Ballpark-front land sold to MountainStar

EL PASO, Texas - One of the most sought-after ballpark-front properties in Downtown El Paso has been sold.

The lots at 325 West Missouri Avenue and 327 West Missouri Avenue, just past the left field wall of $75 million Southwest University Park, is off the market.

"Fantastic news! It's exactly what we wanted to see happen," said City Rep. Cortney Niland, who represents the area. "We were hoping by making this sort of investment we made in our community, you'd start to see redevelopment happen, not only around that particular area, but around Downtown in general."

The nearly 36,000 square foot property had been listed for $625,000 by RJL Real Estate partner John Folmer. He told ABC-7 in April, just before opening day, the property -- zoned for commercial -- could be a retail-residential mix with a Wrigley Field kind of feel.

"Retail on the bottom and residential on the top," Folmer said in April. "You have the back side of that looks at the ballpark and look at Mexico with patios and nice balconies out there."

Folmer told ABC-7 he could not say who bought the property, due to a confidentiality agreement.

However, it's wasn't hard to figure out.

An "El Paso Chihuahuas" sign popped up in front of the property about three weeks ago and according to the Central Appraisal District web site, the new owner of the property is MountainStar Properties.

The El Paso Chihuahuas are owned by MountainStar Sports, headed by El Paso businessmen Paul Foster and Woody Hunt. Both MountainStar Properties and MountainStar Sports have their offices at 1 Ballpark Plaza.

"We were here from construction on day one," said Alex Torres, who has lived in an apartment next to the ballpark the past two years. "Knowing now that it's (MountainStar), I'm just pretty curious to see what they're going to build."

Niland was ecstatic about the news.

"Hopefully you'll see some sort of development quickly and you'll see something that's state of the art," she said. "We've seen a fact that was provided to us this week in budget sessions that said we've seen a little over $30 million worth of new development in our Downtown since the completion of the ballpark."

ABC-7 made several attempts to reach MountainStar management on Thursday, but calls were not returned.

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