Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Work Progresses on El Paso Streetcar Rehabilitation

By Armando Landin
The vehicles that will be used for the upcoming streetcar project, currently under construction, will use the same bodies as those seen on city streets decades ago in El Paso.

The color scheme El Pasoans will see on streetcars once they make their return to Downtown streets in late 2018. (CRRMA)

And now we're getting a peek at the rehabilitation process for those streetcars taking place thousands of miles away.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Designs Revealed for New $85M UTEP Building

By Armando Landin
The public is getting a look at what a new research building will look like at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) once it's completed.

The proposed exterior design for the Interdisciplinary Research Building at the University of Texas at El Paso. (UTEP)

New renderings are available showing the exterior design and proposed landscaping for the Interdisciplinary Research Building (IDRB) which will be constructed at the western edge of the current campus.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Take a Look at Planned Westside Pool Facility

The City of El Paso is holding another community meeting for the upcoming Westside Pool, and new renderings have been released showing the latest design.

The new Westside Pool in El Paso should open by January 2018, as seen in this rendering. (City of El Paso)

The facility will include an Olympic-size indoor pool located within a 35,980 square foot building, located at 650 Wallenberg Drive.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Kate Spade New York, Bath & Body Works Headed to 'Fountains'

A Kate Spade New York store may be headed to the Fountains at Farah in East El Paso. Recently filed construction permits indicate a store will open up at the center. It will be its first location in the Sun City.

Job openings have also been posted at career websites indicating open spots for store managers and "muses," what the company calls its sales associates, all but confirming a store is in the works. No official announcement has been made, and no opening date is available.

Monday, August 22, 2016

32-Acre Mixed Use Center Planned for West El Paso

By Armando Landin
A new 32-acre shopping center is planned for Northwest El Paso and could be the first along the Transmountain corridor west of the Franklin Mountains.

Four restaurants surround a plaza in this rendering of the Legacy at Cimarron, a "mixed-use" development planned for West El Paso. (ESmith Legacy/RJL Real Estate)

The Legacy at Cimarron is billing itself as a mixed-use community that will offer space for retail shops, restaurants, and office uses. It also includes two hotels, with a total of 228 rooms.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Columbia Sportswear Opens at Outlet Shoppes

The Outlet Shoppes at El Paso has added another retailer to its lineup. Columbia Sportswear is now open at the center in Northwest El Paso.

Columbia Sportswear is now open at the Outlet Shoppes at El Paso, joining a North Face store that opened earlier this year. (Horizon Group Properties)

The store opened August 19, 2016, and is offering discounts throughout their grand opening weekend. This includes 25% off and a complementary tote bag. A $500 gift card will also be raffled off.

Downtown Arena Aims for 2020 Opening

By Armando Landin
The Downtown Arena in El Paso could open in early 2020, according to a contract the City will consider next week.

The Downtown 2015 Plan for El Paso (announced in 2006) envisioned a multipurpose arena with nearby hotel, retail, and restaurant uses, as seen in this concept drawing. (Downtown 2015 Plan)

The El Paso City Council is set to consider approving a "Owner’s Representative Services" contract for the $180 million Downtown Arena that would essentially assign a management company to the project.

This contract includes managing the Arena project through all of its phases, officially known as the Multi-Purpose Cultural and Performing Arts Center. This includes site selection, choosing the design team, and overseeing construction.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

See New Renderings of the Eastside Regional Park's Rec Center

By Armando Landin

One of the largest projects planned for the Eastside Regional Park in El Paso will be the recreation center/natatorium that will sit on the park's southern side.

The recreation center at the Eastside Regional Park in El Paso will include a competition-ready pool, a gymnasium, and various activity rooms. (In*Situ Architecture)

As planning for the park ramps up, we're getting a better look at the recreation center through renderings posted by the center's architect.

Monday, August 15, 2016

New Details Emerge for Montecillo Town Center

By Armando Landin   

A greater number of apartments and less street retail space are some of the details discovered in recent renderings and leasing listings for the Montecillo Town Center, the smart growth development currently under construction in West El Paso.

Retail and mixed-use buildings surround a plaza at the future Montecillo Town Center, currently under construction on El Paso's West Side. (EPT Communities)

As vertical construction nears, we're getting a clearer picture of the final layout for the buildings that will make up the Town Center and the form those buildings will take.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Artspace Lofts Applications Available August 15th

Several Application Workshops Also Scheduled

By Armando Landin

Residents interested in applying for a live/work unit at the upcoming Artspace Lofts can pick up an application beginning next week through the El Paso Community Foundation.

The Artspace El Paso Lofts, currently under construction Downtown, will release applications to potential residents beginning August 15, 2016. (Artspace)

Artspace officials will hold an "Application Release Celebration" on August 15, 2016, at Cafe Mayapan from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., located at 2000 Texas Avenue, east of Downtown El Paso.

Approved Plan Includes Over 1,000 Miles of Bike Lanes

By Armando Landin   

City Council has approved the final Comprehensive Bike Plan for El Paso that could add nearly 1,000 miles of bike lanes throughout the Sun City.

