While there might not be as many cranes visible on the Downtown skyline and across El Paso, there is still plenty of construction to watch out for.
Large, multiyear projects, including the WestStar Tower in Downtown, have been completed and tenants are moving in. So has a lot of roadway work.
But there are other big projects – including Downtown freeway reconstruction, shopping and entertainment centers, a car vending machine and a children’s museum – up ahead.
Take a look at what’s being built around the borderland with our semi-regular “crane watch.” You can also find them on our interactive map at ElPasoInc.com.
And we’re always on the hunt for projects. If you know of a big project that has broken ground, let us know at elpasoinc.com/incquiries.
There’s a lot underway in the Montecillo development on the Westside, including an upcoming Carvana vehicle vending machine.
There are 192 apartment units under construction in the Montecillo Town Center near Alamo Drafthouse on Mesa Street. The project does not have a completion date.
Richard Aguilar, a partner with EPT Land Communities, said the Town Center project had faced some water issues after the summer’s heavy downpour.
“Due to the storms, we’re making some improvements, but everything’s been tested and it takes a while,” Aguilar said.
There’s also a water park and clubhouse complex going up at the other end of the Montecillo development, which Aguilar said will be complete in April.
Construction is also wrapping up on the first phase of the 48,000-square-foot retail center at Montecillo.
“Pre-COVID we were 70% leased. A lot of those companies didn’t make it, so we’ve now leased a couple to new restaurants coming in. That’s coming along now,” Aguilar said. He declined to disclose project price tags.
Aguilar said work on a private park will be complete at the end of the month at Montecillo. The 1.5-acre space will feature a gazebo and small amphitheater-like area.
El Paso Children’s Museum and Science Center
Construction on the city’s children’s museum is well underway.
Community leaders broke ground on the bond-funded project in late 2020, and now the steel beams are up and the frame is taking shape. In January, the museum held a topping-out ceremony, where the topmost beam was put into place.
The 70,000-square-foot museum is slated to open early next year, and project stakeholders are still fundraising. A number of large donations have gone into the museum, including $5 million from the Hunt Foundation. So far, $28 million in private grants and donations has been raised.
The project is being designed by Snøhetta, a Norway-based firm.
Mexican American Cultural Center
Work is underway on the city’s 2012 bond-funded Mexican American Cultural Center in Downtown. The original cost for the project was $5.75 million, with the current price tag at nearly $11 million, according to the city’s website for the MACC.
City officials were not immediately available last week for an interview on the MACC or children’s museum.
The MACC will be co-located with the Main Library in Downtown and is slated to open in summer 2023.
The facility will have spaces for exhibits, artist studios, performance areas, archives and culinary programs.
The Texas Department of Transportation has wrapped up several large projects, including the repaving of Mesa Street. But other projects are still underway.
In Far East El Paso, TxDOT is turning Montana into a multilane highway, complete with on-ramps.
The project is slated to be completed by the end of 2022.
TxDOT is also working on expanding I-10 east from Eastlake to Horizon Boulevard.
Jennifer Wright, public affairs officer for TxDOT, said the contract was awarded last week for I-10 west freeway expansion, from Mesa to Vinton. Work is set to start in the next three months.
“It bottlenecks pretty good, and this will work to alleviate that,” Wright said.
The widening is part of a larger $174 million TxDOT project that also includes ramp reversals up to the Texas-New Mexico state line.
TxDOT is also still doing drainage work on Transmountain and is wrapping up the I-10 Connect project in El Paso.
There’s also roadway resurfacing underway on Zaragoza and widening on Loop 375 from Bob Hope to Zaragoza.
Wright said TxDOT is also working on a wrong-way driver system in and around Downtown. The project is slated to finish in May and includes detection for wrong-way drivers, medians and curbs to channelize traffic and robust signage.
There’s a large, vacant dirt lot near the corner of the Gateway West frontage road and Airway Boulevard.
A year ago, the lot was the future home of The Gateway, an ambitious multiuse development featuring apartment living, office spaces, retail and more.
Those plans stalled when a company involved in the project filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Now, there’s new signage and some dirt is moving around for a project called The Refinery. It’s unclear whether the original Gateway project owners are still connected to this new iteration.
Michael Dixson, president of Prestige Development Group, the firm that was leading The Gateway, said he could not confirm or deny whether Prestige was involved with the new Refinery project, and said he does not comment on any of his projects.
According to LoopNet, The Refinery is slated to be 65,000 square feet of four-star office and retail space.
There’s no crane yet, and the project timeline is still unclear.
West Towne Marketplace
There are plenty of new spots popping up in and around West Towne Marketplace in Northwest El Paso.
Recent construction includes ongoing work on Sessions Climbing Gym at 1775 Cimarron Rialto Place. The 13,000-square-foot gym broke ground last year and was originally slated for completion in early 2022.
The industrial hub up in the sandhills has seen a constant flurry of activity.
Abyacsa, a Mexican construction firm, is building two 135,000-square-foot warehouses near the Santa Teresa Gateway rail park.
Blue Road, a Dallas-based warehouse distribution company, is working on a 315,000-square-foot speculative building in the Westpark Logistics Center. It’s being built on spec, meaning without a tenant lined up.
The area also got a new Love’s truck hub, at the corner of Pete Domenici Highway and Airport Road. The truck stop opened last week with Joseph Silva as general manager.
River Oaks projects
River Oaks is keeping busy, with a development frenzy on in Far East El Paso.
“There’s almost 400,000 square feet of new shopping centers we’re working on,” said Adam Frank, president of River Oaks Properties.
The company is working on the second phase of its Eastlake Marketplace shopping center at 13381 Gateway West, which will include a Burlington and Pet Smart.
River Oaks is also working on a 28-acre shopping center across from Eastlake Marketplace, which will feature a Dutch Bros, Peter Piper Pizza, Applebee’s and Gold’s Gym.
Frank said River Oaks is also working on projects at Eastlake and Peyton, Eastlake and Darrington and on Zaragoza.