Downtown El Paso: Field of Dreams

Been downtown lately?

There are lots of things happening downtown. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of people.

Maybe the people are coming soon, like these Franklin Avenue Apartments. The developer, Renard Johnson, said he hoped to break ground on the project in August, according to this story in El Paso Inc. Maybe next August.
Franklin Ave Apts
The bike racks are installed at Union Plaza. Guess it’s better than a racks
There’s a new walkway linking the Civic Center, and the ballpark, to the Union Plaza nightclub district.union plaza walkway
Unfortunately, the two bars closest to the walkway are for lease. Or maybe that’s an opportunity!club 101 for rent
Until El Paso can afford real buskers, these will have to do.buskers
Downtown is kind of like one of those post-apocalypse movies where everyone’s dead. Or like a neutron bomb exploded. If you’re agoraphobic, it’s a nice place to be.
arts festival plaza
This is the back (and inside) of another historic building the Borderplex Community Trust REIT is tearing down for no apparent reason. Is it just to save money on property taxes?
historic bldg
They’re punching holes in the walls of this building to make windows for the new Savoy Loft Apartments. Rents here will run from $560 to $950 a month, according to this story in the El Paso Inc.
savoy loft apartments
Work is proceeding on these two buildings on Stanton Street. The one on the right is apartments, and the one on the left is a boutique hotel.
hotel apts
And this is the boutique hotel that they’re converting from the old Artisan Hotel. Presumably the hotel will have indoor plumbing, and not the port-a-potty hotel
Another bonus for that new hotel is that it’s right next door to this new restaurant. Didn’t I tell you to meet me at the Pho King Restaurant?pho king restaurant
The question then is, If you build it, will they come?


  1. I’m not trying to wax nostalgic but honestly, I think that downtown’s best days are behind us. What’s currently going on downtown feels so forced and unnatural (and very exclusive) that it’s just an extension of the strip mall culture that permeates the east and west sides of the city.

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