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Featured, from left: Jorge Correa, Rio Grande Valley Area Director for Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers; Letty Rodríguez, Escrow Officer/Public Relations/Sales Representative, Edwards Abstract and Title Co., and a member of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Elva Jackson Garza, Vice President and Marketing Manager, Edwards Abstract and Title Co., and Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Mayor Richard Molina; Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, who also serves as President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; and Elijah Edwards, Edinburg General Manager, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers. The elected officials and business leaders are shown here during the grand opening of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, located at 718 W. University Drive, on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. Seventy-eight employees – with about half of them enrolled as students at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley – were hired as a result of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers establishing their first restaurant in Edinburg. Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is a fast-food restaurant chain specializing in chicken fingers and which is known for active community involvement. It was founded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana by Todd Graves and Craig Silvey on August 26, 1996.

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

Area leaders, Edinburg residents and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley community may soon receive a major public update on the $5.4+ million Edinburg Transit Terminal under construction, which is being built at 617 W. University Drive between 6th and 7th streets, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. Tom Logan, Director of Valley Metro, said that initial plans call for a presentation to be made about the Edinburg Transit Terminal during the Tuesday, December 19, 2017 public meeting of the Edinburg City Council at Edinburg City Hall. “Everything is still on schedule,” Logan said. “We are excited. It will definitely improve the quality of life in Edinburg. It will create a transportation hub for the city along with synergy (teamwork) with other components  that can come into play there.” The promising future for the community officially began on Thursday, May 11, 2017, with the groundbreaking of the multi-million dollar Edinburg Transit Terminal, said City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, who also serves as President, Board of Directors for the Edinburg EDC. “The 15,000-square-foot, two-story complex, located on a 1.acre tract donated by the Edinburg EDC, will serve as a home for Valley Metro, which is the publicly-owned bus service for deep South Texas that is administered and operated by the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council,” said Enríquez. “One of the many key needs the Edinburg Transit Terminal will fulfill when it opens for business in 2018 will be to help improve vital transportation services  into and near the city’s downtown during the work week.” The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of Mayor Richard Molina, Mayor Pro-Tem David Torres, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr., Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, and Councilmember Jorge Salinas. In addition to Enríquez, the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Dr. Noé Sauceda as Members.

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Area leaders, Edinburg residents and the UTRGV community  may soon receive a major public update on the $5.4+ million transit terminal under construction, announces Edinburg EDC

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com 

Area leaders, Edinburg residents and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley community may soon receive a major public update on the $5.4+ million Edinburg Transit Terminal under construction, which is being built at 617 W. University Drive between 6th and 7th streets, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.

Tom Logan, Director of Valley Metro, said that initial plans call for a presentation to be made about the Edinburg Transit Terminal during the Tuesday, December 19, 2017 public meeting of the Edinburg City Council at Edinburg City Hall.

“Everything is still on schedule,” Logan said. “We are excited. It will definitely improve the quality of life in Edinburg. It will create a transportation hub for the city along with synergy (teamwork) with other components  that can come into play there.”

The promising future for the community officially began on Thursday, May 11, 2017, with the groundbreaking of the multi-million dollar Edinburg Transit Terminal, said City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, who also serves as President, Board of Directors of the Edinburg EDC.

“The 15,000-square-foot, two-story complex, located on a 1.2 acre tract donated by the Edinburg EDC, will serve as a home for Valley Metro, which is the publicly-owned bus service for deep South Texas that is administered and operated by the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council,” said Enríquez. “One of the many key needs the Edinburg Transit Terminal will fulfill when it opens for business in 2018 will be to help improve vital transportation services into and near the city’s downtown during the work week.”

The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of Mayor Richard Molina, Mayor Pro-Tem David Torres, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr., Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, and Councilmember Jorge Salinas.

In addition to Enríquez, the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Dr. Noé Sauceda as Members.

Downtown Edinburg features the Hidalgo County Courthouse, with plans now underway, according to the Monitor newspaper in McAllen, by the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court to build a new courthouse, currently estimated to cost around $141 million, next to the existing courthouse. (View Article Here)

Within five blocks west of the the current courthouse and planned new courthouse are three other major generators of motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic, commerce and business: Edinburg City Hall, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and a dozens of large-, medium-, and small-retail businesses, restaurants and offices along West University Drive.

The public investment for the city-owned Edinburg Transit Terminal is more than $5.4 million, mostly from two federal grants, but that figure also includes the value of the site, appraised at $750,000, which was donated by the Edinburg EDC.

Then-Councilmember Richard Molina, who was elected Mayor on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, and
Councilmember David Torres, who is now Mayor Pro Tem, addressed other key aspects of the transit terminal following the May 11, 2017 traditional placing of shovels into the dirt during the groundbreaking of the transportation complex.

When the city’s strategies for securing outside funding for the Edinburg Transit Terminal were emerging, Molina represented the Mayor and Edinburg City Council on the governing board of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council, also known as the Council of Governments.

The LRGVDC is a voluntary association of local governments formed under Texas Law in 1967 as one of Texas’ 24 regional Council of Governments (COG’s) serving Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy County.

In that capacity, Molina helped rally political support from elected leaders from neighboring cities to endorse the request from Edinburg for the needed federal funds from the Federal Transit Administration to pay for the local transit complex.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) provides financial and technical assistance to local public transit systems, including buses, subways, light rail, commuter rail, trolleys and ferries. FTA also oversees safety measures and helps develop next-generation technology research.

