- 18-story mixed-use renovation featuring 120 affordable apartments, office space, and retail
- Creative P3 development involving federal, municipal, and private partners
- Project used historic and affordable-housing tax credits in addition to private financing
Sundt performed six separate renovation and expansion projects in El Paso, Texas, within a variety of public-private partnership (P3) delivery models involving federal and municipal housing authorities, developers and private equity partners. The HACEP Blue Flame project was a complete renovation of the iconic 18-story Blue Flame Building, which Sundt converted into a mixed-use development that features 120 affordable apartments, primarily for elderly and disabled tenants. Using both historic and affordable-housing tax credits in addition to private financing, the project provides retail, office space and housing in the center of downtown El Paso.
Our renovation of the Blue Flame building, the former headquarters of El Paso Natural Gas, is part of the Housing Authority’s larger initiative to revitalize all of its affordable housing communities and expand its portfolio through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program. HACEP’s larger $1.3 billion multi-year program involves more than 30 public housing complexes with 6,400 housing units, 1,600 of which are being either renovated or constructed by Sundt.
The building features ground-level retail spaces as well as leased office spaces on the 14th, 15th and 16th floors. The Texas Historical Commission required the Housing Authority to preserve the original 16th floor as much as possible, as this is where El Paso Natural Gas’s executive suites were located. The original dark-wood doors and cabinets, brick walls, and wood-paneled office of the company’s president remained in place. Midway through the renovation, HACEP obtained a $1.6 million grant to add a Community Outreach Space on the 17th floor.