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City council approves incentive to restore Historic 1 Texas Tower

KVIA

EL PASO, Texas – El Paso city council has approved incentives for the redevelopment, rehabilitation and renovation of 1 Texas Tower in downtown El Paso.

The building is located at 109 N. Oregon Street. El Paso Lawyer Jim Scherr owns it. Sherr has committed to invest a minimum of $18 million into the project.

"I have been devoted to making downtown great again putting my money where my mouth is." Scherr said in a news conference. “We are very pleased about the City’s support to rehabilitate the 1 Texas Tower that will become instrumental in enhancing our Downtown core.”

The ground floor will include retail and restaurant space. Cafe Central will remain at its current location and fully operational through the renovation process.

The city authorized a $2.1 million performance-based incentive funded through rebates on new tax revenue created by the developer's investment.

"And what does it come to? It comes to a great center for our town. That's why downtown is vibrant, that's why families are walking around," said Scherr, "that's why we have Winterfest, that's why we have fourth of July, that's why we have all these festivals."

Scherr said the city's financial help is the catalyst for projects that will have a positive impact in downtown El Paso.

"We had a study performed just on the DoubleTree, that the city invested with us in that project to kick start downtown." Scherr explained. "And our project has an economic impact of over 138 million dollars on the El Paso economy over the years."

The renovation of 1 Texas Tower would convert the historic building into a 3-star, 120-room Hampton Inn Suites by Hilton.

The plan would preserve the property's facade, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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