New Ballpark Would Increase Property Values In Downtown El Paso
Hunt And Foster Don't Currently Own Land Attached To Proposed Site
City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on clearing the way for the building of a ballpark at the current City Hall site in Downtown El Paso.
And if that site is approved, it could immediately change property values in the surrounding area that would likely ripple further through the Downtown area.
"It's going to change the values of the Downtown properties," El Paso real estate broker Dan Olivas said of the property near the proposed site of the new ballpark at Santa Fe and Missouri. "Absolutely, people who own property there, they could and they should (benefit). There's nothing wrong with that whatsoever."
City Representative Steve Ortega said there isn't much property available to work with.
"The reality is so much of the land around here is civically owned," Ortega said. "You have the library, the history museum. Right over here you have the Civic Plaza and so you do have a lot of civically owned facilities in the area and then you have some private like the Scottish Rite (Temple), you have some other action that's taking place in Union Depot and Union Plaza that's privately owned."
Beyond center field of the proposed ballpark, Triple-A team investor Paul Foster owns a parking garage.
"Obviously Paul Foster owns the Mills Building and the St. Regis parking facility," Ortega said. "As far as (Woody) Hunt goes and the Hunt family, there's nothing I know of they own in Downtown."
Right down the street from City Hall, where the ballpark is expected to be built, a business called Oscar's Laundry is for sale.
Flavio Angeles' property, which he has owned for 30 years, is currently valued at $106,000 by the Central Appraisal District.
"Maybe it will increase 50 percent?" Angeles said with a smile. "For a restaurant, it could be a very good place."
Olivas said those who own property in the area deserve to benefit from the ballpark.
"Those properties are definitely going to go up in value and I think that's the american way," Olivas said.
Ortega said talk that team investors Foster and Hunt stand to benefit most from a downtown ballpark is nonsense. He added that the millionaires could find a lot higher rate of return by investing the estimated $20 million to buy a Triple-A team elsewhere. He also argued that although Foster does own property nearby, the ultimate beneficiary is going to be the community.
City Rep. Eddie Holguin on why he will vote no on stadium