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Featured: An interior view of a Bob’s Steak & Chop House, the Dallas-based steakhouse system which has a presence in San Francisco, Tuscon, Nashville, and numerous other locations, and soon, in New York City and Edinburg. Bob’s unique atmosphere combines the old world elegance of rich mahogany booths, a polished bar and white, crisp table linens with modern, business casual attire. Celebrated by a loyal, repeat clientele, as well as new customers seeking more than just a restaurant, the highly-rated steakhouse, which will open locally in 2017, received a building permit from Edinburg’s Code Enforcement Department for the most valuable construction project in August 2016, worth $2.5 million.

Image Courtesy BOB’S STEAK & CHOP HOUSE

Construction and related building activities in Edinburg from January through August 2016 have passed the $166 million level, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has reported, with the month of August 2016 accounting for more than $13.8 million of that amount. The top construction projects in Edinburg for August 2016, not including the value of the land, are: $2,500,000 – First Hartford Realty Corp., 613 E. Trenton Road, The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley Subdivision; $300,000 – Jacob & Jonathan Innovative Construction, 2302 Holland Avenue, Jackson Heights Subdivision; $289,000 – Timoteo Salinas, 4919 June Drive, Summerfield Manor Subdivision; $288,147 – Juan G. Soto, 707 Casa Vieja Street, Tierra Divina Estates Subdivision; and $275,000 – Israel Mata, 1131 N. Monmack Road, Monmack Terrace #2 Subdivision.First Hartford Realty Corp.’s building permit for work value at $2.5 million is for the construction of a 9,000 square-foot Bob’s Steak & Chop House, which will serve as the featured anchor of a 25,000 square-foot restaurants plaza at The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley. The ground breaking ceremony for First Hartford’s Bob’s Steak & Chop House is tentatively set for Tuesday, October 18, 2016, with the grand opening set for Spring 2017, said Peter Higgins, Vice President/Director of Leasing for Leasing at First Hartford Corporation. The Edinburg EDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García and Agustín García, Jr., are not related.

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Edinburg construction passes $166 million from January through August 2016, with $2.5 million Bob’s Steak & Chop House the most valuable structure issued a building permit that month

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

Construction and related building activities in Edinburg from January through August 2016 have passed the $166 million level, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has reported, with the month of August 2016 accounting for more than $13.8 million of that amount.

The Edinburg EDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.

The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members.

Mayor Richard García and Agustín García, Jr., are not related.

Combined, building permits from January through August 2016 were issued for work valued at $166,259,480 compared with $85,815,374 for the same eight months in 2015.

During August 2016, building permits for work valued at $13,833,469 were issued by the city, compared with $7,260,690 in August 2015.

In general, a building permit is legal permission given by the City of Edinburg, through the Code Enforcement Department, to erect, construct, renovate, maintain, or conduct any other specified activity on any building or structure, or on any installations or facilities therein. The term “building permit” includes but is not limited to building permits, electrical permits, mechanical permits, and plumbing permits.

The top construction projects in Edinburg for August 2016, not including the value of the land, are:

$2,500,000 – First Hartford Realty Corp., 613 E. Trenton Road, The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley Subdivision;
$300,000 – Jacob & Jonathan Innovative Construction, 2302 Holland Avenue, Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$289,000 – Timoteo Salinas, 4919 June Drive, Summerfield Manor Subdivision;
$288,147 – Juan G. Soto, 707 Casa Vieja Street, Tierra Divina Estates Subdivision; and
$275,000 – Israel Mata, 1131 N. Monmack Road, Monmack Terrace #2 Subdivision.

First Hartford Realty Corp.’s building permit for work value at $2.5 million is for the construction of a 9,000 square-foot Bob’s Steak & Chop House, which will serve as the featured anchor of a 25,000 square-foot restaurant plaza at The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley.

The ground breaking ceremony for First Hartford’s Bob’s Steak & Chop House is tentatively set for Tuesday, October 18, 2016, with the grand opening set for Spring 2017, said Peter Higgins, Vice President/Director of Leasing at First Hartford Corporation

The yet-unnamed 25,000 square-foot plaza will have four other dining establishments in addition to Bob’s Steak & Chop House, which a nationally-ranked restaurant system that has a presence in: Amelia Island, Florida; Austin; Carlsbad, California; Dallas Lamar; Dallas Lemmon; Ft. Worth; Grapevine; Nashville, Tennessee; Plano; San Antonio; San Francisco; The Woodlands, Tucson, and coming soon to New York City.

