Contact us today if you need more information, have a question or wish to submit a comment regarding DOWNTOWN EL PASO.
Kathy Dodson, PhD
Economic Development Coordinator
|Veronica R. Soto
Senior Economic Development Specialist
|Use our convenient Events and Attractions submission forms to submit information about your DOWNTOWN related event, business or historic building.|
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A great source of DOWNTOWN information is our el centro Newsletter. Published monthly, each newsletter contains a wealth of information regarding DOWNTOWN development and activities, as well as upcoming events, City Council information and future considerations.
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|• September 2010|
|• January 2009||• February 2009||• March 2009||• April 2009|
|• May 2009||• June 2009||• July 2009||• August 2009|
|• September 2009||• October 2009||• November 2009||• December 2009|
|• January 2008||• February 2008||• March 2008||• April 2008|
|• May 2008||• June 2008||• July 2008||• August 2008|
|• September 2008||• October 2008||• November 2008||• December 2008|
|• December 2007|
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Downtown El Paso is ready to be re-established as the heart of the community. Redevelopment will transform 326 acres into a vibrant place to live, work, play, shop and visit via a strong public and private partnership.
El Paso is seeking to provide for a broad range of retail choices in DOWNTOWN to meet the strong cross-border demand, mixed-use and multi-tenant housing opportunities and additional office opportunities.
The El Paso City Council created a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) for 288 acres of the DOWNTOWN Plan. In its first two years of the TIRZ, property values climbed by 40 percent to almost $446 million.
The TIRZ Board. No. 5 meets every second Thursday of the month at 7:30 a.m. on the 10th floor large conference room at City Hall, 2 Civic Center Plaza. The public is welcomed to attend these monthly meetings.
At the October 31, 2006 City Council Meeting, the City Council approved and adopted the DOWNTOWN 2015 Land-Use Plan. The Plan is an outline which will change Downtown for the next 100 years. This plan will redevelop the majority of the entire area and it will be done on a phased basis which will allow residents and businesses to move into other locations before relocation is required, however, relocation is not required for all properties.
|Document||• DOWNTOWN 2015 Plan Approved 10/31/2006 - 4th Quarter|
|• Draft Design Standards and Guidelines for all new DOWNTOWN Development and Renovation 9/21/2006 - 3rd Quarter|
|Fact Sheet||• Draft DOWNTOWN 2015 Plan 9/29/2006 - 3rd Quarter|
|Map||• Updated Map of DOWNTOWN Plan boundaries 5/13/2008 - 2nd Quarter|
|• Map of DOWNTOWN Plan Boundaries as Adopted 12/18/2007 - 4th Quarter|
|Ordinance||• Ordinance amending DOWNTOWN Plan boundaries 5/13/2008 - 2nd Quarter|
|• Ordinance approving the DOWNTOWN 2015 Plan 10/31/2006 - 4th Quarter|
|Presentation||• Downtown 2015 Plan Presentation to Council 10/31/2006 - 4th Quarter|
|• Unveiling Downtown 2015 Plan 3/31/2006 - 1st Quarter|
|Resolution||• Resolution Extending Eminent Domain Moratorium 12/19/2006 - 4th Quarter|
|• DOWNTOWN Plan Phase I Presentation at Special Council Meeting 7/10/2006 - 2nd Quarter|
|• DOWNTOWN Plan for Location of Government Offices 7/10/2006 - 2nd Quarter|
|• Guiding Values Resolution for DOWNTOWN Plan 7/10/2006 - 2nd Quarter|
|• Resolution on Eminent Domain Moratorium 7/10/2006 - 2nd Quarter|
|• Resolution Accepting DOWNTOWN Plan Draft and Authorizing Public Process Necessary to Prepare a Recommendation 3/31/2006 - 1st Quarter|
|• Resolution for City Funds for DOWNTOWN Master Plan 02-15-2005 – 1st Quarter|
|• Resolution for City Participation in DOWNTOWN Master Plan Development 12/14/2004 – 4th Quarter|
|Document||• Press Release - DOWNTOWN Plan Public Hearings 9/18/2006 - 3rd Quarter|
|Fact Sheet||• CPC recommendations on proposed DOWNTOWN 2015 Plan 10/5/2006 - 3rd Quarter|
|Presentation||• Community Meetings - Plan Adoption Process 9/21/2006 - 3rd Quarter|
|Resolution||• Project History DOWNTOWN Redevelopment Phase I Overview 6/7/2006 - 2nd Quarter|
|Document||• DOWNTOWN Plan Process 5/30/2006 - 2nd Quarter|
|Fact Sheet||• DOWNTOWN Eminent Domain 5/30/2006 - 2nd Quarter|
|• DOWNTOWN City Plans 5/30/2006 - 2nd Quarter|
To encourage revitalization, the City of El Paso offers incentives for development in Downtown. The incentives are part of an overall strategy to leverage investment, lower the cost of doing business and level the playing field for businesses and property owners choosing to invest in Downtown properties. The incentives are part of the implementation of the Downtown 2015 Plan adopted by City Council in Oct. 2006. Unless specifically exempted, all projects seeking incentives must meet current building standards, codes and permitting requirements as well as be current on all City obligations.
