West El Paso empty lot has bright future for students and community

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 10:23pm

It's been somewhat of an eye sore in West El Paso, but now there are solid plans for the former Rudolph Chevrolet car lot.

"I wouldn't go as far as saying it's an eye sore, but I do think it's a vacant lot that we utilize for tailgates, for the parking, but it can be used to generate more income for the city with shops and other retail," said UTEP graduate Arlette Camacho.

On game days the lot is packed with UTEP fans and out-of-towners barbecuing. But on the average day, its a parking lot for students, filled with weeds, broken glass, and sometimes just vacant.

UTEP has leased this land to a company called College Developers LLC and they'll be building a 100 apartments for student housing and then an additional 300 apartments for anybody that wants to live there. The plans also include retails and shopping at the ground level.

People driving through or going to class all seemed to be excited.

"I think its really good for the students to have housing here because there's not a lot of accommodations for that and a lot of students have to travel back and forth to their house and to have something here is really special and I think its really good for the community here at UTEP," said student Anai Ramirez.

A professor at UTEP, Miguel Valezuela is fully supportive of the idea.

"I think its a good idea to build. I think the more development we can have in this city, the better," said Valenzuela.

But not everyone is supportive, the next door neighbor Village Inn says they actually prefer having a parking lot next door.

"Business wise I'm not sure that lot is usually used for any events, football games, tailgaters from other teams come over here and tailgate and brings us business a lot," said Village Inn manager Travis Purcell.

Purcell says no matter the time of year, whether it's a graduation, a basketball game or any event at the Don Haskins center, the business keeps their tables full.

We've reached out to the developers and have not heard back on where they are in the process and whether or not breaking ground begins by fall semester next year.




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