Northeast El Paso
By Maria Cortés
El Paso Times
Once a self-proclaimed stepchild of El Paso, Northeast has grown up to be an enthusiastic family member, proud of its contributions to the city and looking forward to future growth and development.
“We’ve really come a long way. The police have really helped to clean it up. And we have the beautiful mountains we can view,” said Shawn Grew, a 21-year-old Northeast resident.
Northeast El Paso has been recognized for its postcard-view of the mountains, its strong ties to the military and its unique attractions including Cohen Stadium, home of the minor league El Paso Diablos, and the Wilderness Museum, which offers a close up look of desert life.
It has also struggled to overcome an image of being a community with crime problems. But thanks to the dedication of concerned residents who teamed up with neighbors and police to promote the community and reduce crime, the Northeast is now becoming a model for rest of the city.
Fort Bliss brings many families to the area for a short stay at first. But many eventually come back to settle in Northeast El Paso. Along with a strong military retiree community, the Northeast can boast of a diverse ethnic mix including Hispanics, Germans, Asians and African-Americans.
Among the biggest sources of pride for all Northeast residents is the natural wildflowers that pop up in the spring on the mountain slopes. A blanket of golden poppies covers the grounds around the Wilderness Park Museum on Trans Mountain Road. The popular museum offers information on El Paso’s natural history tracing back to the Ice Age.
“Last year we had about 35,000 people come to the museum,” said Luz Elda Sanchez, a museum clerk.
Northeast El Paso still has struggles with encouraging business growth. Residents’ biggest complaint is having to drive 20 minutes to a mall. The two main shopping centers, Northgate Center and Sunrise Center, don’t offer big-name anchor stores.
Large developers have been reluctant to build in Northeast because they see the expanding East Side as a better venue for revenue. However, most city officials say that the Northeast continues to grow and would be an excellent investment. New neighborhoods like North Hills are attracting young families looking for affordable housing.