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City acquires five properties in Downtown Arena footprint

Union Plaza is currently the proposed sight for the Downtown arena project. Credit: KFOX14 / CBS4

The City of El Paso voted on Tuesday to acquire five properties where the Downtown Arena is slated to be built even if the buildings are not demolished.

The original contracts the city had with property owners required the buildings to be demolished prior to purchasing.

The five buildings the city plans to acquire are 215 W. Paisano, 308 and 312 Chihuahua Street, 216 and 220 W. Overland Street.

Deputy City Attorney Theresa Cullen said the purchasing agreements were changed because the buildings are currently vacant.

The property owners told the city they want to work together to ensure the buildings will be sold faster.

As we reported, the buildings are protected by a court order and are not to be demolished for the Downtown Arena.

The city said it will continue to honor the order even though it has taken control of the properties.

"So, there won't be any demolition at this point in time. The city will move forward in accordance with all state law, and city provisions, Cullen said. ”We just have an opportunity to acquire them. At this point, we are going to move forward."

Cullen told KFOX14 this doesn’t rule out the buildings being demolished in the future if the court order is lifted.

“We want to be ready to proceed with the design and construction of the project upon the conclusion of the pending proceedings,” Mayor Dee Margo said.

The arena was approved by voters in 2012.

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