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Inside the Montecillo: KFOX14 takes a look at the progress of the city's first smart code development

By: Genevieve Curtis

EL PASO, Texas -- The Montecillo holds the title of the city's first smart code development, featuring retail on the ground level and residential above, and while some business are already  open, there's lots more in store.

Javiar Camacho, the city development coordinator, said in a few years around 4,500 people will call the Montecillo area in west El Paso, home.

David Bogas, with the company developing the Montecillo community, EPT Land Communities, walked KFOX14 through the coming developments in the 300-acre community.

From Mesa Street you can see where restaurants like Gufo and Independent Burger have moved  in. Across the street, the land is being prepped for the Alamo Draft House, a movie theater combined with fine dining. Construction is scheduled to begin in April.

Behind the homes is land belonging to EPISD, which will become an elementary school within the next two to three years. Beyond that, a neighborhood with smart code design featuring family homes, townhouses and apartments will be constructed.

"I think people are starting to realize, I can really live in an environment like this," said Bogas.

The community will also feature city parks and a dog park; a community pool is also in the draft phase.

While some of the retail spaces may look empty, Bogas said there are plans in the works for many of them.

An insurance company and an embroidery store are both opening soon, as well as a new yoga studio. Boutiques and cosmetics stores are also a possibility in the future.

"It's lifestyle choice,  it's (a) lifestyle change we are actively promoting socializing the space for people," said Bogas.

The development is the first in the city to get away from suburban sprawl and focus on urban renewal.

"We are now focusing on our inner cities instead expanding further out, how can we focus more on what we currently have," said Camacho.

Part of the idea behind smart code is to create a community atmosphere where residents don't need to drive, but rather can walk to desired locations.

The Montecillo received a $22 million tax break but the city said they'll make beyond that on their investment.

Plus there's a perk in store for homeowners as well.

"When we do these kinds of developments it really benefits the residents because it lowers the tax base for our residents, we bring in more businesses, more retailers, it's a good thing for our residents," said Camacho.

The city's first active senior living community, The View, is also nearing completion of  construction, although the rooms are not on the market just yet.



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