The Texas Supreme Court has denied a petition for review pertaining to the long-running battle over building a new multipurpose arena in downtown El Paso.
Opponents of having that facility built in the neighborhood of Duranguito have taken that opposition to court, arguing that the ballot language for the Quality of Life bonds passed by voters in 2012 did not specifically mention that the proposed arena would be used for sporting events.
What is officially called the Multipurpose Cultural and Performing Arts Center was officially introduced in the fall of 2016 as a $180 million project that would require the demolition of a number of smaller houses and retail spaces in Duranguito.
City officials said that although a handful of other sites had been surveyed for the arena, the Duranguito neighborhood made the most sense economically and logistically.
But preservationists and community activists have argued for keeping intact what they have described as a historic neighborhood.
Although some structures in the area were subsequently demolished by the city, with nearly $12 million being spent by El Paso to acquire properties there, the legal battle eventually resulted in a halt to any further demolition.
El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said the State Supreme Court decision means that the city can soon launch an architectural review of the site, leading to the actual planning for the new arena.
Opponents of the project have said they will continue their struggle, and are currently reviewing their options in response to the Texas Supreme Court’s decision.
By Garry Boulard
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