EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The anticipated redevelopment project of the S.H. Kress building has begun. Local leaders and elected officials came together to break ground on Thursday, April 27.

Franklin Mountain Investments (FMI) is investing $18.4 million into the resurrection of the 85-year-old S.H. Kress building. The building is across the street from The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park and San Jacinto Plaza in Downtown El Paso.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of FML Paul Foster says he is “hopeful once the Kress is opened, it will add to the attractions and vibrancy of the city’s center and to downtown’s economic development progress.”

In April 2022, city council authorized a $2,049,000 million performance dependent incentive for the redevelopment of the building. The incentive is primarily comprised of 20-year, 100 percent property tax rebate and a 10-year, 100 percent sales and use tax rebate, according to the release sent by FMI.

City Manager Tommy Gonzalez says “the Kress project also provides economic benefits to surrounding properties and the downtown area by attracting visitors, residents and downtown employees through increased food and amenities offerings.”

FMI says project plans for the renovation of the building were revealed after the groundbreaking ceremony inside the Mills Street entrance of the Kress. Guests were invited to visit and explore project renderings of the building with project architects.

Jordan Foster Construction and FMI project managers were in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony to expand on the details of the project.

FMI adds the redevelopment of the building will include three levels.

The first level will have a coffee shop, full-service bar, a variety of culinary spaces, a full-service restaurant and retail spaces. The second level will include private screening room for a variety of events, a larger space for a to-be-identified entertainment venue and more. The third level or “basement” will include a full-service salon, private treatment rooms, men’s and women’s changing areas and hydrotherapy pools.

The S.H. Kress building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places after the Texas Historical Commission and the National Park Service approved Kress as a “certified historic structure.” The project was able to receive support funding from federal and state programs due to its title.

FMI is expecting to be completed with the renovation of the building in early 2025.