City looking at beautifying portions of south central El Paso

Some changes could be coming to a portion of south central El Paso.

Parts of south central El Paso could be getting some major upgrades.

The El Paso City Council has approved staff to start looking into possible ways of re-vamping development in the Medical Center of the Americas area.

Folks we spoke with who live within the proposed area said they hope it happens.

"We'd like this area to be improved,” said El Pasoan Segundo Mendosa.

Jessica Herrera, director of the economic department for the city of El Paso, said they’re looking to rezone ports of south central El Paso.

"We're really trying to identify that area as an area that's ripe for redevelopment,” she said.

The area would include nearly 400 acres, spanning from Gateway East, along Gateway North, down to Paisano Drive and a portion of Alameda Avenue.

"There's such an opportunity for student housing, for hospitality for like hotels, for restaurants, there are so many employees that work just within that area,” she said. “You can probably exceed 15,000 employees, easily from UMC to the Children's Hospital."

She said the proposal would take property tax money and allocate a portion of it to be put back in the area with various beautifying projects.

Possible improvements could include entry monuments, enhanced street lighting and landscaping. There’s also intersection improvements, like pedestrian and ADA enhancements and bike facilities, just to name a few.

Herrera said the work can be done without raising taxes.

"It creates an opportunity for the city to be able to leverage from the taxes that are already being paid,” she said.

Folks who live in the area say they welcome the change.

“It would be good for them to make improvements,” said El Pasoan Maria Leyva. “This area is a bit uncared for.

Herrera said if all goes well, the area could start to see some projects start sometime next year.

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