Monday, November 13, 2017

26-Story Tower Proposed for Downtown El Paso

By Armando Landin   

Plans are in the works to bring a 26-story, mixed-use tower to El Paso's downtown. The brand new addition to the city's skyline would include a mix of retail spaces, hotel rooms, and apartments, at the corner of Mills Avenue and Campbell Street.

A 26-story mixed-use building has been proposed for Downtown El Paso. (Kobi Karp Architecture via City of El Paso)

An eight-level parking garage is also part of the overall structure.

In all, the tower would reach a height of 287 feet, making it the second tallest building in El Paso. The Wells Fargo office building just down the street is 296 feet tall, despite having only 21 floors.

According to City documents, initial plans include a total of 180 hotel rooms spread out over eight floors, while 180 apartments will occupy the top 16 floors.

Retail spots will have storefronts along the street-level ground floor, with about 35,000 square feet available among multiple spaces.

Retail spots will be available at street level in a new mixed-use tower in El Paso. (Kobi Karp via City of El Paso)

A 40,000 square foot, tenth-floor amenity level will include two pools, a recreational area, a spa and fitness center, and a child's sand play area. It will include cabanas, a covered common area, and vegetation.

The amenity level in proposed mixed-use tower in El Paso includes two pools, one for hotel guests and another for residents. (Meyers Group/City of El Paso)

The amenity level will be located on top of the parking levels, thereby blocking the view of the parking structure from the apartments above.

A "Paseo" will provide a drive-through one-way street passing underneath the building and allowing for drop off zones. It will also serve as the entrance to the parking structure.

A "Paseo," shown in pink in this site plan, will cut underneath the new tower in Downtown El Paso. City Hall is across the street immediately to the east. (Meyers Group/City of El Paso)

The parking levels will contain just over 1,100 parking spots, with 700 of them available for use by the City of El Paso. City Hall is located across the street from the proposed development.

The City, in fact, owns the land on which the tower will be built, which is currently a surface parking lot. Local government officials advertised a request for proposals in fall of 2015, calling for a public-private partnership in creating a mixed-use development that included at least 700 parking spaces that the City would own.

An architectural elevation of a proposed mixed-use tower for Downtown El Paso. (Meyers Group/City of El Paso)

In all, five proposals were submitted, and the City has chosen to proceed with a project plan submitted by Meyers Group, a Florida company with an office in El Paso. Meyers Group is partnering with II Sabes, LP, of El Paso, as principals, and also includes Moss & Associates working in conjunction with Kobi Karp Architecture.

Meyers Group previously received local incentives packages to construct a 22-story West El Paso tower which was never realized; the current project page for that development, called Los Miradores, shows plans for two 20-story condominium towers for the same site.

In addition, Meyers Group has partnered in a project currently underway to renovate the aging Paso del Norte Hotel, formerly the Camino Real Hotel, also in Downtown El Paso.

The proposal for the new tower project is heavily redacted in public City documents, and related spending and incentives figures are not disclosed. The name of the possible hotel brand has also been blacked out.

The developer's timeline indicates a total of three years for both design and construction.

The incentives package will go to City Council for a vote on November 28th.