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.


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As one of the strong supporters of Downtown El Paso, me and my business partner leased a 4300sqft loft on El Paso Street. It has been a lot of work.....but we are part of the movement to make this a reality...this article needs to shine light on all the great things happening...1st Ave. Lofts, Rulis Kitchen, just to name a few...these people have been our inspiration, they took a leap of faith, and now we will do our part.

Wow, I didn't know businesses ONLY failed in downtown EP. Thanks for expert business insight, Mr. Reyes. And tha is to Ms. Helmes for taking the time to interview residents in the Union Fashion building and the REDEVELOPED Fst Ave lofts. And what about The Plaza? The Doubletree hotel? Union Plaza? THE NEW FEDERAL BUILDING!? isn't KTSM located downtown? I suggest you redo your story, Ms. Helmes. Give those individuals who are trying to make a difference a chance!

i ride my bike on a regular basis downtown, and not once have i ever seen any sort of mess, and i have never smelt anything out of the ordinary. Do proper research next time or go down there yourself for a firsthand experience.

It is this kind of mentality that turns people off to our city. I don't know, but maybe you could put a positive spin on what has been done in our downtown. It doesn't take much time to research the average time that it takes a city to revitalize it's downtown. It has really only been 2 years when the average time needed is 10 to 12 years. "A few small restaurants..." really??? Overall a waste of viewers time and a sad attempt to make the news more dramatic and depressing than it already is.

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