Urban Design Study
The City of Douglas is working on a strategy to revitalize downtown to realize the benefits associated with future changes to our border crossing. The Two-Port Solution will redirect commercial border crossings to a new facility and modernize the existing Raul H. Castro Port of Entry. Among multiple project benefits, the existing Raul Castro port will support a safer and more comfortable pedestrian and vehicular experiences while the new commercial port located five miles outside of downtown will help safely and efficiently move commercial traffic.
The City in collaboration with the United States General Services Administration (GSA) and United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), facilitated community and stakeholder visioning, engagement and action planning to rethink development opportunities in downtown Douglas that can support the following long term goals:
- Attract infill housing and other amenities to downtown Douglas
- Increase tourism-based activities, destinations, economic development and foot-traffic in downtown
- Cultivate a safer and more enjoyable walking and biking experience in downtown
This effort will help City of Douglas develop a longer term plan for revitalization in downtown.
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The Raul H. Castro Land Port of Entry (LPOE), located in Douglas, Arizona, is a critical facility for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) mission in southern Arizona. Originally built in 1933 and expanded in 1993, the 4.8 acre facility needs further expansion and modernization to meet CBP’s 30 year mission requirements. The commercial vehicle inspection compound is undersized, causing congestion and unsafe conditions. Furthermore, northbound pedestrians currently cross the path of northbound commercial trucks, posing a further safety hazard for pedestrians.
A GSA feasibility study completed in November 2019 found that the commercial operations should be relocated to a stand-alone commercial inspection facility. The City of Douglas offered to donate an 80 acre site four miles west of the existing LPOE to the federal government, and the study confirmed its suitability for the new Douglas Commercial LPOE.
GSA is preparing the construction project for the commercial LPOE and modernization of the Raul H. Castro facility after securing funding for both ports in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. While the project will resolve traffic and safety concerns, moving commercial border crossings out of downtown may have negative impacts within the city’s central business area if businesses affiliated with industrial or commercial interests follow the new port. GSA also wants to ensure the local community can both support the utility and broadband needs of the new commercial port facility, as well as supply enough retail, housing, and hospitality infrastructure for a major construction project.
GSA partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Community Revitalization to provide technical planning assistance to the City of Douglas to develop strategies to leverage the short- and long-term economic activity generated by the LPOE project and maximize the value of the federal investment for both the local community and the government. GSA’s intention is that the technical assistance and subsequent strategies developed by local officials and stakeholders will be mutually supportive of the operations of the City of Douglas, the LPOE and its employees, the federal construction and modernization activities, and the population of people who cross the border at Douglas.
This place-based assistance will help EPA, GSA, and the local government demonstrate how a coordinated approach to economic development and infrastructure planning can enhance quality of life for residents and visitors, and put public investment to its best and highest use.
For more information, contact Damian Dorame, Economic Development/CMO Project Coordinator, at (520) 417-7308.
For more information on the Two-Port Solution click here
To see timelines on the progress of the Two-Port Solution Project see:
For information on Downtown Revitalization click here