MPEV is almost ready to be built

MPEV is almost ready to be built
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Other cities are now vying for the San Antonio Missions to come play ball, but Amarillo city leaders say they're a step above the competition.

Demolition of the Coke Building is expected to wrap up by the end of February, meaning construction on the MPEV can start at any time.

But first, Amarillo needs a team.

It's been nine months since the city began negotiating a letter of intent with the San Antonio Missions. In that time, other cities like Lubbock and Wichita have thrown their hats in the ring to attract that Double-A team.

However, Deputy City Manager Bob Cowell isn't too concerned about the competition. "Obviously one advantage we have over any of the competition is time," said Cowell. "We've been working on this for quite some time. We have our financing mechanism in place and approvals to be able to build. Most other communities looking at this aren't at that point."

As of right now, the city still aims to play ball by the spring of 2019.

"We've got to have about 18 months to be able to build anything," said Cowell. "So right now, we're trying to hopefully strike a deal that would allow us to do something by the spring of 2019. But it's free-flowing negotiation so we won't know until we know."

To meet that tentative deadline, a contract would need to be in place roughly sometime before this September.

The other two catalyst projects are moving much faster. The downtown parking garage is set to open this May and the Embassy Suites Hotel next door will follow suit in September.

At a meeting Wednesday, the Local Government Corporation approved a contract with local realtor Bob Garrett to find tenants and manage the 25,000 square ft. of retail space attached to the garage.

Cowell said some parties are already interested in the space. "Folks actually stopped by our facility's office, saying I know you guys are building this building and we're interested in finding information about that space. Right now, what we've been doing is saying 'hold on, because we're getting close to an agreement.' Now we'll be able to steer them toward Bob."

Cowell still thinks it may take a while to fill the space though because many potential businesses are waiting for the ballpark to be finished.

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