The area surrounding El Paso's International Airport is about to experience a huge transformation.
ABC-7 learned more about the plans to build a four-star hotel with specialty retail options. Acequia Park will be located at Boeing and Airway.
City council approved the $65 million new development last June. Construction was supposed to begin this summer, but has been pushed back. On Wednesday, ABC-7 caught up with the president of EP Vida, the developer, to find out why.
Soon the dirt lot will be a hotel and retail center, all thanks to Bill Correa's dream. He is the president of EP Vida.
"This particular site is very well-suited for being a synergistic addition to all the other hotels and businesses in the area," Correa said. As a UTEP engineering graduate, Correa did numerous studies before presenting his desired plans to El Paso City Council. He said community feedback has been mostly positive and he's excited to be a part of the project, which is expected to bring 400 jobs to the community.
One unique aspect about the development that will include retail shops, dining and a hotel is that they plan to partner with the airport and other local hot spots so that travelers can get to where they need to go.
Westin is still negotiating terms for the 10-story, four-star hotel. The price tag for just the hotel is $42 million. In the meantime, EP Vida is waiting for the city plan commission to approve the actual layout of the hotel and shops before applying for building permits.
The hope is to have Jordan Foster Construction begin work this September or October, with completion within a year and a half.
The hotel will have 220 rooms. There will be 80-thousand square feet of retail space, and a 15-thousand square foot conference center on premises.
When ABC-7 reached out to Destination El Paso to see if they've been contacted about the project, they issued an e-mailed statement that read:
"Destination El Paso is excited about Acequia Park, which is currently in its developmental phase. It will be a property that will add convention activity to the area and we will promote it, along with the more than 9,600 existing hotel rooms in El Paso. We look forward to working with their local sales team once they come on-board and will highlight the development during a familiarization tour we will be hosting in October."
-Bryan Crowe, General Manager of Destination El Paso
Correa's project has already gained national attention. He said Acequia Park gained recognition at an International Council of Shopping Centers conference.