EPT Land Communities, the developer behind the Montecillo urban village, has unveiled plans for a Marriott-brand hotel and resort.
The four-acre resort would be located in Montecillo, the 300-acre Westside development where El Paso’s first Top Golf location is under construction and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema opened last year.
David Bogas, director of development at EPT Land Communities, made the announcement last week at the West Texas Idea Exchange retail conference.
“This is not pie-in-the-sky; these are done plans,” Bogas says.
Construction for the project is set to begin in six months.
The resort would include a Marriott-brand hotel, three restaurants, resident clubhouse and event facility. It would also have a pool with a “lazy river,” water slide and splash pads.
Bogas says he has been laughed at by people who are skeptical that the El Paso economy can support a resort. But, he adds, “We have some owners who think outside the box.”
The resort’s 12,000-square-foot day club would consist of three large restaurants and covered patios. Nearby, waterslides will feed into the “lazy river” pool. It will include a business center, fitness facility, yoga rooms, a kitchen that will offer free cooking lessons, a bar area, concierge desk and private lounge areas.
“This is where the resort concept came in,” Bogas says.
At the center of the resort will be an event center that will house up to 400 guests for weddings, quinceañeras and graduations.
Bogas says he could not reveal or discuss the cost of the project.
A total of seven years has gone into the planning of the resort, according to K.C. Griffin, president of Integrity Asset Management. The firm manages 54 apartment complexes in El Paso, including the apartments at Montecillo.
“It is something that has evolved over time, and it is something that El Paso has never seen before,” she says. “We just really want it to be a unique experience for our residents.”
The resort, called Resort at Montecillo, and the confirmed hotel are separate, but the amenities at the resort would be available to all guests and business owners, Griffin says.
“It’s just an added perk of living here and doing business here,” she says. “I would say if you looked at the rating, it’s definitely five stars.”
The amenities and hotel will mostly cater to people living in the Montecillo development. But it will also be available to the El Paso community.
“For El Paso residents, they will be able to access, enjoy and definitely have a place to take their families and to come out and enjoy a day out here,” she says.
Montecillo is a decades-long project, and among one of the most ambitious real estate developments in the city. When EPT Land Communities broke ground on the area in 2011 it was the first large-scale attempt at smart-growth style development in El Paso.
The development stretches along Interstate 10 from Castellano Drive and to Festival Drive.
Griffin said that 122 townhomes are under construction right now at Montecillo. They are three stories tall with garages. Prices range from $219,000 to $240,000. Eleven have been sold.
Also, 47 houses have been built and 14 have been sold. They range in price from $326,000 to $363,000.
Bogas says EPT Land intends to stay true to the origins and concepts of what smart growth is about.
“It’s not for everybody, and it’s not for every place in the city, but it is clearly for us,” he says.
Bogas also mentioned the potential for a new ramp to connect I-10 to the Montecillo development.
“We’re allowed to have whatever we want to pay for, that’s the Texas Department of Transportation’s position,” he says.
The resort is “huge” for the city, said Jessica Herrera, interim director of the city’s Economic and International Development Department.
“It is a resort,” she says. “The industry standard is that it encompasses certain amenities, recreation, food and beverage and hospitality.”
Herrera says that while the resort will cater to the residents of Montecillo, it will also benefit the city’s economy overall.
“It adds value, brings additional jobs to the city and provides for additional opportunities. It’s a really great environment,” she says. “This is very appealing for the young professional.”
Email El Paso Inc. reporter Aaron Montes at firstname.lastname@example.org • (915) 534-4422, ext. 135