Topgolf site work begins in West El Paso

Vic Kolenc , El Paso TimesPublished 5:57 p.m. MT Jan. 18, 2017 | Updated 14 hours ago

Site work began Wednesday on land in West El Paso where Topgolf plans to soon begin building one of its multimillion-dollar, three-story, high-tech golf driving ranges.

A temporary water pond was being constructed to hold water used in the construction process and other site work will be done in the coming weeks, said David Bogas, director of development for EPT Land Communities, which is developing the Montecillo Smart Growth Community, where the Topgolf complex will be built.

The 8-acre Topgolf site is in an undeveloped area of Montecillo and faces Interstate 10. The Texas Department of Transportation is building a new interstate gateway near the Topgolf site.

Montecillo is El Paso’s first, full-fledged Smart Growth community on almost 300 acres stretching from Mesa Street to I-10.

No date has been set yet for when construction of the Topgolf facility will begin, but Topgolf officials hope to have the facility open by mid- to late fall, said Morgan Wallace, a spokeswoman for the Dallas-based chain.

“It takes eight to 10 months to build,” Wallace said in an email.

The facility must be opened by Nov. 1, 2018, under terms of an agreement with the city of El Paso, which is set to give Topgolf $5.2 million in tax rebates over 22 years to help pay for the facility if the company meets all the requirements of the agreement.

The City Council approved the tax incentives in November.

The Topgolf facility will cost about $15.7 million to build, according to city information.

It will be a 65,000-square-foot facility with 102 climate-controlled golf-hitting bays and about 3,000 square feet of private event space. Each of its facilities serve food and alcoholic drinks and have hundreds of TVs for customers to watch sporting events.

El Paso is one of nine new locations Topgolf expects to open this year. The others are in Fort Worth; Charlotte, N.C.; Nashville; Birmingham and Hunstville, Ala.; the Indianapolis suburb of Fishers; Orlando, Fla.; and the Miami suburb of Miami Gardens.

Wallace said she did not know whether Topgolf was receiving tax incentives in any of the other locations opening this year.

Zach Shor, Topgolf chief operating officer, told the El Paso Times late last year that the company does not always require incentives to move into large metro areas. But the company needs the tax incentives here because it is putting one of its large facilities in El Paso, which will be one of the chain’s smaller markets, he said. Also, the tax rebates will help the company to open the El Paso facility sooner than it had previously planned, Shor said.

Wallace said Topgolf operates 28 locations in the United States and three in the United Kingdom.

The El Paso facility will employ about 500 people, Wallace said. Hiring will begin about two months before the El Paso location’s opening date, she said.

Bogas, the Montecillo development official, said in an email that Topgolf further boosts Montecillo’s “mission of being the premiere entertainment, retail and residential destination for El Paso.”

The first Alamo Drafthouse Cinema opened in Montecillo last year. The development also has restaurants, hundreds of apartments, and single-family homes under construction. It eventually is set to have about 4,500 residences of various types.

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Vic Kolenc may be reached at 546-6421;; @vickolenc on Twitter.