El Paso’s tallest buildings

El Paso’s tallest buildings, the Wells Fargo tower, left, and One San Jacinto tower, right, are among the 14 properties the REIT has sold to a company headed by Paul Foster.

Borderplex Realty Trust, once the owner of some of Downtown El Paso’s most valuable real estate, has completed the sale of buildings to Franklin Mountain Investments.

The $70 million sale by the real estate investment trust, or REIT, was announced in May and approved by shareholders in September. On Thursday, the REIT announced the deal has closed.

Franklin Mountain Investments, or FMI, is owned by El Paso businessman Paul Foster, who also owns several other properties in Downtown and is known for the meticulous restoration of the historic Anson Mills building.

“This acquisition furthers our commitment to Downtown El Paso, and we are pleased to bring all the properties and tenants together as part of the ongoing development and revitalization of Downtown El Paso,” Foster said in a news release.

FMI acquired 14 properties in Downtown El Paso: three office buildings, eight retail properties and three land parcels. The buildings include the Wells Fargo tower and the One San Jacinto Plaza tower, formerly known as the Chase Building.

“Under FMI’s stewardship, we are confident that Borderplex’s original goals of Downtown redevelopment and renewal will continue to be met,” said El Paso land developer Scott Schwartz, a member of the REIT’s executive committee.

The REIT’s 15 employees will still be employed under an FMI affiliate called Franklin Mountain Property Services, which will merge the REIT’s management team and Mills Plaza Properties.

The 32-person team will be led by Jamie Gallagher, the REIT’s senior vice president.

The REIT is still in control of an apartment complex in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is going through due diligence with a buyer. Officials in a news release said the sale is expected to close by April.

The REIT was established in 2007 by billionaire William Sanders with the goal of rehabbing Downtown El Paso. The group sold two properties to El Paso-based retail developer Mimco in 2019 as part of its asset liquidation.