EL PASO, Texas -- The National Parks Service has deemed a proposed historic district in downtown El Paso as eligible to be put on the National Register, but it will not be listed because the federal agency says a majority of downtown property owners oppose the designation.
Mark Osborn, a lawyer working with the opposition business owners, indicated they were very happy with that decision.
Osborn told ABC-7 that a key reason his clients opposed the historic designation is because the district's boundaries included the Duranguito neighborhood, which is where the City of El Paso wants to build an arena. The proposed arena in Durnaguito has been controversial, leading to a series of lawsuits which has delayed the project for years.
“If one block had been removed from the entire downtown district, it probably would’ve gone through and been approved," Osborn explained.
El Paso County Commissioner David Stout, a supporter of the downtown historic district, said he would not exclude Duranguito from future historic district submissions. Stout said being part of an historic zone would enable the availability of tax credits for Duranguito's revitalization.
Since the proposed district was deemed eligible by the NPS, Stout indicated he planned to keep working to get it approved.
"It’s gonna be a longer process, but I’m committed to continuing the process,” Stout said.