El Paso continues to grow, sprawling out toward the edges of the city, which means construction of retail, offices and more is following suit.
There are projects all over with price tags climbing into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Some of the most expensive include the new Fort Bliss hospital, which will replace the existing William Beaumont Army Medical Center.
And though much of Downtown has seemingly been under construction for the past couple of years, work is wrapping up on a couple of major projects, including the restored historic Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park and a visitors center and restroom complex for San Jacinto Plaza.
There’s also plenty of construction in El Paso’s education sector, including new headquarters for the El Paso Independent School District and $32 million in improvements for the Rio Grande campus of El Paso Community College.
Read on for a sampling of some of El Paso’s most visible construction projects.
Fort Bliss hospital
The new Fort Bliss hospital, which will replace the William Beaumont Army Medical Center, is several years and millions of dollars over what was promised, but work is wrapping up. The campus is massive, at 1.3 million square feet. The new hospital is slated to be finished in late 2020.
The newest addition to Downtown’s skyline is going up quickly, and workers are already installing glass paneling that will cover the 20-story West Star Tower. The building is slated to be completed in summer 2020 and will be a space for business offices and some retail. In June, officials announced that Corralito would be opening a restaurant inside.
EPISD administrative offices
The El Paso Independent School District is moving its administrative offices to Downtown. EPISD purchased the Stanton Tower, 1100 N. Stanton, as well as the adjacent lot, formerly the site of Hotel Dieu, where a new three-story EPISD complex is under construction. The district’s central office departments are slated to move into the buildings in the second half of 2020, officials said.
Plaza Pioneer Park
The historic hotel’s renovation is nearing the finish line after two years under construction. The building was constructed in the 1930s and sat vacant for years. The Plaza was then purchased by El Paso billionaire Paul Foster in 2008. Foster spent more than $70 million renovating the Plaza.
When it reopens, Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park will feature luxury accommodations and will begin accepting reservations in March 2020.
Hotel Paso Del Norte
Another historic Downtown hotel is nearing completion. The Hotel Paso Del Norte was purchased by the Meyers Group, which spent more than $70 million renovating the Henry Trost-designed hotel. The Hotel Paso Del Norte is now part of the Marriott Autograph Collection and renovations are slated to finish in mid-2020.
EPCC Rio Grande
The El Paso Community College campus right outside Downtown is getting a new parking garage and academic facility building. The $32 million project is part of EPCC’s master plan for improvements at all campuses. The Rio Grande campus work should wrap up by spring 2020.
Mimco Northeast projects
Mimco, the El Paso-based retail developer, has several projects in the works around El Paso, including a new GECU and Starbucks at 9435 and 9455 Dyer St. in Northeast El Paso. It will be the first Starbucks location in the Northeast. Mimco is also working on a 200,0000-square-foot shopping center at McCombs and U.S.-54.
TTUHSC Medical Sciences Building II
The newly funded Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine will be housed in the Medical Sciences Building II at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. The 219,000-square-foot building cost about $85 million and is slated for completion next year.
Blue Flame Building
The former headquarters of the El Paso Natural Gas Company was purchased by the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso and is being turned into 120 units of affordable housing. The project cost more than $55 million. The city of El Paso will also open a civic engagement center on the top floor of the Blue Flame Building, and there will be retail space on the ground floor. The building is supposed to open for tenants in 2020.
Park visitors center
Franklin Mountains State Park is getting some improvements by way of a $3.6 million visitors center. The new center, located on the Northwest side of the park off of Loop 375/Transmountain, will feature three facilities: a main building with the visitors center and administrative offices, restrooms and a large group classroom. The center is set to open in February 2020.
San Jacinto bathrooms
The city purchased a prime piece of property on Mills Avenue in front of San Jacinto Plaza to construct bathrooms and a visitors center for the park. The multimillion-dollar project is slated for completion by the end of this month, just in time for WinterFest.
A stretch of Montana Avenue in Far East El Paso will be unrecognizable in a few years after workers complete a major overhaul of the busy road, turning it into a six-lane highway. Construction has begun and the project is expected to be completed in 2022.