El Portal shopping area hearing aftermath

Different parties have different opinions.

The El Portal hearing in Laredo's 111th District Court.

A court hearing that began Friday is a deciding turning point for a plan to build a new shopping outlet in downtown Laredo.

The El Portal shopping area has been shuttered for years, and the companies that own a stake in the property are arguing how to dissolve their partnership. Horizon El Portal, the majority stakeholder, wants to end their partnership as soon as possible with Morgan Stearn Realty Holdings.

It's kind of like getting dragged into a divorce proceeding,” said Carlos Villarreal, Laredo City Manager, who was called as a witness for the hearing. “Our intent is we want to keep this moving in the right direction.”

Villarreal supports a plan to replace the property occuped by El Portal, to being in shopping options to Laredo’s downtown. An attorney representing Horizon El Portal said the firm may contribute $80 to 90 million in investment.


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