Yesterday City Architect Daniela Quesada led a public “MPC feasibility study meeting” attended by outside consultants who are tasked with figuring out how to build a Multipurpose Performing Arts and Entertainment Facility within the “Arena Footprint.” The firm must also determine whether the project can be executed for $158 million, which is all that remains of the 2012 QOL bond money.
There were about 40 members of the public present, with another 35 or so attending virtually. Many asked Ms. Quezada and/or the consultants questions but there were few answers.
I asked Ms. Quezada whether the City is prepared to admit that a 15,000-seat sports arena cannot be built for less than a half-billion dollars. She could not answer the question, obviously because she is not permitted to.
But then there was Adair Margo, who as far as I could tell was the sole member of the public who supports destroying Duranguito for an arena. Aaron Montes of KTEP captured her words on audio and transcribed them on his Facebook page:
“We need concert venues. A lot of people have bought property right around there in anticipation of this. Without an investment, there’ll be no reason for our historic properties to be restored. I know it’ll have the economic opportunities for El Paso and people that come and buy tortillas at Sacred Heart Church. And, walk around a mixture of people who can help support Downtown and have all our buildings be given purpose and beautify and live on forever connecting us to Ciudad Juárez.”
Words of wisdom from the former First Lady of El Paso, whose husband mustered only 20% of the vote in his bid for reelection.