Texas Avenue Businesses Awaiting Boom

City still has not purchased downtown buildings for relocation

POSTED: 08:18 PM MDT Oct 09, 2012    UPDATED: 05:21 PM MST Jan 14, 2014 
EL PASO, Texas -

Weeks continue to pass without the city purchasing the downtown buildings it agreed to buy.

The old Union Manufacturing Building, presently Galeria San Ysidro, located at 801 and 811 Texas Avenue , was intended to be bought weeks ago.

The purchase was selected as a part of City Hall's relocation agenda, while the current building housing city offices is torn down to make way for a ballpark.

The Texas Ave. location is intended to house City Hall's technology department in addition to other independent local government offices.

When the purchase was announced, neighboring business owners on Texas Ave. say they were excited about the prospect of having potentially hundreds of employees located within walking distance of their businesses.

International Foreign Automotive, an auto-repair shop, is located directly across the street from the Galeria San Ysidro.

The family-owned business has seen a decline in customers in the nearly 30 years its been operating.

Started by Rafael Chavez in 1983, his sons Humberto and Armando Chavez now run the shop.

Rafael Chavez says business has slowed due to the geographic spread of customers away from downtown, and increased competition from corporate-owned auto-repair chains.

"Hopefully it would bring us more business, to us and the surrounding area," IFA manager Humberto Chavez said. "Of course our property taxes are going to go up, but with more business we'll be able to handle it."

City council has not stated when it intends to purchase the Texas Ave. properties.

Last week, purchase of the El Paso Times building was postponed when council members agreed to have a new independent appraisal made.

But for Texas Ave. small business owners like Chavez, they continue to wait for a decision.

Chavez already has plans on how he intends to expand his shop.

"I'd fix the building up, advertise more, have specials," Chavez said. "Just make the street look nicer."