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Fountains at Farah holds opening event, still filling spaces

By: Stacey Welsh

EL PASO, Texas -- The Fountains at Farah kicked off its "opening splash" weekend Friday, and a developer said about 60 percent of the spaces at the shopping center have tenants that are open.

"We have several restaurants we've made deals with that will be coming in. We hope to get those open before springtime," Centergy Retail President West Miller said. Miller is a development partner for the Fountains at Farah with owner Paul Foster.

Miller also said about 75 percent of the spaces have tenants signed on, but not all of them are open yet. He said the Fountains will be an ongoing project.

"This is a 600,000-square-foot shopping center, so what we've done is pretty amazing to date. We built a shopping center that normally would take two to three years, and we built it in less than 16 months," Miller said.

El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar said she has been involved with the Fountains at Farah since debate surrounding the project's development began about five years ago.

"We had, really, a blighted property fronting the freeway. It was visible to visitors, people who left the airport heading west and people who were driving through," Escobar said.

She also said the Fountains could lift some of the tax burden from homeowners.

"It went from an underperforming commercial property in the tax base, and it will ultimately be high-performing for our commercial property tax base. It's good for taxpayers, good for shoppers and good for El Paso in general because it's such a lovely sight," Escobar said.

Shoppers KFOX14 spoke with also said they enjoy the atmosphere.

"It does feel a lot like something you would see over there at San Antonio or Austin. I like the architecture that they have here," east El Paso resident Aldo Hernandez said.

Some said they are looking for more big-name restaurant chains to move in.

"I've seen Dave & Buster's on TV, and it looks pretty cool. That would be nice to have here," east El Paso resident Isaac Loy said.

Miller said shoppers can expect more local businesses at the Fountains, and it has already brought more than 3,500 jobs to El Paso.



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