EL PASO, Texas - Construction on a new $16 million development project in northwest El Paso is set to begin this summer.
When completed, the Canyons of Cimarron will feature 92,000 square feet of planned development space that will be flanked by office and living spaces.
EP Riverbend Development is behind the project, which will be located near the intersection of I-10 and Loop 375.
At Tuesday's city council meeting, representatives voted to approve an incentive package of $1,314,414 for the project. It includes a $557,000 rebate on property taxes and a $717,000 sales tax rebate.
The developer described the project as an open air, walkable casual lifestyle center with integrated bike/walk paths that will connect to the Cimarron neighborhood.
"I think this kind of development with what's going around it, I think really paints and points to a really different kind of future of what retail can look like in El Paso," Rep. Peter Svarzbein said.
As retailers and malls across the nation keep going bankrupt, the retail world is looking to reinvent itself. One trend is moving toward entertainment and creating different experiences for customers.
Will Harvey is the president of EP Riverbend Development. He said because today's Millennials like to buy online, the open air center is designed to be a destination for people to meet, shop and socialize.
"We do this with public art, seating areas, with play areas for children. And with lots of stuff that comes throughout the year. Like we will invite artists to showcase their work for periods of time. We will have sculptures, murals, other types of art as well as pop up galleries," Harvey said.
The project will also feature shaded outdoor seating areas, landscaping and a play area.
Construction is expected to begin in about two months. The developer said the project should take about six months to complete.
"You are going to see a decline in big box stores. There is always going to be a need for conventional retail, there is always going to be a need for big box. But when people go out now they want an experience," Harvey said.