A dwindling number of Oligarchs and their minions, including a former city representative who was just voted out of office by a double-digit margin, continue to push for an arena in Duranguito even though (1) the City Council voted it out of existence on January 3 and (2) the City’s attorneys ended their litigation in the Texas Supreme Court.
I have attached an image showing the recommendations of the recently-discarded arena feasibility study, which was a colossal waste of $798,611.
We are supposed to be pleased that the proposed plan would destroy only half the arena footprint, along with five buildings that are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
Proponents insist that the plan would spare the remaining 7 National-Register-eligible buildings and restore them, but just look at what they have in mind!
Chihuahua Street would vanish beneath the arena, and the homes of Romelia Mendoza and Toñita Morales would face the huge steel and concrete structure from a distance of a few feet! Only a small fraction of the neighborhood would be residential, severely limiting the number of barrio residents.
Proponents refuse to admit that the plan would lose money, since they intentionally omitted debt principal and interest from their calculations.
These are the same folks who brand me and JP Bryan as outsiders who have no stake in El Paso, yet they seek the advice of a consulting firm in San Francisco while allying themselves with a city manager from Lubbock, a DMD executive director from Nebraska, a Chamber of Commerce director who arrived in El Paso 3 years ago, an ex-mayor from Oklahoma, and a gaggle of city-paid lawyers from Austin, Dallas and San Antonio.
The purple arena on the map is cited as an “entertainment venue,” which is exactly what it is.
So the proponents support eminent domain, displacement, mass demolition, and deficit spending for our entertainment pleasure.
How sick is that?
Thankfully this debacle is over and we can now move on to the business of establishing a National Register Historic District in downtown El Paso and creating a City-County strategic partnership aiming to renovate the historic buildings that were threatened with demolition for so long.
Have a nice weekend.