A posting by The Shops at Legacy in Plano, which is one of the sites for Bob’s Steak & Chop House, offers this summary of the restaurant:

Bob’s Steak & Chop House is ranked as one of the top steakhouses in the country for a reason. The minute you enter Bob’s, you will encounter the finest service, prime aged beef and fresh seafood; a dining experience like no other. In fact, Bob’s unique atmosphere, combines the old world elegance of rich mahogany booths, a polished bar and white, crisp table linens with modern, business casual attire. Celebrated by a loyal, repeat clientele, as well as new customers seeking more than just a restaurant, Bob’s is a place they can call home. The clubby atmosphere is understated sophisticated, and lends itself to a variety of dining situations, from business meals to friends and family gatherings. From great food to the attentive and seasoned wait staff, Bob’s is sure to be a dining experienced unmatched.

According to First Hartford Realty Corp.’s website, the Manchester, Connecticut-based corporation has several properties that are under development and a modest portfolio that has been operating successfully for decades. In the development area, The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg is its largest project. The Shoppes currently has 450,000 square feet occupied with plans to expand to over one million square feet.

The top categories in Edinburg year-to-date (January through August 2o16), totaling $166,259,480, were:

$58,794,076 – Multi-Family Residences New Construction;
$41,813,670– Single-Family Residences New Construction;
$32,589,085 – Commercial New Construction;
$23,115,933 – Commercial Alterations;
$5,015,021 – Non-Taxable Alterations (government, religious, but not including the value of construction activities at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley or its School of Medicine);
$3,903,295 – Residential Alterations; and
$1,028,400 – Non-Taxable New (government, religious, but not including the value of construction activities at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley or its School of Medicine.)

The top categories in Edinburg during August 2016, totaling $13,833,469, were:

$7,854,787 – Single-Family Residences New Construction;
$2,780,000 – Commercial New Construction;
$2,102,016 – Multi-Family Residences New Construction;
$592,129 – Commercial Alterations;
$489,537 – Residential Alterations;
$15,000 – Non-Taxable Alterations (government, religious, but not including the value of construction activities at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley or its School of Medicine); and
$0 – Non-Taxable New (government, religious, but not including the value of construction activities at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley or its School of Medicine).

The top categories in Edinburg from January through August 2015, totaling $85,815,374, were:

$31,221,922 – Single-Family Residences New Construction;
$22,098,905 – Non-Taxable Alterations (government, religious, but not including the value of construction activities at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley or its School of Medicine);
$12,633,728 – Commercial New Construction;
$10,453,135 – Commercial Alterations;
$5,029,356 – Multi-Family Residences New Construction;
$4,378,328 – Residential Alterations; and
$0 – Non-Taxable New (government, religious, but not including the value of construction activities at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley or its School of Medicine).

The top categories in Edinburg during August 2015, totaling $7,260,690, were:

$5,825,640 – Single-Family Residences New Construction;
$461,917 – Residential Alterations;
$441,850 – Commercial Alterations;
$375,000 – Commercial New Construction;
$120,000 – Multi-Family Residences New Construction;
$36,283 – Non-Taxable Alterations (government, religious, but not including the value of construction activities at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley or its School of Medicine); and
$0 – Non-Taxable New (government, religious, but not including the value of construction activities at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley or its School of Medicine).

Also according to the city’s Code Enforcement Department, 55 single-family residences were approved for construction in August 2016, compared with 41 single-family residences during the same month in 2015.

Year-to-date (January through August 2016), building permits were issued for 312 single-family residences, valued at $41,813,670, compared with 223 single family residences, valued at $31,221,922 from January through August 2015.

For the month of August 2016, building permits were issued for 61 additions/remodels of single-family residences, valued at $489,537, compared with 57, valued at $461,917, in August 2015.

Year-to-date (January through August 2016), building permits were issued for 492 additions/remodels of single-family residences, valued at $3,903,295, compared with 404 additions/remodels of single family residences, valued at $4,378,328, from January through August 2015.

Multi-family residences – which range from two-unit duplexes to complexes of five or more units – totaled 19 buildings, representing 40 units, valued at $2,102,016, approved for construction in August 2016, compared with two multi-family residences, representing four units, valued at $120,000, in August 2015.

Year-to-date (January through August 2016), building permits were issued for 191 multi-family residences, representing 850 units, valued at $58,794,076, compared with 32 multi-family residences, representing 67 units, valued at $5,029,356, from January through August 2015.

UT RIO GRANDE VALLEY RELEASES FALL 2016 ENROLLMENT STATISTICS

The ongoing growth of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, with its major campus in Edinburg, contributes to the construction activities in Edinburg.

On Monday, September 20, 2016, UTRGV officials released the latest data on student enrollment at the Valleywide university system, which also includes the School of Medicine at the Edinburg campus.

Although the data does not break down the enrollment by campuses, the Edinburg campus is the largest in enrollment, followed by the Brownsville campus. UTRGV also has campuses or sites in Rio Grande City, Harlingen, McAllen, and South Padre Island.

