El Paso's landmark Kress building is getting a facelift with plans to convert the historic building into a multi-use space featuring restaurants, shopping, and wellness spaces.  

Marcos Rey
Marcos Rey
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Before Walmart and Target became the norm, the Kress building was once upon a time one of El Paso's biggest department stores in the early 1940s. 

Back in the day, the department store was where most El Pasoans shopped for household wares, furniture, and apparel and was also a great place to stop in for lunch, thanks to their old school diner located on the first floor and accessible from the street level entrance.   

Ruben Gomez
Ruben Gomez
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Growing up, I remember visiting El Paso during the holidays. It was a yearly ritual to walk downtown with my cousins to hit up Kress and the nearby Newberry's to knock out our Christmas shopping list that consisted of little useless but cute knick-knacks.  

And while the Kress department store closed in the late '90s, El Paso billionaire Paul Foster plans to convert the iconic building into a multi-use space that would help bring back to life the 84-year-old building in the heart of downtown El Paso. 

According to the El Paso Times, early plans indicate that the Kress building's basement first and second floors would develop a wide variety of spaces. Early drafts include a dining area, retail stores, entertainment, meeting spaces, a spa, and other amenities to service the Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park, another of Foster's building acquisitions.  

The other interesting note is that there seems to be a proposal to build a tunnel that would connect the Kress Building with the Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park underneath Oregon Street.  

Marcos Rey
Marcos Rey
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The other great news is that the building's art-deco façade will not be altered but cleaned up after years of pollution, bird droppings, and deterioration.

Our city has so many beautiful buildings full of historical significance and architecture that it's great to see them brought back to life with a modern touch.

Ruben Gomez
Ruben Gomez
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And while it may be another few years before the Kress building fully opens to the public, hopefully, its renovation can inspire and lead to more structure revitalizations in downtown El Paso.

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