The El Paso City Council voted 5 to 2 to hire Gensler and Associates to conduct a feasibility study for the Multi-Purpose Performing Arts and Entertainment Center (MPC).
The MPC is a signature project of the 2012 Quality of Life Bond Program overwhelmingly approved by voters and stagnated by lawsuits. The $798,611 professional services agreement awarded to Gensler will explore:
- Financial models that include estimates of capital and operating costs
- Public-private opportunities
- Preservation of historic buildings and to preserve the historic character of the neighborhood
- Recommendations on how to safeguard dilapidated buildings, and options for funding sources that align with the Temporary Restraining Order
“The award of this contract comes simultaneously as we continue talks with the opposition for a good-faith resolution of the ongoing lawsuit that has halted activity on the bond project,” City Attorney Karla Nieman said. “A current economic analysis and programming operations assessment is essential to delivering a first-class and sustainable product for the voters, who have so patiently waited for the litigation to resolve.”
Part of the professional services agreement will include public engagement. The public will be afforded ample opportunities to provide feedback on various aspects of the project from programming to operations to cultural and historical preservation.
The multi-phase study will launch in May with the final results anticipated to be presented to City Council in January 2023.