EL PASO, Texas - It's being nicknamed City Hall Two, and the John Mulligan building the city's IT and engineering staff will be housed in is almost complete.
"John Mulligan got on a boat in Belfast more than a hundred years ago and ended up in El Paso," said city spokesman Martin Bartlett.
Mulligan put his simply-styled architecture stamp on a number of buildings including the stadium at El Paso High and the new site of City Hall's computer hub, it's information technology and engineering staff.
During the demolition of the previous City Hall last April, Paul Foster donated what was then called the Luther building to the city. The city got it for free, but had to pay for it's remodeling -- a task they budgeted $11.5 million for.
"They've redone the floors the walls, the conference rooms, it's just great," said one woman passing by.
The city said the John Mulligan building is now in it's last phase: the computer mainframe is already inside and city engineers are expected to move in, in the next two months.
The city is in negotiations to bring coffee shops, restaurants and even retail stores to the first floor. They have not released the names of the tenants they're considering.
"If you would have told someone three or four years ago that that was behind the steel and concrete they wouldn't have believed you," Bartlett said.
"Mulligan's century-old original brick façade has been restored, and the new office space is modern, bright, and fresh -- not too bad for an immigrant who didn't even speak the language.
"And it's something that's so uniquely El Paso. I mean, this is not a building that you will see anywhere else in America," Bartlett said.
There will not be a total reliance on street parking for employees working inside the Mulligan building. "
"A portion of vacancies in existing city owned parking lots nearby will be allotted to the Mulligan building for various city staff and assigned motor pool vehicles," said Bartlett.