According to UTRGV officials, the Fall 2016 headcount enrollment reached 27,551, highlighted by one of the top freshman classes in the state.

The enrollment decreased by 1,105 students (3.9 percent) from last year, but UTRGV President Guy Bailey said the change was expected. The lower enrollment, he said, is largely a result of the more than 10,000 students who graduated from UTRGV and the legacy institutions the past two years.

“Rather than try to make up for that large number by manipulating our admission requirements, we have adhered closely to the standards approved by the Board of Regents when UTRGV was being formed,” Bailey said. “Adhering to those standards has lowered our enrollment, but in the end, the number of students we graduate is more important than the number of students we enroll.”

As a result, UTRGV welcomes a particularly strong entering freshman class, one that Bailey said most universities in Texas would envy. Distinctions include:

• One of five entering freshmen graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class;
• More than 50 percent graduated in the top 25 percent; and
• The class also includes 13 percent more valedictorians and salutatorians compared to last year.

“Perhaps more importantly, we have been able to attract such an impressive freshman class without compromising access for students with financial need,” Bailey said. “As in past years, about two-thirds of the class is Pell eligible.”

Initial results regarding student success at UTRGV are also very encouraging.

Preliminary freshman-sophomore retention rates for first-time full-time freshmen are at 80.0 percent, above last year’s state (72.4 percent) and national averages (78.6 percent), and six percentage points higher than the legacy institutions. These retention rates would have been the third-highest in the UT System last year behind UT Austin and UT Dallas, two institutions with significantly higher admission standards.

In addition, this year’s enrollment includes 272 more transfer students from last year, an increase of 26 percent.

Also, the percentage of UTRGV students enrolled in 15 or more credit hours has grown dramatically this year, increasing from 24.3 percent to 32.5 percent.

“What this means is that one-third of our students are on a pathway that can lead to graduation in four years,” Bailey said. “It also means that, while our enrollment is down, our undergraduate student credit hours are actually up by more than 4,000 credit hours.

“It is clear that our new tuition plan, which guarantees rates for four years and caps tuition at 12 credit hours, is working just as we hoped it would.”

AUGUST 2016 CITY BUILDING PERMITS, $100,000 AND HIGHER

Single-Family Residences New Construction

For August 2016, there were 55 single-family residences issued building permits by the city.

The building permits, which do not include the price of the lot, ranged from $5,000 to $300,000, and represented a total value of $7,854,787.

Of the 55 single-family residences for which building permits were issued, 38 of them were for construction each valued at $100,000 or higher.

The $100,000+ building permits follow by value of the construction, name of the owner(s,), address, and subdivision. The permits do not include the value of the lot.

$300,000 – Jacob and Jonathan Innovative Construction, 2302 Holland Ave., Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$289,000 – Timoteo Salinas, 4919 June Dr., Summerfield Manor Subdivision;
$288,147 – Juan G. Soto, 706 Casa Vieja St., Tierra Divina Estates;
$268,000 – Ricardo Celedón, 3022 Sophia Ave., Canton Terrace Subdivision;
$250,000 – Rosana Riojas, 4902 June Dr., Summerfield Manor Subdivision;
$250,000 – Jacob and Jonathan Innovative Construction, 2306 Holland Ave., Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$240,000 – Jaison Vennatt, 2416 W. Wisconsin, A.J. McColl Subdivision;
$225,000 – Abraham Ali, 1901 Cascade Ave., Madison Park Ph. 1 Subdivision;
$225,000 – Alpha Construction, 205 Teak Dr., West Oaks Subdivision;
$220,000 – Natalia Álvarez, 2502 Elbrus Ave., Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$205,000 – Lord I. González, 1403 July Dr., Summerfield Manor Subdivision;
$201,000 – Dream Homes By J&J Construction Co., 2501 Holland Ave., Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$200,000 – Infinity Custom Construction, LLC., 4812 Juno Dr., Summerfield Manor Subdivision;
$200,000 – Lord I. González, 2308 McLeod Ave., Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$195,000 – Dream Homes by J&J Construction Co., 3419 Macquarie Dr., Los Lagos Ph. II Subdivision;
$180,000 – Patel Vallabhai Saravatiben, 4810 August Dr., Summerfield Manor Subdivision;
$177,000 – Lord I. González, 4818 August Dr., Summerfield Manor Subdivision;
$172,900 – Ramiro L. Gómez, 2013 Glendale, Emerald Pointe Estates Subdivision;
$172,000 – Lord I. González, 1407 July Dr., Summerfield Manor Subdivision;
$168,500 – Aguillon Family Foundation, 2505 Holland Ave., Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$168,500 – Aguillon Family Foundation, 2403 Holland Ave., Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$158,400 – Aguillon Family Foundation, 2211 McLeod Ave., Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$150,000 – Rocass Homes, 5108 Juno Ct., Summerset Estates Subdivision;
$150,000 – Raymundo Carrisales, 3011 London Dr., Camden Village Subdivision;
$150,000 – Roy Rodríguez, 3314 Lerma Dr., Salva Tierra Subdivision;
$150,000 – Raymundo Carrisales, 3338 Midlands Cir., The Midlands Subdivision;
$150,000 – Dynasty Custom Homes, 1106 Maravilla, Summerset Estates Subdivision;
$146,400 – Aguillon Family Foundation, 2311McLeod Ave., Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$140,000 – Randy De León, 3608 Clubhouse Dr., Monte Cristo Golf and Country Club Subdivision;
$130,000 – Roel Falcón, 2215 Radiant Ln. Regal Vista Subdivision;
$123,760 – McKenny Glenn, Inc., 2513 McLeod Ave., Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$120,000 – Carlos Galván, 1330 Shania Twain Dr., Chapins Corners Subdivision;
$120,000 – Mesquite Homes, LLC, 2516 Vancouver Ave., Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$120,000 – Duo Financial Services, Inc., 921 Casa Blanca Dr., Tierra Santa Estates Subdivision;
$110,000 – Dolcan Construction, 1901 Teal, Spring Valley Phase II Subdivision;
$100,000 – Ademir Landaverde, 5123 Shalom Dr., Tierra Santa Estates Subdivision;
$100,000 – Erika and Louis George, 2407 Vancouver Ave., Jackson Heights Subdivision; and
$100,000 – Elizabeth Galván, 2216 Supreme Dr., Regal Vista Estates Subdivision.

