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From desert to development – turning conflict into a master-planned community in El Paso


What was once acres of dirt and desert in eastern El Paso is now a vibrant mixed-use, master-planned community made up of successful residential, commercial, educational, recreational, and industrial uses.  This transformation took place over the course of ten obstacle-ridden years, but through patience and perseverance, the 4,500-acre, high-quality master-planned development was eventually realized.


After studying growth patterns in El Paso, Price and his team saw a unique opportunity to develop Permanent School Fund (PSF) owned land in the Chihuahua desert just east of the city. Due to topographical barriers, the only viable area of growth in the city lay to its east, but the biggest barriers to the completion of the project had nothing to do with arid terrain or the neighboring mountains. Entrenched business interests with controlling power of the city’s water and utility services, used this power to hinder further development.

To combat this, Chris and his team passed a creative piece of landmark legislation that made the development a MUD – ensuring that the development could provide its own water resources for the project or find them elsewhere, thereby circumventing the existing utility structure and paving the way for actual development.


Today, Paseo del Este encompasses a greenbelt system that serves as the spine of the development, linking public spaces, schools and community facilities sprinkled throughout the property. In collaboration with the City of El Paso, Paseo del Este also supports the economic development of the area with industrial and warehouse spaces for truck-related traffic coming in and out of the city.

By coming up with creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems, taking the time to see the project through to realization, and creating long-lasting economic value through new tax revenue and business partnerships, Chris’ team made Paseo del Este more than just a neighborhood: it became an asset for the City of El Paso, the city’s schools, and the State of Texas.

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