The Downtown El Paso area’s newest apartment project launched Wednesday after overcoming 18 months of delays tied to the COVID-19 pandemic and a federal regulatory roadblock.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday for the 80-unit, low-income apartment complex being built at a cost of $17.7 million by the city’s public housing authority, now known as HOME (Housing Opportunity Management Enterprises).
The apartments are being built on vacant land at 415 Montana Ave., on the edge of Downtown, in an area city officials have dubbed Uptown. The shiny, new WestStar Tower office building, located a few blocks away, looms in the site’s background.
“This (project) was shut down. … We had the money, we had the site, we won on the state scale,” but federal housing administrators held back approval until recently, Gerald Cichon, HOME chief executive officer, told the crowd assembled under a white tent on a warm, partly cloudy day.
“This site is all about hope, and that’s what Nuestra Senora (the apartment complex’s name) stands for. It stands for hope,” Cichon said. The apartment building will feature a giant mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which Chicon later said also symbolizes the Hispanic culture of this area.