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Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 8:48pm
EL PASO — Several new businesses are setting up shop in Downtown El Paso as part of an effort to bring more shoppers to the area.
A new CVS Pharmacy is going up on the corner of Mesa and Texas. That is right across the street from a Walgreens, but according to Dennis Melonas, Executive Director of the Central Business Association, competition is not a concern.
"The Walgreens which is just opposite is going to actually move, and they're scheduled to open up early summer of next year at the corner of Oregon and Paisano," said Melonas.
Melonas said there are lots of other projects in the works as well.
"There's some potential new eateries downtown, south of Paisano that are looking to develop. Corner Bakery is thinking about coming downtown. I spoke with the local owner of Schlotzky's, he's interested in coming downtown," said Melonas.
With all the new development, some people are concerned about staying local.
"I would be scared for too many national retailers to come to downtown, because I think that would just change the face and put a lot of these little businesses out of business," said Ryan Otero, a frequent downtown shopper.
Melonas said the Central Business Association is maintaining a good balance of local and national retailers, and that balance is what seems to be bringing more shoppers downtown.
"What was once an area where you could say, 'Oh, it's only Juarez shoppers,' organizations like the CBA and the Downtown Management District have really pulled their marketing efforts, and we can gladly say now, thankfully, that we're getting a lot of El Paso shoppers, we're getting a lot of Las Cruces shoppers," said Melonas.
For shoppers who are worried about parking, Melonas said all parking meters in Downtown El Paso are free on Saturdays and after 6:00 p.m. on weekdays.