Hunt and WestStar Break Ground on High-Rise Project

Today, Hunt Companies, Inc. (“Hunt”) and WestStar celebrated the
groundbreaking of a landmark project that will bring the first high-rise
office building to Downtown El Paso in almost forty years. Along with
officials from the City of El Paso, El Paso County and countless civic
and business leaders, Hunt and WestStar executives presented the most
comprehensive set of images of the new multi-tenant, multi-level “Class
A” office building. At 306 feet, WestStar Tower will be the tallest
building in Downtown El Paso. Plans indicate that WestStar Tower will
open during Summer 2020.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

WestStar Tower Exterior (Photo: Business Wire)

“We are proud to be breaking ground on WestStar Tower today for what we
know will be a signature development for El Paso,” said Josh Hunt,
Executive Vice President of Hunt. “This project signals continued
investment in downtown El Paso’s economic revitalization, an increased
tax base, and a competitive business environment for El Paso.”

Hunt will move its headquarters from Mesa Street on the City’s west side
to the new facility in Downtown El Paso, bringing approximately 175
employees to the Downtown area. The office building will serve as the
corporate headquarters for Hunt, occupying three floors of the building.
The Hunt Family Foundation will also be located in the building.

WestStar will consolidate its four downtown facilities to the new office
tower which will serve as the corporate headquarters for WestStar.
WestStar will occupy three floors and will also have a commercial bank
operation on the ground floor. WestStar will bring an additional 35
employees to Downtown El Paso. In total, WestStar and its affiliates
will have approximately 260 employees working in the new location.

“At WestStar, we value the role our institution plays as a driver of
economic development. It is exciting for us to be a part of such a
tremendous catalyst for Downtown El Paso. Today, we are proud to break
ground on the future home of WestStar and what we know will make a
long-lasting impact on the Downtown economy and that of the entire
region,” said L. Frederick “Rick” Francis, Chairman and CEO of WestStar

“Diversifying our local economy is pivotal to the long-term success of
El Paso,” said Mayor Dee Margo. “Today’s groundbreaking is another step
toward decreasing the tax burden on residential taxpayers while
increasing our commercial tax base. Not only does WestStar Tower align
with the City’s initiative on downtown revitalization, this development
will be key in attracting new companies to move and invest into our

WestStar Tower will convey world-class architecture, state-of-the-art
office space and beautiful views to commercial tenants in the heart of
the city. On the ground level, the outdoor Hunt Plaza will feature a
beautifully landscaped green space with outdoor seating and dining in a
park-like atmosphere, which will also serve as a venue for community
events. Occupying a full city block, the building will offer proximity
to area amenities such as Southwest University Park, the Museum
District, San Jacinto Plaza, and the new El Paso Streetcar system.

“The construction of WestStar Tower is another boost to the great
momentum being experienced in Downtown El Paso,” said Joe Gudenrath,
Executive Director of the El Paso Downtown Management District. “This
building, from the very start of construction to well beyond completion,
will dramatically change our downtown and reshape our skyline. The
investment, the relocation of businesses to the downtown and the
activity associated with a bustling high-rise building are all
indications of our downtown vision becoming a reality. Thanks goes to
Hunt and to WestStar for believing in and contributing to our

The overall project will include approximately 262,000 rentable square
feet of true Class “A” space, 13,000 square feet of ground level office
and retail space and 735 parking spaces in an 18-story commercial office

Project partners include Duda|Paine (architect), Gensler (design), OJB
(landscape architect) and Moss (general contractor). Pre-leasing has
begun. Sonny Brown & Associates are leading the leasing effort for
commercial and retail users.


Hunt is comprised of a family of companies in the real estate and
infrastructure markets. As a private, family-owned company, Hunt
develops, invests, manages and finances assets at all stages to derive
and deliver value. Founded in 1947, Hunt builds its reputation on
integrity and performance. With a focus on excellence in corporate
governance, Hunt is committed to a culture of transparency for
employees, clients, investors and the communities it serves. Hunt
employs over 1,700 direct employees, and its broader platform (including
affiliates) employs over 6,000 additional employees across the United
States and Europe. Learn more at www.huntcompanies.com.


WestStar is a locally owned community bank with assets of more than $1.7
billion. Servicing the El Paso, Las Cruces and northern Mexico area
(collectively known as the Borderplex region), it provides businesses
and retail consumers local access to a broad array of banking, wealth
management, insurance and title services. Additionally, WestStar team
members serve on over 100 boards and committees of nonprofit and civic
organizations and participate in a wide range of community betterment
efforts and philanthropic causes. For more information, visit the
WestStar website at www.weststarbank.com.


Duda|Paine Architects provides a full complement of design, interior
design, architectural, planning and master planning services to a
diverse array of international corporate, academic, health care and
cultural arts clients. The firm’s enduring success results from an
idea-based design process that engages participants and fosters
inspiration to achieve visionary built work. The firm’s extensive
network of associate architects and expert consultants provides highly
specialized and innovative design solutions. To date, Duda|Paine
Architects has received 45 design, civic and industry awards and been
featured in more than one hundred publications and exhibitions. With
over five million square feet of completed projects in the United States
and internationally, eighty-five percent of the firm’s current work
comes from repeat clients – a testament to Duda|Paine’s process of
engagement and focus on client satisfaction. For additional information
visit dudapaine.com.


Gensler is a global interior design firm grounded in the belief that
great design optimizes business performance and human potential. Our
4,700 practitioners, networked across 46 offices, use global perspective
and local presence to innovate at every scale. Whether we are refreshing
a retailer’s brand, planning a new urban district or designing a super
tall building, we strive to make the everyday places people occupy more
inspiring, more resilient and more impactful. For more information, go
to www.gensler.com.


Founded in 1989, OJB Landscape Architecture began with a focus on
creating landscapes that provide unique and unforgettable sensory
experiences. OJB’s recent work has focused on the rejuvenation of
American cities through the creation of distinctive public park spaces
including ULI Urban Open Space Award winning Klyde Warren Park in Dallas
and Myriad Gardens in Oklahoma City. Other notable projects include the
artfully planted Sunnylands Center and Gardens in Rancho Mirage, CA,
Levy Park in Houston and LeBauer Park in Greensboro. In 2016, James
Burnett, FASLA, founder of OJB Landscape Architecture, received the ASLA
Design Medal and in 2015, OJB received the ASLA Firm Award for its
portfolio of work. Learn more at www.ojb.com.


Moss, a Hunt affiliate, is a national, privately held construction firm
providing innovative solutions resulting in award-winning projects. With
regional offices across the United States, Moss focuses on construction
management at-risk, design-build and public-private partnerships. The
company’s diverse portfolio encompasses a wide range of sectors,
including luxury high-rise residential, landmark mixed-use developments,
hospitality, primary and higher education, justice and solar energy.
Moss prides itself on a strong entrepreneurial culture that honors
safety, quality, client engagement and employee development. Its
employees consistently rank Moss as one of the best places to work. For
more information, go to www.mosscm.com.

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