Council awards $4.7 million contract for Downtown arena program management

EL PASO, Texas - City Council awarded a $4.7 million contract to International Facilities Group, LLC to serve as the City's Owner's Representative for the Multipurpose Cultural and Performing Arts Center.

The arena is one of three signature projects approved as part of the 2012 Quality of Life Bond Program, city officials said.

Chicago-based IFG will provide program management services throughout the life of the project, assisting with programming, design and construction of the $180 million multi-purpose indoor arena. 

The city said IFG's contract consists of two phases: due diligence and implementation.

The due diligence phase is estimated to last nine months and includes assisting with land acquisition and the selection of the operator, design architect, and construction manager at risk, the city said.  The implementation phase is estimated to last 30 months and includes design, construction, and commissioning of the facility.

IFG has managed the design and construction of projects like the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona; the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania; and El Paso's own Southwest University Park.  

City of El Paso's project timeline

  • November 2012: Voters overwhelmingly approve bond program including the Hispanic Cultural Center, Children's Museum, and arena.

  • February 2013: El Paso City Council approves a three year plan which does not include construction of the Signature Projects within the first three years of the bond program. This allows city staff to conduct public outreach, engage necessary experts, and thoughtfully build a responsible financing model which allows construction of the projects.

  • December 17, 2013: El Paso City Council unanimously approved a contract with HKS, Inc., and a  local consortium to determine the appropriate size and scope of each facility; determine the appropriate sites for each facility, with an emphasis on creative synergy among existing facilities and leveraging existing infrastructure.

  • January to July 2014: The City of El Paso concluded an extensive, community wide public outreach process.

  • August to December 2014: Additional study was required for background work on arena operations, to include benchmarking analysis across the nation and analysis of operations and maintenance budget for proposed facility. This work was used in the January 2015 report.

  • January 6, 2015: HKS, Inc., and a team of experts presented their findings to El Paso City Council on these three projects.

  • February to May, 2015: City staff conducted due diligence on several possible locations.

  • June 2, 2015: City staff opened a competitive process in which law firms were invited to present their expertise and qualifications to the city for consideration.

  • September 29, 2015: The City of El Paso selects two outside law firms with extensive experience in arena projects and downtown revitalization to lead the process of acquiring land for the three Signature Projects of the 2012 Quality of Life Bond Program.  

  • August 23, 2016: City council awards a $4.7 million contract to International Facilities Group, LLC to serve as the City's Owner's Representative

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