Monday, August 1, 2016

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.

According to the page, the 19-story Plaza will most likely be used as a hotel but could incorporate apartment units on three floors, citing an upcoming story in the El Paso Inc. publication.

The building, located at 106 Mills Avenue, was designed by Henry Trost, the iconic architect behind many historically significant buildings in El Paso. It was completed in 1930.

(Previously: Downtown El Paso Alive with Investment: A Comprehensive List of Downtown Projects)

The Plaza was the second skyscraper hotel built for Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton chain of hotels. It fell into decay starting in the 1970s and has remained vacant for many years.

Work on asbestos abatement has been completed, paving the way for a full renovation of the property. Foster purchased the property in 2008 as part of the Mills-Plaza renovation. The Mills Building across the street underwent extensive renovations, including bringing the facade back to its original condition.

This announcement is the latest in a recent string of Downtown projects, including the $70 million effort to renovate the Hotel Paso del Norte into a convention hotel. That project is across the street from the Plaza Hotel.

There has been no indication as to a budget or timeline for the Plaza project.