El Paso

Old El Paso building signs have a bright future

El Paso, TX - Progress321, a nonprofit group, is working to make El Paso more appealing to young professionals through its Bright Skies Initiative.

The goal of the Bright Skies Initiative is to ascetically and functionally brighten downtown, with the initial goal of re-lighting the signs on five buildings: the Martin Lofts, the Plaza Hotel, the Blue Flame Building, Bassett Tower, and American Furniture.

"What this program could potentially do is bring those signs back to life, possible even great new signs," said Joe Gudenrath Executive Director of the Downtown Management District. "This is just one more step to elevate downtown."

The Martin Lofts building received it's sign, "Electric City," a few months ago. The sign is clearly visible from I-10 at night.

According to Gudenrath, the goal of these signs is to, "create a place were all El Pasoans feel welcome, and not only welcomed, but want to be in that area".

Monday, the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone voted to allocate some of its funding on a by request basis funding for the Bright Skies Initiative by-way of grants.

The grants would be available for property owners downtown to repair or recreate historic signs that once illuminated downtown.

For every one dollar a property owner spends on the sign, the grant would provide two additional dollars for the sign. 

City council will still have to approve any allocation before the funds become available for downtown property owners. 

"If everything goes smoothly, you could see a program in place by the end of the year," Gudenrath said.

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