MIMCO, one of El Paso’s largest commercial real estate development and management companies, is moving forward with plans to develop the corner of Edgemere and Airway on the Eastside.
MIMCO plans to begin construction in about a month on a 9,000-square-foot shopping center where it has demolished a portion of the sprawling Cielo Vista Apartments. The development includes a recently opened Whataburger, as well as a future Chick-fil-A, Great American Steakhouse and a SpringHill Suites by Marriott hotel.
“We finally have all the commitments from the tenants and are moving forward with getting the buildings built,” said MIMCO executive Bob Ayoub. They hope to finish the development, located on some of El Paso’s busiest streets, by early next year, according to Ayoub, who is the chief public relations officer at MIMCO.
Restaurants, shops, car dealerships and hotels line the 3-mile stretch from El Paso International Airport to Interstate 10. MIMCO has had a hand in developing the busy area since 1985.
The stretch between the airport and I-10 is a “critical corridor” for El Paso, according to Jessica Herrera, director of the city’s Economic and International Development Department.
“That is where our traffic – whether it’s visitors or our family and friends and people who fly into the airport – get their first impression of El Paso driving in,” Herrera said.
She said the city has worked to beautify the area. A colorfully lit public art installation at Airway and I-10 was installed a few years ago – part of a $170 plan to beautify I-10 from Hawkins to Executive Center.
MIMCO announced plans to demolish a portion of the aging Cielo Vista Apartments in August 2015. The six-acre site was home to 106 apartments, which included a building condemned by the city, Ayoub said.
MIMCO began building on the site late last year and recently completed construction of the Whataburger.
The franchise owner of the Whataburger restaurant across the street could not be reached for comment.
Eduardo Orozco, the owner of El Paso-based Great American Steakhouse, is investing $1.8 million to build a restaurant in the development. Orozco’s plans are part of a push to expand and introduce El Paso to a new concept he has created for the restaurant chain.
Orozco quietly opened two Great American Steakhouse locations in Mexico, the chain’s first south of the border, to test the concept a few years ago.
MIMCO’s new shopping center will complement one of its established developments, Concourse Plaza, across the street, Ayoub said.
“We’ve been working in this neighborhood for a very long time, and it’s just a great neighborhood for us,” he said.
Last October, MIMCO bought a 200,000-square-foot shopping center in San Antonio. Ayoub said the company saw an opportunity and bought it. MIMCO now has a 1.5 million-square-foot portfolio in shopping centers in San Antonio.
“We’ve just been taking it over, and we’ve gotten a tremendous amount of leasing activity,” he said.
The move is part of MIMCO’s efforts to expand its footprint in big cities in Texas. The El Paso company works in 17 markets and has about 1,800 tenants.
“We acquired a small center in Austin and picked up another one in Fort Worth,” Ayoub said.
Email El Paso Inc. reporter Aaron Montes at email@example.com or call (915) 534-4422, ext. 105, or (915) 777-4154. Twitter: @aaronmontes91