New Northgate Transfer Center features 60-foot spire reminiscent of iconic structure

New Northgate Transfer Center will feature a 60-foot blue spire. (Courtesy: City of El Paso)

An iconic Northeast landmark is making a comeback.

Many people who live in Northeast El Paso will remember the large blue spire at the Sunrise Shopping Center during the 1960s.

The new Northgate Transfer Center on Diana Drive will feature the “Torre de las Flores,” a 60-foot spire very similar to the one that no longer lives at Sunrise.

The final touches are being placed on the spire, which is the creation of artists Jim Hirschfield and Sonya Ishii.

According to the City of El Paso, the structure will glow through the use of LED fiber optic lighting. It will be the focal point of the new transfer center which is scheduled to be operational in the spring. It features a park and ride garage, bus drop off and pickup shelters, enclosed waiting and ticketing areas, electronic on-street message boards, ticketing and information offices, bike racks and the construction of a landscaped pedestrian plaza.

Frank Benavidez, Sun Metro engineering division manager, says the structure is essential to getting people to visit the transit center.

“We like to see this art piece as a beacon. We want to draw people to this transit center and what people will be able to do is shop. They’ll be able to use our facility. We have 16,000 square feet of area that is available for leasing,” Benavidez said. “People will be able to see this from the freeway, driving down Diana. People are going to wonder what is this and they’re going to want to come here to see what it is and with that, they’ll be able to learn about our facility and the services that Sun Metro provides.”

The transfer center is part of a project that will include Metro 31, a mixed-use area that will include residential, retail and commercial office spaces.

As previously reported, part of the project has been placed on a brief hold because the area sits on a flood plain. The project was supposed to be completed sometime next year, but now the city and the developer are working to make changes to the construction site before they can move onto the next phase.

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