This part of town contains some of the city’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods. Located in the heart of the city, it is home to approximately 130,000 people. Development of the area started in 1827 with the first resident, Juan Maria Ponce de Leon, a wealthy merchant from Paso del Norte (present day Ciudad Juárez), who built the region’s first structure establishing Rancho Ponce within the vicinity of S. El Paso Street and Paisano Dr. when the city was barely beginning to gain its roots. Today, central El Paso has grown into the center of the city’s economy and a thriving urban community. It contains numerous historic sites and landmarks mostly in the Sunset Heights district. It is close to the El Paso International Airport, the international border, and Fort Bliss. It is part of the El Paso Independent School District.
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