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Home | Tag Archives: mpc

Tag Archives: mpc

Preservation Groups Present Plan, Video for the Rehabilitation of Duranguito

After a Saturday conference about Duranguito and a possible second plan to preserve the area, supporters of the new plan released renderings and a video of the area.

The “El Paso Preservation Forum” hosted Preservationist J.P. Bryan, State Sen. Jose Rodriguez, and five speakers who all advocated the preservation and restoration of Duranguito, to make it an ‘Old Town’-type attraction.

Preservationist Dr. Max Grossman said the event was an “unqualified success,”  with nearly 200 residents from all walks of life in attendance.

Of the discussion, Grossman added, that “Duranguito, the birthplace of El Paso, must be preserved for posterity rather than demolished for a D-League basketball “Arena” and that it has great potential to drive heritage tourism in our downtown”.

According to the Paso del Sur Facebook page, Dr. David Romo presented a virtual reconstruction of the neighborhood created by a team of designers led by Diana Ramos.

Other members of the team were  Victor Soto, Andres Armendariz and David Dorado Romo, and the video produced by Ingrid Leyva.

As part of the presentation, the group included the following description of what Duranguito could be:

This restored neighborhood could showcases the city’s rich global border history to visitors from around the world.

The Plan for the Rebirth of Duranguito proposes a cultural heritage corridor with museums, mercados, performance areas as well as renovated low-income housing, community gardens and other residential services that provides a cutting-edge urbanistic model for historic preservation and equitable development that is truly inclusive for all sectors of the community. 

This community-generated plan for the restoration of El Paso’s oldest neighborhood is inspired by kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken objects based on the philosophy that when something has suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful.

One of the strategies for the funding of this vision is based on a citizen’s initiative petition that is now before City Council to reallocate the 2012 bond funding to pay for the establishment of the Mexican American cultural center as part of this restored historical corridor in Duranguito.

Other proposed sources of funding for the renovated affordable housing will include federal and state funding sources, community land grants, and federal tax incentives for historic preservation projects. 

To view our in-depth coverage of the Downtown Arena Saga, click here.

Court Rules City’s Arena ‘Authorized to Accommodate Sports, Sporting Events’

Ending years of legal battles, the Third Court of Appeals in Austin entered a judgment on Wednesday essentially authorizing the city to build a downtown arena that also can host sporting events.

“This is a monumental win for the City of El Paso! The ruling means we can deliver a multipurpose facility that El Pasoans overwhelming voted for and approved in 2012 – an MPC that accommodates performing arts and other entertainment, including sports. The City Attorney’s Office and its legal team did a phenomenal job of presenting the City’s case and we are beyond thrilled with this win,” Mayor Dee Margo said.

Via a news release officials with the City of El Paso stated that as a result of the court’s ruling, “the City of El Paso is authorized to build a Multipurpose Performing Arts and Entertainment Center (MPC) that accommodates sports, and sporting events, and may use outside funding sources for its construction.”

The Court of Appeals decision allows the City to do the following:

  • Build a facility that can accommodate sports;
  • Use “funding from other resources” to modify, complete, or enhance the Facility for sports uses.

City Attorney Karla Nieman said the ruling affirms that the work being done for the MPC is in compliance with state regulations. During the appeal, the City contended that the broad meaning of “entertainment” always included sports.

Officials with the city added, “This signature bond project was overwhelmingly approved by voters with a total of 102,358 people voted in favor, representing 71.67 percent of the votes cast in the 2012 election. The ordinance calling for the election stated the MPC would be downtown, which was affirmed by court ruling issued last year.”


To view Herald Post’s coverage of the Downtown Arena process, click here.

City Installing Fence Around Duranguito, Archaeological Study to Follow

On Wednesday,  workers with the City of El Paso began installing fencing to secure the Multipurpose Performing Arts and Entertainment Center (MPC) footprint in order to begin the next phase of the archaeological study and to replace the temporary fencing that is currently onsite.

“This voter-approved MPC is advancing into the second phase of the archaeological study which involves opening trenches. Thus securing the site with durable fencing is a necessary step to preserve the health and safety of the community,” Capital Improvement Department Director Sam Rodriguez said.

