El Paso

Downtown arena: Local leaders host forum, tour projected area

Event highlights residents and history of area.

Downtown Arena Footprint Tour

EL PASO, Texas - Sen. Jose Rodriguez and local leaders participated in a walking tour and informational forum regarding the history and residents affected by the proposed Downtown arena.

The targeted footprint for the arena encompasses two city properties, seven businesses and seven residential properties, housing around 50 people. The location is about two blocks south of the Downtown Convention Center.

Rodriguez was joined by El Paso County Commissioner David Stout, the El Paso County Historical Commission and members of the Senate District 29 Heritage Tourism Committee.

Stout's office says the forum is to highlight the residents and value of the neighborhood to raise awareness about the quality of life project.

Residents have voiced their concerns after the City of El Paso revealed plans to acquire the properties for the voter-approved $180 million multi-purpose cultural and performing arts facility.

Monday's tour was led by UTEP Professor Max Grossman, who stopped at various buildings to point out their historical value.

Many of those who participated in the tour told ABC-7 they didn't know there was so much history in the area. 

Others said they are frustrated with the city's decision and are hopeful it will reconsider.

"I believe it is a great injustice to tear this neighborhood down, and uproot it's people, and destroy its history," Historian David Romo said, "This is the oldest neighborhood in El Paso and it has incredible cultural worth and to me I really believe it is the arena that should be moved. Not the people."

The MPC, one of three signature projects of the 2012 bond program, will provide a venue for athletic, performance, cultural and recreational events in the heart of El Paso's downtown. 

Properties inside the MPC footprint can be found at this link.


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