MPC Fact Check

Why is the City looking to build the Multipurpose Performing Art and Entertainment Center in downtown? 

  • The ordinance calling for the 2012 bond election, which was approved by City Council on August 14, 2012, stated that the Multipurpose performing arts and entertainment facility be "located in Downtown El Paso."  The ordinance is No. 017849. Sample ballot
Have the impacted property owners and stakeholders been contacted by the City? 
  • City Council on October 18, 2016, authorized City staff and consultants to begin meeting with all of the property owners and stakeholders. 
  • Notice letters to property owners were mailed on Nov. 2, 2016. The notice was an introductory letter advising tenants of the City's intent to purchase properties. The notice included the, "State of Texas Landowner's Bill of Rights."
  • Notice for a community meeting was distributed to properties within footprint site on Nov. 2, 2016 and mailed to property owners on Nov. 7, 2016.
Did the City of El Paso seek public input on the development of the MPC and the other signature bond projects approved by voters in 2012? 
  • YES! In 2013, the City Council unanimously awarded an urban planning contract to HKS. HKS launched an outreach campaign to provide the public with opportunities to offer input for the Site Evaluation Report. The public outreach campaign included:

    • A Public Planning Kickoff event: 
          Feb. 4, 2014
    • Public Outreach Workshops: 
          March 26, 2014 
          April 30, 2014
          May 21, 2014
          January 6, 2015
    • Community Project Briefings: 
          June 24-25, 2014 
          July 30-31, 2014

Has the City of El Paso sent out condemnation letters to tenants/property owners?

  • No. Notice letters to property owners were mailed on Nov. 2, 2016. The notice was an introductory letter advising tenants of the City's intent to purchase properties. The notice included, "The State of Texas Landowner's Bill of Rights."
  • Notice for a community meeting was distributed to properties within footprint site on Nov. 2, 2016 and mailed to property owners on Nov. 7, 2016.

Has the City of El Paso sent out eviction notices to tenants/property owners within the MPC footprint and master planning area?

  • No. The City is not issuing eviction notices to any occupant or property owner within the MPC master planning area or footprint. The relocation assistance team has reached out to businesses within the footprint and master planning area and has advised against evictions as a result of the project.
  • Relocation plan agreements will be customized to meet the needs of individuals occupants/owners will be made available to those within the foot print. The City is developing a relocation assistance plan as part of a proposed incentives package for those outside the footprint but within the master planning area.
What does it mean to “relocate” residents and businesses? 
  • There are very specific guidelines under state and federal law directing how governments relocate businesses and residents. The City will follow those rules and we will take care of those who have chosen this neighborhood and love this community. Our goal is to keep anyone who wants to stay downtown in the downtown area.
  • In terms of timing, relocation happens last. We have a lot to do before this becomes an issue.
  • El Paso’s values will guide our efforts: Integrity, Respect, Excellence, Accountability, and People
Who from the City of El Paso will contact occupants/property owners?
  • Occupants/owners will be contacted by Michelle Valdez, the City's Land and Contract Administrator. Each relocation assistance plan will be customized to meet the specific needs of each individual.
Who should occupants/property owners share their personal information with?
  • The City of El Paso encourages occupants/owners to be cautious when sharing their personal information. Michelle Valdez, City of El Paso's Land and Contract Administrator, is leading the relocation assistance outreach and will contact all impacted occupants/owners.
What standards is the City of El Paso using for its relocation assistance plans?

  • The City is following federal relocation assistance standards even though federal funds are not being used for this signature bond project. The City considers federal statute as the “Gold Standard” for this type of process.

Will the City of El Paso provide relocation assistance to those renting properties within the MPC footprint?

  • Yes. The City of El Paso will offer relocation assistance to occupants (residential and commercial).

Will the relocation assistance plans include moving cost reimbursement?

  • Yes. The City of El Paso relocation assistance plans will include moving cost reimbursement. All plans will be customized to meet the needs of individual occupants/property owners.

Will the relocation assistance plans include replacement housing costs?

  • Yes. The City of El Paso relocation assistance plans will include replacement housing costs. All plans will be customized to meet the needs of individual occupants/property owners.

Will the City of El Paso or occupants/owners select the replacement housing/businesses locations?

  • All relocation plans will be customized to meet the needs of individual occupants/owners. Each occupant/owner will determine where they would like to relocate to.

When will the relocation process start?

  • On Oct. 18, 2016, City Council authorized City staff and consultants to begin meeting with all property owners/occupants. The relocation process will begin once a property owner agrees to the sale of the property and to the relocation agreement. 

When will occupants/owners have to move?

  • The City of El Paso will customize relocation plans to meet the individual needs of occupants/owners. Each occupants/owners will be provided with at least a 90-day notice. 
Is it possible to incorporate Fire Station #11 into the MPC design?
  • El Paso Fire Station 11YES. The design team will be sensitive to the issue of historic preservation and will have every intention of working to incorporate the Fire Station #11 into the design.

What is the plan for parking?

  • The draft design contract contemplates limited parking will be incorporated into the site. The bulk of the parking will be handled in offsite garage and surface lots.
  • Allows the City to share parking resources
  • Encourages commercial activity in the area as attendees walk to their cars
Is the MPC going to be located in the El Paso Downtown Arts District?
  • No. The MPC is located just outside of the Arts District, but the multicultural performances that will occur in the MPC will complement the goals of the Arts District. 

Downtown Arts District


Will the demolition wipe out federally-funded improvements to streets and sidewalks, the recently built firehouse and memorial?
  • No. The operational fire station and Memorial Park are not part of the footprint site, but are part of the design plan to be protected and incorporated into the MPC design. The related federally funded improvements to streets and sidewalks are also not part of the MPC footprint.
  • Similarly, the MPC project will complement, not demolish the trolley line.

Is this a “1970’s-style urban renewal project involving mass demolition”?
  • No. This question seems to ask whether the City is wiping out an entire “old” neighborhood to replace it with something new. This project is being designed to fit in the smallest footprint possible, incorporate existing facilities, and create foot traffic to support local businesses.

How will the MPC plan impact heritage tourism?
  • The City’s plan is that MPC design will honor El Paso’s heritage and complement plans for heritage tourism. By incorporating existing fire station buildings at either corner of the MPC and utilizing existing facades, the MPC design has an opportunity to make a strong statement about El Paso’s heritage. 

Why didn’t the City select an alternative site, to include the Asarco site?
  • The City has been working on site selection for the past couple of years. Other sites were thoroughly vetted, but the proposed location ultimately made the most sense in light of the City’s site selection goals:

    • Impact the fewest number of properties
    • Support the vibrancy of downtown
    • Promote a walkable plan from the Convention Center and the Arts District
    • Serve residents and visitors
    • Avoid demolishing tax-improved projects
    • Protect City buildings
    • Keep acquisition costs low
    • Keep direct and indirect costs (indirect costs includes things like rail road crossing closings)


Will the culture of the Union Plaza neighborhood be kept intact and considered in development of the MPC?

  • Yes, the architect selected for the design of the MPC will also be tasked with master planning the area from Santa Fe to Leon and from Paisano to San Antonio, which is situated in the Union Plaza District.

Why didn’t the City select the site located by the railroad tracks?

  • In preliminary discussions, Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) representatives indicated that any discussions involving the acquisition of UPRR property would also require closures of railroad crossings. The majority of the railroad crossings on the UPRR list were in District 6 and 7, and the District Representatives said that their constituents did not want any railroad crossing closures.
  • The closure of any railroad crossing would increase the project cost.
  • The MPC site would require demolition and extensive replacement of City 3 and City 4, which were recently acquired, renovated and furnished.