Take a tour of downtown buildings in construction

Take a tour of downtown buildings in construction

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Buildings being added downtown are on time for completion and some even ahead of schedule.

If you've driven downtown, you've seen all of the construction in progress.

All the discussions and planning seem to finally be coming to fruition, as we were allowed to take a tour of those buildings.

The Xcel building, the downtown parking garage and the embassy suites hotel are all on schedule to finish next year. Xcel will be moving in at the end of March and the hotel is scheduled to open in June of 2017.

"Seeing that and the parking garage and all the footings going in as well as the retails already up around it, and then the embassy suites, it's all a reality now, so it's really exciting," says Councilman Randy Burkett.

"The jobs are on task, that they're on schedule, that they're on budget and a couple of them actually being ahead of schedule, so I think that's exciting," says City Director of Facilities Jerry Danforth. "It allows us to get a better vision of what downtown Amarillo's going to look like when these projects are finished."

We were even given a virtual tour of the hotel and got to go inside mock rooms, that are true to size. Officials tell us they will have between 80 and 100 people employed at the hotel.

While these projects are moving quickly, progress on the MPEV is at a bit of a standstill.

"Right now with the MPEV, we're waiting on a certain decision to be made down in San Antonio, but I feel confident we'll get the double A team here once that decision is made," says Burkett.

Next week, the LGC will issue the advertisement for bids to begin the demolition of the Coca Cola building. And about six weeks from then is when demolition could begin.

"And so that work would take the large buildings that you see on the property, take those down and actually get the site ready to start doing some of the site prep work that we need to do, which is mostly tied to utilities, there's not much utility work which is just relocating some utilities, then the site is ready so that when we're actually ready to build the MPEV, the site's ready to go," says Deputy City Manager Bob Cowell.

Everyone we spoke with today says they are pleased with how quickly and well the projects are moving along.

And they hope the new improvements will drive more people our way.

"When you see what the scale of these three projects are, they're very large projects that are going to change downtown dramatically," says Danforth. "And then when you start seeing the demolition of the new coca cola facility and see what the potential basically across the street from the new construction, I think it will increase the excitement and the potential for what it can be."

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