Commercial New Construction

For August 2016, three permits were issued for new construction of commercial facilities, for a value totaling $2,780,000.

Two of those projects were valued at $100,000 or higher.

The $100,000+ building permits follow by value of the construction, name of the owners, address, and subdivision. The permits do not include the value of the lot.

$2,500,000 – First Hartford Realty Corp., 613 E. Trenton Rd., The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley, Ph. 1 Subdivision; and
$250,000 – CTC Asset-Adobe, 503 W. Owassa Rd., Kelly Pharr Subdivision.

Multi-Family Residences New Construction

For August 2016, building permits were issued for 11 multi-family residences new construction, with 10 of those projects valued at $100,000 or higher (not including the price of the lot).

Work on those new facilities represented a combined value of $2,102,016 for that month.

That building permits for the 10 structures valued at $100,000 0r higher follow by value of the construction, name of the owner, address, and subdivision:

$275,000 – Israel Mata, 1131 N. Monmack Rd., Monmack Terrace #2 Subdivision;
$262,508 – M&T LLC, 114 Teak Dr., West Oak Subdivision;
$262,508 – RR Platinum Investments, LLC, 110 Teak Dr., White Oak Subdivision;
$252,000 – Beatriz Domínguez, 301 W. Van Week St., Edinburg Original Townsite Subdivision;
$200,000 – Cave Investments, 1302 Quitaca Dr., Paseo Del Paisano Subdivision;
$200,000 – Hiram Ortega, 1303 Bodark, West Oaks Subdivision;
$190,000 – Merlin García Santos, 1311 Bodark Dr., West Oak Subdivision;
$180,000 – Aldo Quintanilla, 2708 Primrose, McColl Manor Subdivision;
$150,000 – Solomon Projects, LLC, 1202 Upas Dr., West Oaks Subdivision; and
$125,000 – Robert Córdova, 3202 Luz Divina, Tulipán Villas Subdivision.

Residential Additions/Repairs

For August 2016, there were no residential additions/repairs projects, valued at $100,000 or higher, issued a building permit by the city.

In all, there were 60 residential additions/repairs projects authorized for that month, ranging from $100 to $75,500, for a total value of $498,537.

Commercial Additions/Repairs

For August 2016, there were 29 commercial additions/repairs which were issued building permits by the city.

The building permits, which do not include the price of the lot, ranged from $175 to $199,580, and represented a total value of $592,129.

Of the 29 commercial additions/repairs for which building permits were issued, one was for construction valued at $100,000 or higher.

That $100,000+ building permit follows by value of the construction, name of the owner, address, and subdivision. The permit does not include the value of the lot.

$199,850 – Williams International Paper, 1501 N. Closner, Texas Mexican Railway Co. Survey Subdivision.

Non-Taxable New

For August 2016, there was no non-taxable new construction which was issued a building permit by the city. Two projects, both by the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District, were issued building permits for work each valued at $15,000.

Non-Taxable Additions/Repairs

For August 2016, there were no building permits issued for non-taxable additions/repairs.

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Patrick González contributed to this story. For more information on the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the City of Edinburg, please log on to http://edinburgedc.com or to http://www.facebook.com/edinburgedc

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