The city's efforts to lure Great Wolf Lodge were axed last year, but the City Council will discuss efforts to try to sell that land parcel next week.

One Tuesday, City Council will discuss the sale of the 43-acre parcel in Northwest El Paso to Kansas City-based VTRE Development for $18.6 million, according to an agenda item. The city acquired the undeveloped property last year through a complex $18.6 million land swap.

A public hearing on the proposed deal will be held on March 2, according to the City Council agenda.

Calls by El Paso Inc. to the company, the city and city Rep. Peter Svarzbein, the representative for that area, were not returned on Friday.

The parcel is located near the intersection of Interstate 10 and Paseo del Norte, near the West Towne Marketplace shopping center.

According to the agenda item, the "city deems that (selling the property) would generate economic benefits for the city and the surrounding community."

As part of the proposed deal, the buyer of the land parcel would agree to purchase the property for no less than $18.6 million, will cover the seller's insurance costs and pay up to $600,000 for a traffic signal on Paseo del Norte, according to the agenda.

VTRE Development, better known as VanTrust Real Estate, is a large real estate development company with a presence all over the country. But it is no stranger to El Paso.

Last July, VanTrust launched the first phase of work on more than 1 million share feet of industrial speculative space in Far East El Paso. It was the first project for VanTrust in the El Paso market.

In April, the city said Great Wolf Lodge would not be moving forward with their plans to build a resort on the property, saying the business had been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Northwest parcel was part of a land swap deal that involved 2,313 acres of Northeast El Paso land owned by El Paso Water.

The City Council in March of 2020 approved the transfer of those 2,313 acres into the city's inventory for $18.6 million. It then swapped that land with El Paso businessman Paul Foster for the 43-acre property in Northwest El Paso.


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