The Downtown Savoy Lofts are open and ready to lease, offering 27 affordable housing units. The lofts, in the building on Stanton Street that once housed the Savoy Hotel, are part of a growing trend in Downtown housing. Victor Calzada/El Paso Times
Seven apartment buildings, food from Downtown restaurants featured in second year of popular tour
Seven Downtown El Paso apartment buildings are opening their doors to the public for the second Downtown Living Tour.
"We had over 300 people take the tour last year," said Joe Gudenrath, executive director of the El Paso Downtown Management District, which is again organizing the tour.
The self-guided tour is set for Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
"The reason we do it is to make people aware of Downtown living options, which is still a relatively new concept here," Gudenrath said. "We’re building awareness and excitement for the new developments."
The 14-unit Franklin Ave. Apartments, located at 617 W. Franklin Ave., just down the street from the baseball stadium, is the newest apartment building on the tour. It opened in February and has a handful of tenants signed up so far, owner Renard Johnson reported recently.
The 27-unit Savoy Lofts, above the Dollar Tree store at Stanton Street and Overland Avenue, had its official opening shortly after last year’s Downtown housing tour.
The Abdou Building, at 115 N. Mesa St. and Texas Avenue, which a group of young El Paso investors bought in November 2016, is under renovation, but is still part of the tour.
The only Downtown housing project currently in the works is the renovation of the vacant Blue Flame office building by the El Paso Housing Authority into a 150-unit, mostly low-income apartment complex. It’s located at 120 N. Stanton St. and Texas Avenue, across from the Bassett Tower, which has been renovated into an Aloft Hotel, scheduled to open in late April.
"We also want people to see what is happening" with Downtown redevelopment during the tour, Gudenrath said.
The tour also includes samples of food and drinks at each tour stop from several Downtown restaurants, including Porkie’s BBQ, Nishi Ramen, International, Delight, Smash & Roll, 501 Bistro, and Mac’s Place, according to management district officials.
The tour is self guided, but a shuttle will be available to take participants to the seven apartment buildings.
Tickets, which include the food and drink samples at the various stops, are $20 each if bought by Friday. The price increases to $25 on Saturday.
On Saturday, tickets can be bought at the International Bar at 114-A Mills Ave., across from San Jacinto Plaza.
Tickets can be bought online prior to the tour day at: downtownelpaso.com/downtown-living-tour
Vic Kolenc may be reached at 546-6421; firstname.lastname@example.org; @vickolenc on Twitter.
Franklin Ave. Apartments, 14 units, 617 W. Franklin Ave.The Savoy Lofts, 27 units, 120 S. Stanton and Overland Ave.The 501, 87 units, 501 S. Campbell St.Roderick Artspace Lofts, 51 units, 601 N. Oregon Ave.Martin Lofts, 40 units, 217 N. Stanton St.Essex Alley, 13 units, 513 W. San Antonio Ave.Abdou Building, previously had 7 units, 115 N. Mesa St.