City reveals plan for Cohen Stadium site

Space planned for Cohen Reimagined project. Courtesy: City of El Paso

El Pasoans are finally seeing the plans for the future of Cohen Stadium in Northeast El Paso.

Wednesday the city unveiled a comprehensive master plan for the site at a meeting at the Transmountain Campus of El Paso Community College.

"Northeast we heard you," said City Rep. Sam Morgan.

Some people gave us their input on what they'd like to see in place of the old ballpark.

"Six Flags. Some type of good amusement park here in the northeast. I know they have a traveling one downtown and I've seen it, but that would be great if they could put one here," said Tony Ayala.

"Maybe a beautiful soccer field for El Paso," said Don Welch.

The plan, doesn't include an amusement park, but instead a public area that would include, hotels, retail, restaurants, bars, athletic and recreational facilities and green spaces.

Most seemed excited about what's to come.

"I think the way they've gone about it is wonderful," Belinda Luke said.

Morgan told KFOX14 that the city conducted two focus groups with people from the northeast to get ideas. He said that to bring people from other parts of town to the northeast, the city is looking at venues that don't already exist in El Paso.

In an October public meeting last year, more than 300 people attended and provided more than 250 comments about what they wanted to see built, the city said.

"They've gotten a lot of us involved. I was one of the people in the focus group," Luke said.

Residents said they were tired of the eyesore in the neighborhood as the stadium sits in shambles. Cohen Stadium opened in 1990 and was home to the El Paso Diablos baseball team until 2013. The construction of the baseball stadium cost $6 million.

"It’s sad to see an empty space out there. With nothing for families," Julie Lara said.

Morgan said the city has been working with the community to get as much feedback as possible.

"You know, we can dream big and shoot for the moon but we have to be realistic about our expectations and whatever we put her it has to be sustainable," Morgan said.

There are three phases for the plan. Phase one includes the construction of a regional water park. Phase two includes the construction of a media broadcasting studio and an outdoor jumbo screen. Phase three includes construction of an urban plaza, an athletic facility, hotels, retail, restaurants and family entertainment facilities.

The master plan is typically initiated and completed before a project enters the design phase to ensure the site is developed properly and in a cost-effective manner.

The project now goes to city council for approval.

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