From tax incentives for a new downtown hotel, to park construction and parking, members of the El Paso City Council have a very busy Tuesday.
First, City Council members approved a Chapter 380 Economic Incentive Agreement with Hotel Sancho Panza LLC for the development of a downtown Marriott Courtyard Urban hotel.
The multi-million dollar development will add more than 140 hotel rooms near the El Paso Convention Center, strengthening El Paso’s competitiveness as a convention destination.
Per the agreement, Hotel Sancho Panza LLC is expected to invest a minimum of $8 million in developing the 10-story hotel. The developer will receive a 100% real and personal property tax rebate not to exceed $844,089.
Also, the City will waive all building and development permit/inspection fees related to the project.
In addition to the City’s incentives, the terms of the Chapter 380 Economic Incentive Agreement will allow Hotel Sancho Panza LLC to apply for the State of Texas Convention Center Hotel Occupancy Tax Rebate Program. The estimated incentives under this program are $4,386,331.
Council also took new action on the long-awaited Eastside Sports Complex.
Members approved a design-build contract amendment establishing the Guaranteed Maximum Price of approximately $8.6 million for the development of the first phase of an 80-acre facility known as the Eastside Sports Complex.
The first phase of development of the complex located in far east El Paso near the intersection of Montwood and John Hayes will focus on the development 42.2 acres of land, which will include the following services and amenities:
- 7 sodded irrigated competition flat fields, and 1 championship style field
- Shaded seating to accommodate 500 spectators
- Fencing to maintain control access
- A new hike and bike trail will be constructed along the perimeter of the park
The complex will also include new ADA compliant restrooms, parking, and sidewalks, as well as a sheltered area with picnic tables and benches, which will allow food trucks to serve visitors and spectators during competitions or events. As part of the project a new storage and maintenance facility will also be constructed in order to allow for the park’s upkeep.
Earlier this year, Council awarded a “Design Build” contract for the Eastside Sports Complex to Jordan Foster Construction and MNK Architects. Design Build, groups the design and construction companies for the project into one contract, which allows the City to better coordinate the entire project from start to finish.
With Tuesday’s action, the design build team will soon be able to begin the construction of the first phase of the complex, which will occur once all the contractual documents are finalized. The remaining phase of the complex will be developed at a future date if funding becomes available.
During the same session, council awarded a contract valued at approximately $250,000 for program management services of the Northgate Transfer Center to ECM International Inc. of El Paso.
ECM International will work with the City’s Capital Improvement Department and Sun Metro to provide program management services to facilitate the construction of the $10.6 million transfer center and its parking garage, primarily funded by a TIGER grant from the Department of Transportation.
Services will include enforcement of construction schedules, project scope, project budget and quality of work.
The Northgate Transfer Center to be housed on a portion of a 30-acre site located near Dyer Street and Diana Drive is the City of El Paso’s component of a unique transit-oriented development.
The transfer center will anchor a public-private development known as Metro 31, which is a mixed-use development that will integrate the new transfer center and its Dyer Brio rapid transit corridor station with residential, retail and commercial office spaces. The city broke ground on the transfer center and parking garage in August.
The transfer center is being constructed by Dantex Construction, Inc. of El Paso and was designed by EXIGO of El Paso assisted by RNL of Denver, Colorado.
The project was designed as a LEED silver project, and includes the following passenger amenities: a fully developed bus circulation area, including berths for the Brio, regional, and local buses to facilitate smooth transitions between bus routes; bus transfer areas with canopies; a park and ride garage which includes 17,000 square feet of retail space; enclosed waiting, information and ticketing areas; electronic on-street message boards; bike racks; Wi-Fi; and a landscaped public plaza.
Also in Northeast El Paso, Council awarded an $182,000 contract for the construction of Futureland Park in Northeast to the Martinez Brothers Contractors of El Paso.
The half-acre park will be located on O’Donnell Street on a parcel of land just north of the intersection of O’Donnell and Dyer Street. The land was donated to the City of El Paso by Jobe Materials Construction and the project should be completed in Spring 2017.
The park’s total budget is $450,000 and covers expenses related to the development of the project including construction, design, and play equipment.
Amenities for the park will include a playground with lighted canopy structure, half-basketball court, landscape, picnic tables with lighted shade canopy structure, and bicycle racks.
In other park-related decisions, Council ratified an amendment to Title 12 of the City Code, which prohibits parking around San Jacinto Plaza. The change will allow the Streets and Maintenance Department to mark the no parking zone around the plaza by painting the curb instead using poles and signs to restrict parking.
The amendment approved by council also allows for the language restricting parking around the plaza to be modified from “no stopping or standing – tow-away zone” to “parking prohibited at all times.”
The changes were necessary to deter vehicles from parking in the travel lanes adjacent the plaza, which is traffic safety hazard. Parking in the travel lanes adjacent to the plaza has also contributed to landscaping damage because people step on the vegetation when they exit the vehicles.
“Parking restrictions around San Jacinto Plaza are not new. What we are doing is amending the ordinance to allow us to mark the curb with the parking restrictions so that we can minimize sign clutter at the newly renovated plaza,” Streets and Maintenance Department Director Ted Marquez said. “Sufficient parking exists and will remain by San Jacinto. They include metered parking spaces across the street from the park, as well as, nearby garages and parking lots.”
The curb surrounding San Jacinto Plaza will be painted yellow to remind motorists that parking is not allowed adjacent to the park.