2025

What will El Paso look like in ten years?

Who knows? But you can bet that it will look different.

Right now El Paso is operating on a plan that was crafted ten years ago by the Paso del Norte Group. The highly regarded Plan El Paso was based on the PDNG’s original plan. The hired gun planners are still talking about a “destination mall” in downtown El Paso.

This is slide 112 of the PowerPoint presentation titled Final Combined Signature Project Report, presented by CCI Partners.  See the  Destination Mall in the middle column?
This is slide 112 of the PowerPoint presentation titled Final Combined Signature Project Report, presented by CCI Partners. See the Destination Mall in the middle column?

Unfortunately, our city leaders haven’t noticed that the world has changed in the last ten years. A lot.

Since 2005, the world economy tanked. A drug war in Juarez erupted and fizzled out. And the richest one percent of the world have corralled 51 percent of the world’s wealth.

Back in 2005, when the world economy was running hot at the brink of overheating, anything worked. Now, not so much.

El Paso needs to step back, take a breath, and reassess our goals. We need to acknowledge that we’re the eighth poorest Metropolitan Statistical Area in the nation, and act appropriately. We need to get our city leaders to act like responsible adults, and not drunken college kids binging on their parents’ credit cards.

Of course City Council isn’t spending their parents’ money. They’re spending our kids’ inheritance.

4 comments

  1. So the focus is to bring the middle class to shop and live downtown. Austin is doing this same act bring it all downtown. So the old El Paso where the Juarez shopper comes to the stores and flea markets is being replace by the plan shown.

    1. In El Paso, the median household income is about $40k. Our city leaders are reshaping downtown to benefit the leisure class.

      In Austin, the median household income is $58k. El Paso can pretend to be Austin, but eventually the bill will come due.

  2. If you dig a little deeper, it gets worse. Eighth poorest includes Puerto Rico, in reality we’re the fourth poorest.
    That said, I don’t think wealth and walkable, vibrant neighborhoods are mutually exclusive. There are walkable, vibrant neighborhoods all over Latin America, where median incomes are far below El Paso.
    I doubt if we’ll be an Austin in the next several decades, but there’s no reason we can’t encourage people we have to abandon the soulless strip malls and suburban tracts, even if it’s in small numbers at first.

    1. I’m afraid our current plans include bringing the soullessness to downtown El Paso. A ‘Destination Mall’? There’s no talking reason to our city leaders. They’re from a different planet.

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