El Paso

Chamber of Commerce Chair: City secures contract for all but one property for Downtown arena

Downtown arena property acquisition

EL PASO, Texas - The City of El Paso has secured contracts for all but one property needed to build the Downtown Arena in the old Duranguito neighborhood, according to the chairman of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce.

Discussion of the arena was not on the agenda for Tuesday's city council meeting, but plenty of people gave their views during public comment.

Jack Chapman, with the chamber of commerce, congratulated the city on acquiring the properties in the Duranguito area. Chapman made his surprising statement before City Council and Mayor Oscar Leeser.

"I am here to congratulate the city on continuing their acquisition of the property for the multi purpose center," Chapman said, "I understand all the property is under contract save one and that is a technical issue."

The Duranguito neighborhood in Downtown El Paso has has been at the center of the City's controversial arena project.

The City just wrapped up a series of informational meetings with the public explaining why officials believe that site is the best for the voter approved entertainment complex.

Those opposed to building the arena in the Duranguito neighborhood say it will displace people and destroy a neighborhood with buildings dating back to the late 1800s.

El Paso City Attorney Sylvia Borunda-Firth had no comment on the city's efforts to buy properties in the Duranguito neighborhood.

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