improve our quality of life. The building will be LEED certified and is designed to blend in with the colors and hues of our natural environment. It does not effect views of our beautiful mountain range. We should foster an environment that encourages entrepreneurs and development. Encouraging investment encourages economic growth which increases the employment rate and increases average income."

Another view of the proposed Shadow Mountain tower in West El Paso. (Meyers Group)

Meanwhile, the petition set up in opposition is called "Fight the High-Rise" and states:

"Luxury apartments and a hotel near the #1 rated ballpark, beautiful San Jacinto Plaza, and the arts district —that's progress. The city has spent millions revamping downtown, bettering the quality of life for El Pasoans and adding value to El Paso. A high rise in a residential neighborhood (a suburb in every other city in the country) will be giant step backward."

As of this writing, the supportive petition has 669 signatures while the petition in opposition of the project has 336.

Petition in support: Support the Shadow Mountain Mixed-Use Development Project
Petition in opposition: Fight the High-Rise: Keep Our Mountains Tall

The Shadow Mountain project will create a 22-story mixed use tower that includes 228 apartment units, 219 hotel units, and 42,000 square feet of retail space. A five story garage will provide over 700 parking spaces for the development.

The proposed 22-story for West El Paso will be located east of the North Mesa Street and Sunland Park Drive intersection, at 201 Shadow Mountain Drive. 

The tower will be located at 201 Shadow Mountain Drive, just east of the Sunland Park Drive and Mesa Street intersection.

(Previously: 22-Story Mixed-Use Tower Planned for West El Paso)

The rezoning application was unanimously approved by the City Plan Commission in May. It is expected to be considered for final approval by City Council in July.

13 comments:

  1. Well I happen to be one of the supporters of the Shadow Mountain Tower development.I also already signed the petition that was spearheaded by Jordan Beckoff in the Rise El Paso.I don't agree with the opposition and by their excuses along with their own petition. Fight the High Rise, keep our mountains tall! is that all they can think of? The Franklin Mountains rise above the desert floor to the elevation of 7,114 feet in altitude. While the propose Shadow Mountain Tower will only rise 256 feet high and yet the tower is still a distant away from the mountains.I know that mayor Oscar Leeser and a few other city council members are all on board with the Meyers Group not to mention the City planning zoning commision.The new tower will help with the ongoing smart growth and help curb urban sprawl,it will bring new jobs to El Paso.
    The naysayers that are opposed to the new development are only thinking about themselves in the most greedy way.And I don't support their thoughts or even feel sorry for them, so too bad for them.Life goes on so Build the Tower,in fact the Meyers Group should build two towers of the same height just for the heck of it.The Franklin Mountains belong to all El Pasoans not just to the oppositioner.

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  2. For better or worse El Paso is changing towards infill and higher densities vs sprawl. This will be the first of many high rises that will spring up along major arterials in the suburbs. If El Pasoans are against this then whack-a-mole on specific projects isn't the way to go. Broader zoning restrictions on different areas of the city to limit residential densities and heights is a better approach. Good luck getting your bought city council to do anything important.

    I'm ambivalent, but on this particular project its the width & wall effect that bothers me more than the height, but the developer is selling the views so it makes sense to go wide.

    I don't know what the market is or if its upscale but hopefully its a sign that more young professionals are staying and we are reducing our brain drain.

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  3. Just build it...I love the design and it will make our beautiful westside standout above the rest,literally. If you build it they will come.

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    1. I hope that you signed the petition with the link provided above? We must send all those naysayers a message that will will not no longer be suppressed by their negativity.The westside is El Paso's better looking part of the city without question! But in general,El Paso is beautiful, our home and a good place to live regardless of where you live in the city. SIGN THE PETITION in FAVOR of the Tower? PLEASE!

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  4. What I can not comprehend is how all the nay-Sayers complain about it being downtown, honestly if we were to build this downtown it would seem a little out of place seeing that people love downtown for its character and a sleek modern building would just destroy that sentiment and make downtown look kind off like the the other characterless downtowns of ultra modern cities like lets say Houston or Dallas even. So I like how this shows our great cities progress towards the future and feel that nobody should judge something just by the way it looks because I can guarantee you that all the people against it now will most certainly use it facilities like the shops and the grocery store after the project is completed and make the excuse "well it just doesn't make sense to drive to WALMART or wherever when their is this what ever retailer literally withing walking distance.

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    1. Gosh I thought this would be a lot shorter in my head before I typed it ;]

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    2. That is what is missing in downtown El Paso! this very type of development but rumour has it that its coming.

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    3. Yes I completely agree but I feel in downtown we shouldn't rush for downtown to change so drastically and in my personal opinion I feel downtown development projects should be set to a standard like all new buildings should at least have some building style guideline to follow so we don't lose it character so rapidly

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    4. Sometimes things have to be put on fast forward and this includes new development. However that is not the case with downtown El Paso as some historic icons have been converted into surface parking lots.
      And gradually every here and there, there are signs of progress being made,evidence would be like the ongoing streetcar project.The Artspace
      downtown lofts under construction and waiting for the Courtyard by Marriott to break ground soon.On their new 9 story hotel and also what about the Hunt Tower 601 North Mesa across from the Artspace Lofts?
      Once the electric streetcar project is completed and in operation, it is very capable of attracting billions of $dollars in new downtown developments.There are many historic buildings in downtown, a handful have received or are receiving restoration upkeep renovations.Bringing these downtown jewels back to life and useful purposes.There are still many dilapidated historic downtown buildings that need desperate attention.They are all owned by one slumlord that refuses to fix or sell his buildings that he continues to horde.
      I think that downtown buildings should resemble a painted desert setting! The such likes of the Blue Mirror reflective Glass of the County Court House, the brown Copper color Federal Court House.Will turn green in color with age,the Wells Fargo bank building adds a distinctive color of dark windows black frame.Like desert rocks in the sand is what I meant by a painted desert.Buildings can have desert colors which makes them architecturally more character attractive to their own environmental setting.

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