El Paso officials are continuing to discuss a site for a proposed arena, with the current convention center location receiving the most attention.
Over the final months of 2016, El Paso moved ahead with planning the site for the arena–which was previously approved through a 2012 quality of life bond referendum. Originally, the plan was to build the venue south of the convention center, with discussions about that concept heating up over the fall. However, backlash from residents proved to be swift, as the proposal called for the arena to take up blocks that included residences, and some were concerned that the city would demolish historic properties in the process.
That contributed to a change to the proposal that occurred last month, when the publicly discussed shifting the arena to the Judson F. Williams Convention Center. While the city has not finalized this as the site of the future venue, Scott Sensanbaugher, who is the assistant director of design for the city’s Capital Improvement Department, says that the current fact finding process should lead to more answers. More from KFOX 14:
Sensanbaugher said his department is looking at minimizing any negative impacts a new site could bring. That includes people’s homes and jobs. The assistant director said that will be done by putting all of the information out there.
“Just making sure again that we talk thoroughly. We demonstrate to the council that we are following the directive that they have given. And we present all of the information to them that they want to be able to see.”
So far, Sensanbaugher feels the new location process is going well.
“I think this is a great project. It’s one with a lot of potential for the city. So it’s the kind of thing where make sure that we look and we see and make everything and take everything into consideration.”
The El Paso city council is set to discuss the proposal on Tuesday, so more answers about how El Paso proceeds with this plan, be it at the convention center site or elsewhere, could emerge in the coming weeks and months.