EL PASO, Texas - El Paso City Council Tuesday approved a feasibility study that will look at areas within a 1,000-foot radius from any point of the Downtown Convention Center as possible sites for the new Downtown arena.
It also agreed to keep the Convention Center 'operational' during the time it takes to build the new arena, a decision applauded by Destination El Paso.
"Whether the Downtown arena be located in this area or not, it's imperative that the Convention Center remain operational for its impact," said Bryan Crowe, the general manager of Destination El Paso. "It's important that we know that what we're selling is actually going to be here, so it was great that they affirmed that."
City Council's insistence on building the new arena in such close proximity to the Convention Center is because of Texas House Bill 1964. It is a State incentive that allows the City to collect a state property tax for a 10-year period, if the arena is built within 1,000 feet of the Convention Center.
"It's a really great opportunity for public projects such as the arena. The multipurpose center is a catalytic project in downtown," said Jessica Herrera, interim director for the City's economic development department. "Putting it within these thousand feet...you can leverage additional funds and really put back additional monies toward public improvements."
The radius stretches as far north as I-10, as far south as Paisano, as far east as Mesa and San Antonio, and as far west as Union Depot.
"We're talking millions of dollars and I think this adds on to the additional $180 million that's already been approved by the voters in 2012," Herrera said,
You can watch the full video report on ABC-7 at 6.