Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Catching them in a lie?

We have heard repeatedly from the advocates of the Wallace Bajjali-Downtown Amarillo Inc. approach to revitalizing downtown that the ballpark is key to a full range of development, including being the deal breaker on a new building for Xcel Energy. The PR firm shilling for the Opus Group and Xcel announced this afternoon that contractors have are commencing construction of the 119,000-square-foot building. This means one of two things.

Either a secret deal exists to build the Wallace Bajjali-Downtown Amarillo Inc. ball park despite Amarillovoters clearly demanding more transparency and not proceeding on the park without the new CityCouncil considering the project further.

Or, all the talk about the ball park being the lynchpin is not and has not been true all along.

Neither of those “either-or” statements reflect honesty from the previous council. And this also reflects the wisdom of the voters to shift the power a City Hall. Mayor Paul Harpole and Councilor Brian Eades owe us the truth. Maybe the will tell us at the big public forum July 1. But I doubt they will.

Here is the entire release:

The Opus Group® Announces Start of Construction on
Build-to-Suit Headquarters for Xcel Energy in Texas

AMARILLO, Texas (June 25, 2015) – The Opus Group

 (Opus) announced today the start of construction on the new 119,000-square-foot build-to-suit headquarters in downtown Amarillo, Texas, for Xcel Energy, the development’s anchor tenant.

“We’re thrilled to have earned more business with Xcel Energy,” said Phil Cattanach, director, real estate development, Opus Development Company, L.L.C. “Our early commitment to price and certainty of outcome provided Xcel Energy the confidence to select Opus for their new office headquarters in Amarillo. This project is a testament to how Opus’ unique design-build platform provides excellent turnkey service for clients throughout the country.”

Located one block southwest of Amarillo City Hallon South Buchanan Street, the seven-story office building will be able to accommodate up to 525 employees, providing space for future growth for Xcel Energy’s downtown employee base. The development will also feature 5,000 square feet of ground-level retail space. The building is designed to achieve LEED certification and will feature an architectural precast and glass exterior with interior LED lighting, energy efficient HVAC systems and structured parking.

“Xcel Energy is in a period of historic growth across its Texas-New Mexico service area, and most of the work is being directed from our downtown Amarillooffices,” said David Hudson, president of Southwestern Public Service Company, an Xcel Energy company. “The new building will provide us a more efficient workspace and will be a valuable tool in recruiting our future workforce as a growing number of employees move toward retirement.”

Demolition is currently underway and construction is scheduled for completion in March 2017. Opus Development Company, L.L.C. is the developer, Opus Design Build, L.L.C is the design builder and Opus AE Group, L.L.C. is the architect and structural engineer of record.

Opus’ ongoing work with Xcel Energy includes a 222,000-square-foot build-to-suit office building

 to expand Xcel Energy’s corporate headquarters campus in downtown Minneapolis. Construction on this project began in 2014 and is slated for completion in July 2016.

About The Opus Group
The Opus Group® is a family of commercial real estate development, construction and design companies headquartered in Minneapoliswith offices and projects across the country. Opus operates as an integrated, multidisciplinary team with expertise in development, capital markets and finance; project management and construction; architecture, engineering and interior design. The Opus Group includes Opus Holding, L.L.C. and its operating subsidiaries: Opus Development Company, L.L.C., Opus Design Build, L.L.C. and Opus AE Group, L.L.C. Specializing in healthcare, residential, office, institutional, industrial and retail projects, The Opus Group has broad capabilities, deep experience and a proven design-build model that delivers solutions for customers on time and on budget. For more information, visit

 and follow @TheOpusGroup
 on Twitter.