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City approves 8-year incentive plan for Camino Real Hotel worth more than $32 million

Camino Real Hotel in Downtown El Paso (Credit: KFOX14/CBS4)

The owners of a historic structure in downtown El Paso will be allowed to receive an incentives package for the revitalization efforts it's putting into the building formerly known as the Camino Real Hotel.

El Paso developers the Meyers Group and Two Sabes LLC are working on transforming the space into a four-star convention center hotel.

The hotel will have 300 guestrooms, a full-service restaurant, function/meeting space, spa, fitness center, swimming pool, business center, airport shuttle and upscale interior finishes.

Before Tuesday, the $70 million private investment project needed help from the city and state.

El Paso council voted 6-1 to give the owners of the hotel an incentive package of more than $32 million for revitalizing the building.

The city and state will provide the money in state and local tax incentives.

State incentive of $24,364,727
$3,045,590.88 per year for a period up to eight years

City to provide a maximum of $6 million in redevelopment grants
Payments to occur at 50 percent, 75 percent and 100 percent construction completion

100 percent rebate or abatement of incremental real/personal property
Incentive period limited to eight years
Not to exceed $2,240,322.00

The city will waive all building and development permit and inspection fees.

Rep. Lily Limon voted against it and Rep. Peter Svarzbein was not present. Limon says too much money is being diverted from other downtown projects.

"I was looking out for the Children's Museum and the Mexican American Cultural Center," Limon said. "If we generate more money, then we can certainly infuse some if it. Ultimately the decision was or the statement that the city council will decide how to distribute that money."

Some city officials have been wanting to add an updated convention center hotel to attract conventions and events.

Marcela Garcia and Enrique Roslas Herrera, who lives in downtown, support the incentive package.

"This building is very old. My dad used to work there a long time ago but downtown needs everything right now," Herrera said.

"I think it's great for our community. First of all because it's a hotel that we have a lot of history," Garcia said.

The agreement also outlines several specific city uses like the utilization of ballroom/meeting space.

Mayor Oscar Leeser says a four-star hotel in downtown El Paso could bring $25 million a year to the city’s economy.

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