|Documents||• Historic property tax exemption application 5/6/2008 - 2nd Quarter|
|• Sales Tax Rebate Program Application 9/25/2007 - 3rd Quarter|
|• Facade Improvement Guidelines 9/11/2007 – 3rd Quarter|
|Ordinance||• Sales Tax Rebate Program Guidelines 9/25/2007 - 3rd Quarter|
|Presentation||• Fee Reduction Incentives Prez to Council 5/6/2008 - 2nd Quarter|
|Documents||• DT Incentive Programs One-Pager 6/24/2008 - 2nd Quarter|
|• Permit Fee Reductions - Final 5/6/2008 - 2nd Quarter|
|• Green Building Grant Program Guidelines 9/11/2007 – 3rd Quarter|
|• Green Building Grant Application 9/11/2007 – 3rd Quarter|
|• Facade Improvement Program Application 9/11/2007 – 3rd Quarter|
|Presentation||• Presentation Creating Area of Potential Effect 5/27/2008 – 2nd Quarter|
|• Green Building - Grant Program & LEED 5/14/2008 – 2nd Quarter|
|• Tax Exemption Program expansion 5/6/2008 - 2nd Quarter|
TIRZ No. 5 in El Paso’s Downtown is the area where a special district was put into place in December 2006 for a period of 30 years. It is a method of funding public investments in an area slated for redevelopment by recapturing, for a time, all or a portion of the increased tax revenue that may result if the redevelopment stimulates private investment and increases 2 property values and thus property tax revenue. View a map of the TIRZ No. 5 boundaries.
|Ordinance||• Ordinance Amending TIRZ Project and Financing Plan 04/07/09 - 2nd Quarter|
|• Ordinance Approving Final Project and Financing Plan 03/10/09 - 1st Quarter|
|• Amending ordinance to modify the TIRZ boundaries 1 12/18/2007 - 4th Quarter|
|• Amending ordinance to modify the TIRZ boundaries 2 12/18/2007 - 4th Quarter|
|• Ordinance Establishing TIRZ No. 5 12/19/2006 - 4th Quarter|
|Resolution||• Resolution Expressing Intent to Create TIRZ No. 5 10/17/2006 – 4th Quarter|
|Documents||• TIRZ Project and Financing Plan|
|Presentation||• TIRZ Intention Presentation to Commissioner's Court and EPISD 10/31/2006 - 4th Quarter|
|Fact Sheet||• DOWNTOWN TIRZ 5/30/2006 - 2nd Quarter|
Jesse Alvarez, TIRZ Board Member
Jesse Alvarez has a long history of community service. He is a former President of
Marc Bernat, TIRZ Board Member
Marc Bernat is a native El Pasoan who earned both a Bachelor of Arts and law degree
Eduardo Castorena, TIRZ Board Member
Eduardo Castorena has an extensive history of community service. He earned a Masters in Education from the University of Texas, as well as a Bachelors in Sociology. He has held a variety of positions with health care organizations and church ministries. Castorena is a former Vice President, Board of Directors, Bien Vivir Senior Health Services, former Vice President, Board of Directors, Rio Bravo Interfaith Council and has also served on the board of the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation.
