The City of El Paso’s economic development department is looking for a new home
The City of El Paso’s economic development department is looking to move to a different location in downtown El Paso.
It wants to go from City Building Three on Texas Avenue to the Anson Mills Building, which overlooks San Jacinto Plaza.
City Rep. Cassandra Hernandez-Brown says the move may help the city in the long run.
"The reason why I like it is that it aligns with our regional economic development efforts to have all of our city economic development staff alongside with our regional economic development partners,” Hernandez-Brown said.
CBS4 asked the economic development department for comment about the move and how much a potential lease could cost the City of El Paso.
It sent us this statement:
“The Economic and International Development Department has scheduled a work session for Monday to brief Mayor and City Council on an opportunity to move the department to the Mills Building. The potential move would further align the City’s economic development efforts with key community partners, such as the Borderplex Alliance. Staff will provide additional information related to this opportunity to Mayor and City Council at Monday’s work session.”
Some El Pasoans are skeptical on why the move is needed if it comes at a cost to the city and the taxpayers.
"I would hope that the city knows what they are doing, and maybe moving into a building is closer to where they want to be is a little more cost-effective,” Jose Lugo said. “It's better for us to have our money taken care of."
"If they're already again where they're at then a phone call, emails, technology that we have it makes no sense to me,” Jorge Rubio said.
"I think the public does have a right to know how much it's going to cost, if it is going to be a burden on us for this move, when they are already in a building that's taking care of them,” Caitlyn Collette said.
Hernandez-Brown says this potential move still has to be approved by City Council. She thinks this won't impact the city or the taxpayers.
"I think it would be a clean wash or very nominal increase, or it would actually achieve economies of scale. I don't think council would support it if there are an exorbitant amount of cost. Council has the full discretion to deny or approve these leases that we enter."
Hernandez-Brown said if the move is approved by council, she hopes there is a plan in place to move a department that's not at a city-owned facility into City Three.
That way, the city isn't paying for utilities at unused offices and a new lease for the economic development department.
Council will vote on this move on Monday at 9 a.m. in City Hall.