The site for the $180 million Downtown arena south of the convention center was approved Tuesday by the El Paso City Council. They also gave the authority to purchase properties and use eminent domain if necessary. The plan was approved in a 7-0 vote after more than two hours of discussion. The city can now begin negotiating with property owners to acquire the land. Mayor Oscar Leeser stated he does not support the use of eminent domain.
The arena will be built in the Union Plaza District and is bounded by West San Antonio Avenue, South Santa Fe Street, West Paisano Drive and Leon Street. The area contains 42 parcels and includes the Greyhound bus station, some apartment complexes and other buildings. However, the city has identified a total of 22 properties for the arena footprint. Of those parcels, five are vacant or surface lots, seven are commercial, seven are residential and two are city owned, the city said.