Downtown Revitalization Project at a Halt
POSTED: Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 11:14pm
UPDATED: Friday, July 23, 2010 - 1:52pm
Downtown El Paso has never had a fast paced urban atmosphere despite the city's greatest efforts. Veronica Soto, redevelopment manager for the City of El Paso, said the city is trying to put in what they can to help in the revitalization.
"What we have done is put a lot of incentives from the city on the table to help developers make projects work," said Soto.
The city has been trying to revitalize downtown since 2006, but not much progress has been made. Soto said it's hard for the projects to be successful because of the on-going problem on where to begin.
"You need more people to live downtown but you also need the amenities and the whole which one should come first is always an issue," Soto said.
"Downtown is very empty aside from the small restaurants that are open and a lot of them aren't open except for maybe Thursday through Saturday, Monday and Tuesday they'll close early so there's really nobody on the streets," Robert Reyes, an El Pasoan who works downtown, said.
Not only does downtown El Paso not have the conveniences of living that the East or West side do, but there are much bigger problems people are complaining about. Reyes said these problems are what make living and working in the area two different situations.
"A lot of waste and a lot of mess and a lot of smell and as to live here it's difficult, to work here it's interesting," Reyes said.
Although luxury businesses do try to move in, Reyes says they usually only last about six months.
"You'll see a new business move in, you walk past it every day on your way to lunch and then all of a sudden it's gone," said Reyes.
The city of El Paso said that downtown was still in its infancy stage to becoming urban, but people downtown tell us they doubt that it will ever become much.