This "heat map" shows the demand for bike lanes throughout El Paso, from the recently adopted Comprehensive Bike Plan. (City of El Paso)

The plan includes recommendations for which streets around El Paso should have bike lanes added, and the types of bike lanes they should get. It contains an extensive atlas for each area of town.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

P.F. Chang's Opens August 29th at 'Fountains'

By Armando Landin
Another restaurant option is opening soon at the Fountains at Farah in East El Paso. P.F. Chang's China Bistro will open in late August at the shopping center.

P.F. Chang's will open August 29, 2016, at the Fountains at Farah in East El Paso, the third restaurant opening in August at the center. (Fountains at Farah)

According to the restaurant chain's website, the grand opening is scheduled for August 29, 2016, on the Promenade level of the Fountains.

See Before and After Street Views of Major El Paso Projects

By Armando Landin

Apartment rental site RENTCafé has compiled a series of eleven before and after Street View images of major projects in El Paso.

This screenshot shows an image slider at the RENTCafé website that allows El Pasoans to see the Street View from the same spot and how it's changed from 2007 to 2015. Here, the Venue at Montecillo apartment buildings line Mesa Street in the newer image. (RENTCafé)

The sliders on the images at the site allow El Pasoans to view the changing streetscape by dragging the arrow bars left and right. The right side of each image depicts the Street View in 2007 while the left side shows the same spot in 2015.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Northgate Transfer Center Breaks Ground August 12th

By Armando Landin   

The long-awaited Northgate Transfer Center project will break ground August 12, 2016, marking the beginning of construction for the anchor of the Metro 31 transit oriented development.

The planned Northgate Transfer Center in Northeast El Paso will have an official groundbreaking ceremony on August 12, 2016. (City of El Paso)

The $10.6 million transfer center, located at 9347 Diana Drive in Northeast El Paso, will include a park and ride garage and an enclosed waiting area with nearby ticketing areas. A large, outdoor pedestrian plaza is also planned.

$15M North Loop Apartments Break Ground

By Armando Landin   

The developer of a brand new apartment complex in El Paso's Lower Valley broke ground last week on the $15 million project that will provide more housing options to residents in the area.

Executives of WestStar Bank and Exigo Architecture are joined by City Representative Claudia Ordaz (second from right) and North Loop Apartments president Hamilton Peck (third from right) at recent groundbreaking for the $15 million residential project in El Paso's Lower Valley. (ZTEX Construction)

This marks the start of construction on the North Loop Apartments which will bring 214 units to a vacant lot near the intersection of North Loop Drive and Loop 375/Americas Avenue.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Holiday Inn Express Planned for Northeast El Paso

By Armando Landin

Plans are underway to bring a Holiday Inn Express to Northeast El Paso. The four-story hotel is planned for a property along Gateway South Boulevard.

According to preliminary plans filed with the City of El Paso, the hotel will include 85 rooms with a total area of 54,160 square feet.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Montecillo Teases Home Buying Options

By Armando Landin   

As the Montecillo smart growth community's progress moves slowly but surely to the west, its home-buying options are getting a little clearer.

A group of "Spanish" townhomes in this rendering line a street at the Montecillo development in West El Paso. (EPT Communities)

Construction should begin soon in an area that will be comprised of townhomes and single family homes not too far from the existing apartment buildings just off of Mesa Street in West El Paso.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

New 23-Acre East Side Park Previewed in Video

By Armando Landin   

The design of a 23-acre park slated for East El Paso has been teased in a video post by the City's Capital Improvement Program.

Argal Park in East El Paso will include two large grass areas, for soccer and multi-purpose use. (City of El Paso/Sites Southwest)

Argal Park at Las Palmas will be constructed at the corner of Pendale Road and Rojas Drive as part of the 2012 Quality of Life projects approved by voters.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Bricktown Tap House, Candle Boutique Now Open at 'Fountains'

By Armando Landin   

Two new additions to the Fountains at Farah lineup in East El Paso have now opened. Bricktown Tap House and The Candle Boutique both opened August 1, 2016, at the shopping center.

Bricktown Tap House & Kitchen is now open at the Fountains at Farah in East El Paso. (Fountains at Farah)

Bricktown Tap House & Kitchen has opened in the Promenade section of the Fountains, the Main Street-like lifestyle area of the center, adjacent to Chuy's Mexican Food.

Plaza Hotel Renovations Moving Forward

Update: Work on the Plaza Hotel should start after renovations to the nearby Hotel Paso del Norte begin, according to the El Paso Inc. story. The tentative sale and planned renovation of the Paso del Norte has convinced Paul Foster that the Plaza Hotel project will now be viable.

Original Story:

The vacant Plaza Hotel tower in Downtown El Paso could soon see activity related to its long-awaited renovation.

The vacant Plaza Hotel in Downtown El Paso will proceed with renovations to return it to its glory days as a hotel, shown at left in this rendering. The Mills Building is to the right with the Hotel Paso del Norte in the background. (Mills Plaza Properties)

The El Paso County Historical Commission indicated on its Facebook page over the weekend that businessman Paul Foster has announced the project will proceed.