EL PASO – The city’s housing authority has won the historical designation it needed to transform the long-vacant Blue Flame building into apartments, offices, and retail space. It will add 120 new apartments to the growing residential inventory downtown.
The National Park Service placed the 16-story building on the National Register of Historic Places, making the housing authority eligible for $16.7 million in federal and state historic tax credits. The project has also received $15 million in federal low-income housing tax credits.
Built in the 1950s for El Paso Natural Gas, the building was known for its flame weather beacon, which changed colors depending on the weather forecast. The flame was lit by the same operator, who called the National Weather Service every night for nearly 40 years.
The renovation will take about two years to complete. The design team will include Alamo Architects of San Antonio.
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