Hunt, WestStar Break Ground on $85M Texas Office Project

The partners behind the 18-story WestStar Tower, which will be the tallest building in downtown El Paso, will each maintain their headquarters on three floors of the 275,000-square-foot high-rise.

Development of what will be the tallest building in downtown El Paso, Texas, is now underway. Hunt Cos. Inc. and WestStar Bank recently broke ground on WestStar Tower, an 18-story office high-rise that will encompass 275,000 square feet of leasable space.

WestStar Tower will be erected on a full city block at 601 N. Mesa St., making a 306-foot-tall addition to the El Paso skyline. In addition to 262,000 square feet of state-of-the-art office space, the Duda|Paine Architects-designed property will feature 13,000 square feet of ground-level retail offerings, 735 parking spaces and Hunt Plaza, an outdoor green space with seating and accommodations for community events.

“Not only does WestStar Tower align with the City’s initiative on downtown revitalization, this development will be key in attracting new companies to move and invest into our community,” El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said in a prepared statement.

Local government is showing support for the WestStar Tower project, and not just by attending the recent groundbreaking ceremony. The City of El Paso has awarded the developers approximately $18.8 million in incentives.

Early commitments

There are already two names in place on the WestStar Tower tenant roster, one of them being WestStar. The community bank will establish its headquarters on three floors of the building, consolidating four area facilities under one roof. WestStar will also claim a portion of the retail square footage with the opening of a commercial branch on the ground level. Hunt will call WestStar Tower home as well. The real estate company plans to relocate its current headquarters at 4401 N. Mesa St. to the new building, where it will, like WestStar, occupy three floors.

Commercial real estate services firm Sonny Brown & Associates is handling leasing for both the commercial and retail space at WestStar Tower, and construction management company Moss is the general contractor on the development. “This project signals continued investment in downtown El Paso’s economic revitalization, an increased tax base, and a competitive business environment for El Paso,” Josh Hunt, an executive vice president with Hunt Cos. Inc., said in prepared remarks.

It’s not just downtown El Paso that’s seeing new projects; new developments are popping up across the city. In 2017, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso broke ground on the $83 million Medical Sciences Building II, a research facility that will encompass 219,000 square feet of laboratory, office and research administration space. River Oaks Properties also plans to complete the 500,000-square-foot, mixed-use West Towne Marketplace in late 2018 or 2019.

WestStar Tower is on track to reach completion in summer 2020.

Images courtesy of Duda|Paine Architects