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City chooses two law firms to help acquire land for 2012 Bond Projects

The City of El Paso has selected two outside law firms with extensive experience in arena projects and downtown revitalization to lead the process of acquiring land for the three Signature Projects of the 2012 Quality of Life Bond Program.

Those projects, approved by voters in 2012, include the Hispanic Cultural Center, Children’s Museum, and Multi-Purpose Cultural and Performing Arts Center.

“We are working to deliver these projects that voters overwhelmingly approved,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. “Since that time, we have engaged with the community regarding their expectations for these facilities and council’s action today represents another important step in advancing these projects while doing the due diligence taxpayers deserve.”

On January 6, 2015, following extensive community outreach, HKS, Inc., and a team of experts presented their findings to El Paso City Council on these three projects. From February to May, city staff conducted due diligence on several possible locations.

Pursuant to city council’s direction on June 2, 2015, city staff opened a competitive process in which law firms were invited to present their expertise and qualifications to the city for consideration. After interviewing a dozen firms, city staff recommended Bracewell & Giuliani, LLP, and Abernathy Roeder Boyd and Hullett.

“Because the City of El Paso doesn’t undertake projects like these often, it is necessary to contract with outside experts who have unique expertise from working on similar projects elsewhere,” said City Attorney Sylvia Borunda Firth.

Additionally, hiring firms from outside of the El Paso area reduces the likelihood of conflicts of interest between the City of El Paso’s outside legal counsel and firms which may represent properties which the city is negotiating to purchase, Firth said.

To stay up-to-date on these and other city projects, visit elpasotexas.gov/capital-improvement and sign-up for a monthly enewsletter detailing project progress, community meetings, and other information.

Author: City of El Paso

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