“I do want to give credit to the region, because we had to go out and lobby votes on the LRGVDC to make this happen,” Molina said of the organization’s 26 members. “I want to thank many of those individuals for siding with Edinburg to make all this happen, and get the funding to see this project to fruition. If we can’t get our region to support us, this won’t happen.”

Ron Garza, Executive Director, Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council, applauded the work of the Edinburg Mayor and the Edinburg City Council on the project.

“I just want to thank everybody for the support, for the partnership, and obviously, the mayor for your hard work and leadership,” Garza said during the May 11, 2017 groundbreaking for the transit terminal. “Councilmember Richard Molina was part of our COG (Council of Governments) executive board when a lot of the early decisions were made, so I want to thank you for your leadership at that point with the COG board.”

Garza added that from his perspective, “so much has been done correctly here, in terms of planning. Many times, we don’t look at things and use the term ‘state-of-the-art’ with public transportation. But this is going to be such a unique facility that it will absolutely be state-of-the-art to house public transportation, which is such a vital resource for citizens, and I appreciate that.”

For his part, Torres, a former longtime Edinburg school board member, pointed out how the Edinburg Transit Terminal will benefit education and the scores of university students who come from outside the city to attend UTRGV and its School of Medicine.

“Public transportation works best when you have a critical mass of people, and by having all these university students as a critical mass of people coming to UTRGV, now, because of the Edinburg Transit Terminal, it will be easy for all students to make trips from UTRGV to other locations, in or outside of our city, and come back to campus, without having to get into a car,” Torres said.

Valley Metro provides a much-needed service to the population of the region, particularly the elderly, disabled, students, veterans, and the economically disadvantaged.

For many UTRGV students, the Edinburg Transit Terminal will be a Godsend to them as well.

“They are just starting out in life. It is very expensive to have a car,” Torres said. “It is going to open up educational opportunities for young people though out the Rio Grande Valley.”

Andrés Mata, Jr. Associate AIA, Project Manager, Negrete & Kolar Architects, LLP, provided the following synopsis of the Edinburg Transit Terminal:

A new building facility and site development to include spaces for the Edinburg EDC Offices, various lease spaces and the Edinburg Transit Terminal, located at the northwest intersection of U.S. Highway 107 (University Drive) and Sixth Street in Edinburg.

The two-story edifice contains approximately 15,000 square feet and sits on a 1.2 acre site; consisting of the (Edinburg Transit Terminal) with six bus stops, vehicular drop-off circulation, and outdoor gathering plaza; ground floor lease spaces; and second floor Edinburg EDC offices with monumental stair entry and outdoor roof gathering space overlooking the existing McIntyre Promenade.

Situated along University Drive and the McIntyre Promenade equidistant between the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Edinburg City Hall, the new Edinburg Transit Terminal will compliment both facilities, yet retain its own modern and unique aesthetic to become a focal and gathering point for the city.

The fully accessible site will contain continuous brick pavers to connect with the promenade, a public plaza with shade canopies at each bus stop, outdoor bench seating, landscaped areas, lighting with modern signage, and a public art display.

The structure consists of large volumes of earth-tone masonry, low-e glass, and exposed steel to convey a feeling of airy openness befitting a modern transportation hub.

The 1,600 square-foot state-of-the-art Transit Terminal, with comfortable and modern seating for almost 60 passengers, will maintain up-to-date digital signage throughout the facility and at all bus stop canopies.

The site will also contain a total of approximately 4,300 square-feet of ground floor lease spaces – facing both University Drive and the McIntyre Promenade. A 7,600 square-foot second story, including an ‘office bridge’ and outdoor roof terrace will house the Edinburg EDC offices.

The contemporary offices will be accessed via a monumental stair (or elevator) with decorative fountain and articulated lighting. Inside, the clean and modern finishes will provide a progressive environment for business and entertainment while overlooking the promenade through the north facing windows.

The entire facility is protected by a digital fire alarm with sprinkler system and is energy and environmentally conscious with its thermal and moisture protection, waste, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.

The innovative Edinburg Transit Terminal will be the principal landmark point to gather, depart, and arrive into the City of Edinburg for generations to come.

Key background about the architectural firm and non-governmental individuals involved with Negrete & Kolar Architects, LLP to design and build the Edinburg Transit Terminal follow:

Project Architect: David Negrete, AIA
Project Manager(s): Bruce W. Menke, Andrés L. Mata, Jr., Associate AIA;
Project Consultants, Structural: Miguel Chanin, PE; Chanin Engineering, LLC
Project Consultants, Mechanical/Plumbing: René Olivares, PE; RO Engineering, LLC Electrical: Jose Antonio Nicanor, PE; Sigma HN Engineers, PLLC
Project Consultants, Civil: Carlos Garza, PE; AEC Engineering, LLC
Project Consultants, Landscape: Jan Giles, PLA; Coleman & Associates; Negrete & Kolar Architects, LLP:

Relevant projects by Negrete and Kollar McAllen include ‘La Central’ Intermodal Transit Terminal, City of Edinburg World Birding Center, City of Edinburg Professional Baseball Stadium, City of Edinburg Police Station and Public Safety Building, Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District Central Administration Building & Complex; University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Marialice Shary-Shivers Building Renovation, and UTRGV Performing Arts (Buildings A & B) Complex Renovations.

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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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