Pauline Dow, TIRZ Board Vice-Chair
Pauline Dow, a native El Pasoan, was named Associate Superintendent for Canutillo
Bonnie S.Y. Escobar, TIRZ Board Member
Bonnie Escobar is a UTEP graduate with a B.S. in Criminal Justice and a Masters in
Verónica Escobar, TIRZ Board Chair / El Paso County Commissioner
Veronica Escobar has served as El Paso County Commissioner for Precinct 2 since
Art Fierro, TIRZ Board Member
Art Fierro is a lifelong El Pasoan currently serving as the chair of the El Paso Community
Rebecca Friesenhahn, TIRZ Board Member
Rebecca Friesenhahn is a native El Pasoan, with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Business Administration from UTEP. The Loretto Academy alumnus is an accountant, currently
Hector Gutierrez Jr., TIRZ Board Member
Through May 1, Hector Gutierrez is responsible for regulatory, public and governmental
Bill Hooten, TIRZ Board Member
Bill Hooten is the Downtown Management District (DMD) representative to the TIRZ
Keith A. Mahar, TIRZ Board Member
Keith A. Mahar is a native El Pasoan and a graduate of Hanks High School. After a
Miguel I. Murguia, TIRZ Board Member
Mike Murguia is a native El Pasoan and graduate of J.M. Hanks High School. Since
Jim Phillips, TIRZ Board Member
Jim Phillips’ background is in broadcasting and banking. The U.S. Air Force veteran
George Reynoso, TIRZ Board Member
George Reynoso is a native of El Paso. He has a Bachelor of Arts from UTEP and is
DOWNTOWN El Paso has a rich history including many historic properties. Our vision is to promote a DOWNTOWN with historic buildings filled with offices, lofts, restaurants and exciting new places to shop. Revitalized historic buildings, new development and gracious new parks are the setting for a DOWNTOWN that is inviting and accessible to everyone.
|Fact Sheet||• Properties on the National Register in Downtown El Paso 7/30/2007 - 2nd Quarter|
|Portals at the Pass: El Paso Area Architecture to 1930
Evan Haywood Antone and Morris Brown
El Paso: El Paso Chapter, American Institute of Architects, 1984.
|Henry C. Trost: Architect of the Southwest
Lloyd C. and June-Marie F. Engelbrecht
El Paso: El Paso Public Library Association, 1981
|Historic El Paso: An Illustrated History
San Antonio: Historical Publishing Network, 1997
|El Paso in Pictures
El Paso: Mangan Books, 1971
|El Paso Guided Through Time
Leon C. Metz
El Paso: Mangan Books, 1999
|Pass of the North: Four Centuries on the Rio Grande
C. L. Sonnichsen
El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1968
|El Paso: A Borderlands History
W. H. Timmons
El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1990
This Fact Sheet addresses relocation payments and other relocation assistance provided under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended (URA) to residents involuntarily displaced from their homes. This includes any family or individuals that must move as a direct result of rehabilitation, demolition or acquisition in which Federal funds are used.
|Fact Sheet||• DOWNTOWN Housing 5/30/2006 - 2nd Quarter|
You can contact the City of El Paso Economic Development Department at (915) 541-4670 for information on the available incentives for Downtown. The department can also tell you about companies with available properties/office space and provide you with contact information.
You don’t have to live or work in Downtown to benefit from Downtown redevelopment. From a quality of life standpoint, an improved Downtown provides all El Pasoans with more shopping, dining and/or entertainment options. A vibrant Downtown can also serve as a tourist attraction and become a “selling point” for people who may be relocating from other cities. Fiscally, revitalization can add to the overall tax base in a number of ways, including increases in sales taxes and potential hotel/motel tax revenues.
There is no mention in the Downtown 2015 Plan adopted by City Council of the use of eminent domain. Eminent domain has not been used and there are no plans to use it. Its use is one of the most time-consuming and expensive ways to accomplish revitalization. In 2006, City Council also approved a two-year moratorium on the use of eminent domain for downtown revitalization. People are not being forced from their homes.
There is no definitive timeline for completion of any privately-funded projects in Downtown El Paso. The City focuses its efforts on infrastructure improvement in the areas where redevelopment is occurring and as projects are developed each will have a project timeline.
There are plans in development to add more housing in Downtown and the possibility of 2 private ventures exist as of 2008. However, overtime, more opportunities are envisioned and are envisioned and will be encouraged.
The City (through the TIRZ board) and developers will work together to determine the parameters of meeting the affordable housing requirement in the Downtown 2015 Plan Guiding Values. Federal guidelines determine what is considered affordable for our community. As of this writing, “affordable” is generally defined as a housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of a household’s gross income based on federal guidelines.
The Downtown 2015 Plan does address and offer suggestions for the increased demand for parking as revitalization progresses. Among the suggestions are shared parking arrangements. This would allow the use of existing parking structures (such as the underground Convention and Performing Arts Center) that have significant daytime usage to be made available for night-time usage. There is also the potential for private developers to create more parking in Downtown. Currently, the privately-funded Mills Plaza development includes plans for two parking facilities adjacent and across the street from the Mills Building.
The Downtown 2015 Plan calls for the creation of a Binational Arts Walk that will use art to link the districts and features of a revitalized Downtown. The plan also heavily suggests maximizing regional and international art forms in other projects and emphasizes the inclusion of art in public places.