Via a news release, city officials said, “the judgment issued in August 2017 by an Austin judge allowed the City to build the MPC at its proposed downtown location. The City has agreed not to begin demolition prior to November 19, 2018. An official date for demolition has not been set.”

Preservationist Max Grossman responded to the development via an email.

“The City of El Paso is surrounding Duranguito with a new barrier. They are permitted to do so per my Rule 11 agreement with the City as long as the buildings are not touched before November 19. My attorneys are very busy preparing for relief from the courts before that date and we are confident that the neighborhood will be safe…”

The targeted footprint is bounded by West San Antonio Avenue, South Santa Fe Street, West Paisano Drive and Leon Street || Map courtesy Google

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has approved the scope of work proposed by City of El Paso for an on-site archeological and historical review of city-owned properties project’s master planning area.

Moore Archeological Consulting, a firm specializing in completing archeological investigations in urban settings, is conducting the archeological study. The City contracted the firm to comply with the applicable requirements under state law.

The archeological study encompasses four phases: archival and historical research (completed), ground-penetrating radar survey, mechanical survey, and an additional investigations stage, which would only be conducted if intact archeological deposits are discovered.

Discoveries will be handled in accordance with state law and Antiquities Permit requirements.

City Hires Archeological Firm to Begin Work Required by the Texas Antiquities Code

The City has contracted Houston-based Moore Archeological Consulting, Inc. to conduct an archeological and historical review of the site located within the Multipurpose Performing Arts and Entertainment Center (MPC) footprint as required by the Texas Antiquities Code.

The firm has conducted more than 700 major archeological projects and specializes in completing archeological investigations in urban settings.

“This is another major milestone in the development of this voter-approved bond project,” Laura Foster, City of El Paso Chief Architect, said. “Moore Archeological Consulting is a world-class firm and highly credentialed in the field of archeological and historical preservation. Welcoming these nationally-recognized experts to our team shows we are true to our commitment to remain respectful and in compliance with requirements of the Texas Historic Commission.”

The City also remains steadfast in complying with court orders related to the MPC.

A judgment issued in August 2017 by an Austin judge allowed the City to proceed to build a new multipurpose facility in the Union Plaza area in downtown.

The archeological review of the proposed MPC footprint is part of the development process for the project – the largest of the three signature bond projects overwhelming approved by voters.  A total of 71.67 percent of votes cast were in favor of the bond project.

The ordinance calling for the election stated the multipurpose center would be located in downtown.

For previous stories on the arena project, click here.

City to Host Series of Open House Meetings Regarding Downtown Arena Next Week

The City is hosting open-house style meetings, one per representative district, to increase community awareness about the multipurpose center project history, including the studies indicating the best location for the facility.

For nearly 20 years, studies conducted by the City have recommended a downtown multipurpose center, or arena, as a catalyst for economic development and attracting quality events and entertainment.

According to city officials, via the news release, “The location for the multipurpose center was set in November 2012, when voters approved the bond proposition for the 2012 Quality of Life Bond election.”

“The language of the full bond proposition stated the multipurpose center would be “located in downtown.” The ordinance and the election results supporting the bond program formed a contract between the City and the voters. Not delivering the project in downtown would break the City’s contract with voters, violate state law and expose the City to potential lawsuits,” officials stated via the release.

Studies conducted in 2001 and 2006 have identified the Union Plaza area as the preferred site for a multipurpose center. In 2012, Plan El Paso identified the Union Plaza area as a location that should be considered for a multipurpose center. A 2015 study reinforced finding by the 2001 and 2006 studies by identifying the Union Plaza area as the most favorable site for the MPC.

WHO:          City of El Paso

WHAT:         Open House Meetings

WHEN:        6 p.m.  to 7:30 p.m.

WHERE:      March 23: Andress High School, 5400 Sun Valley, cafeteria

March 27: Pebble Hills Elementary, 11145 Edgemere, gym

March 29: Mesita Elementary, 3307 Stanton, cafeteria

March 30: Bel-Air High School,  731 Yarbrough, cafeteria

April 3: Montwood High, 12000 Montwood, cafeteria

April 5: Grandview Senior Center, 3134 Jefferson

April 6: Convention Center in downtown

April 10Location TBA

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