El Paso County Commissioners voted on Monday to nominate several downtown areas as National Registered Districts, including Duranguito, which is the planned site for the controversial multi-purpose arena.
The vote passed 3-2, with Commissioners Carlos Leon and Vince Perez voting against the measure.
According to preservationist Max Grossman, who has spearheaded the charge to protect the area, the new district would include more than 900 properties that would be eligible for federal and state tax credits.
That money could then pay for up to 45 percent of renovation costs for income-producing properties.
“While conferring a national historic overlay on 13 Duranguito properties provides no protection against demolition, it does refute the City’s mantra–repeated many times by the Mayor, Laura Foster, Sam Rodriguez, and other City employees–that there is nothing historical in the ‘Arena Footprint,'” Grossman said in an email Tuesday morning.
The El Paso County Commissioner Court will now continue the survey of the area.
The debate over building a multi-purpose arena in Duranguito has been raging for the last two years.