Featured, from left: Luis Martínez and Christopher Galicia with Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg join Juan Luis Mussenden, General Manager/Wine Director of Bob’s Steak & Chop House, as they perform some of their key administrative duties on Friday, May 19, 2017 at Grindstone Coworking, located at 506 W. University Drive. The multi-million dollar Bob’s Steak & Chop House is currently under construction at The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg.
Photograph By DANIEL RIVERA
Providing the resources needed by residents to successfully start and run a small business is one of the many services provided at no charge by the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. To that effect – both figuratively and literally – the Edinburg EDC and Grindstone Coworking of Edinburg have kicked off the second round of the Hive Effect, an entrepreneur development initiative aiming to help business from the Rio Grande Valley thrive. The Hive Effect is part of the Business Retention and Expansion Program of the Edinburg EDC, which is the jobs-creation of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. (http://edinburgedc.com/services-we-offer/) Applications are being accepted through June 1, 2017 that will offer 15 business owners the opportunity to grow their respective businesses through curriculum, coworking and mentorship. The application process is available online at: http://www.hiveeffect.com/apply. Coworking is generally defined as the use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge. Coworking, which is a cutting-edge approach for sole proprietors and small business owners, is one of the strategies being promoted by the Edinburg EDC to create more successful firms in the city. Even Harvard Business Review gives the concept two thumbs up in a September 2015 article titled “Why People Thrive in Coworking Spaces”. (https://hbr.org/2015/05/why-people-thrive-in-coworking-spaces) “We’re proud of what we accomplished with Hive Effect since its launch last September 2106,” said Daniel Rivera, Director of Grindstone Coworking and Hive Effect. “Our coursework, mentorship and implementation of the coworking concept have helped 10 entrepreneurs achieve great things for their respective businesses and we’re looking forward to introducing a new set of members to our growing community.” Gus García, the Executive Director for the Edinburg EDC, is a leading champion for the Hive Effect. “Small businesses are a staple to helping our economy thrive and with Hive Effect we can help entrepreneurs not only be successful but also contribute to the local economy.”
Featured: One of the more valuable public construction projects in Edinburg’s history took a major step forward in January 2017 with the issuance of a building permit, valued at $80 million, for the city-owned, 190,000 square foot Bert Ogden Arena, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The Bert Ogden Arena is being designed to host a variety of entertainment events, including sporting events such as basketball, concerts, family shows, and trade shows. Once completed, the total investment for the Bert Ogden Arena, a first-class indoor multi-purpose center being built at the corner of Interstate Highway 69-Central and Alberta Road in east Edinburg, will reach an estimated $88.3 million, and will serve as a major economic development engine for that region of the city.
Featured: An inside view of the Bert Ogden Arena, which will serve as the home for Rio Grande Valley Vipers professional basketball in Edinburg beginning in Fall 2017. Currently, the RGV Vipers play their home games at the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo. The RGV Vipers are affiliated with the NBA’s Houston Rockets. The facility will feature 8,500 fixed seats, which includes 1,200 club seats, 12 luxury suites, a restaurant/club area, locker rooms, offices for sports team personnel, and marquee signs by the expressway. The Bert Ogden Arena, which will have parking for 2,856 vehicles, is part of a 49.57 acre site with plans by a private investment group to build – next to or near the arena – nine pad sites that will add millions of dollars in value to that upscale commercial development. Those pad sites represent one million square feet of property for new businesses.
Illustrations Courtesy of VIPERS ARENA LLC
Featured, from left: Councilmember David Torres; Councilmember Richard Molina; Precinct 4 Hidalgo County Commissioner Joseph Palacios; Mayor Richard García; Precinct 1 Hidalgo County Commissioner A.C. Cuellar, Jr.; Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr.; Mayor Pro Tem J.R. Betancourt; and Precinct 3 Hidalgo County Commissioner Joe Flores. The elected leaders posed for a portrait on Monday, December 12, 2016 in the Council Chamber at Edinburg City Hall following approving an agreement between the City of Edinburg and Hidalgo County on a Memorandum of Understanding where Edinburg pledged to provide a maximum of $30 million, or 20 percent of the cost, whichever is less, towards the construction of a planned $150 million Hidalgo County Courthouse in downtown Edinburg, next to the existing courthouse.
Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR
As the calendar year approached its final weeks, a major step was taken by the City of Edinburg to help guarantee that a proposed $150 million Hidalgo County Courthouse will be built downtown, next to the existing courthouse, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The planned justice center will dramatically increase far-reaching economic growth and improve the quality-of-life for that region of the city, Edinburg and Hidalgo County elected leaders predict. With a unanimous vote by both the Edinburg City Council and the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court, the two governing entities on Monday, December 12, 2016 approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which memorialized the commitments made by the County of Hidalgo and the City of Edinburg for the new Hidalgo County Courthouse to remain in the historic heart of the city. According to U.S. legal.com, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) may be used as a confirmation of agreed upon terms when an oral agreement has not been reduced to a formal contract. It may also be a contract used to set forth the basic principles and guidelines under which the parties will work together to accomplish their goals. “We finally have come to an agreement with Hidalgo County to build a new courthouse. It has been long in the process,” Mayor Richard García told journalists following the approval of the MOU. “As one of our councilmembers mentioned during our meeting earlier today, we started on this in 2013. Here we are, 2017 is just a few days away, and we have finally ironed out a lot of the wrinkles.” In the coming months, city and county leaders plan to finalize the language and goals of the MOU into a more formal, legally-binding document, known as an interlocal agreement. In general, an interlocal agreement is a written contract between local government agencies such as a city, a county, a school board or a constitutional office. Any time a public service involves the joint operations and budgets of two or more local government agencies, an interlocal agreement must be drawn up and approved by all sides, with each government’s governing body – a school board, a city council, a county commission – enacting the agreement by vote. Prior to the approval of the MOU, key issues included making sure Edinburg’s financial commitment was acceptable to the county, and that Edinburg would not have to pay more than $30 million towards construction of the new courthouse, which could cost $150 million to build. The city’s contribution could be less than $30 million, if the price tag for the new courthouse comes in lower than $150 million. In that case, the City of Edinburg – along with the Edinburg EDC, which will cover half of the city’s contribution for the construction of the proposed new courthouse – would only have to pay 20 percent of the final price, according to the MOU. 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 Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director for the Edinburg EDC, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.
Featured, from left: Harvey Rodríguez, Jr., Vice President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, Mayor Pro Tem J.R. Betancourt, and Mayor Richard García, discussing strategies for business growth and job creation at the Edinburg EDC office on Thursday, December 8, 2016. Mayor García also serves as President of the EEDC Board of Directors.
Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR
City of Edinburg and Hidalgo County leaders are scheduled to meet at noon on Monday, December 12, 2016, at Edinburg City Hall to review and take possible action on plans to build a new county courthouse in the city’s downtown region, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. In a separate, but related issue dealing with construction of another major facility in Edinburg, the City Council also will hold a public hearing regarding program guidelines of the Edinburg Housing Finance Corporation – which is an extension of the City Council – that could lead to the financing of a major upscale residential complex known as La Sienna Apartments. Both meetings, which will be held in the Council Chambers of Edinburg City Hall, which is located at 415 East University Drive, are open to the public. 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 Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director for the Edinburg EDC.
Featured, from left: During the Tuesday, October 18, 2016 unveiling for Bob’s Steak and Chop House at The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg are Elías Longoria, Jr., Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Dr. Peter Dabrowski, Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg EDC; Councilmember J.R. Betancourt; Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr.; Mayor Pro Tem Richard Molina; Harvey Rodriguez, Jr., Vice President, Board of Directors, Edinburg EDC; John Toic, President, First Hartford Realty; and Peter J. Higgins, Vice President/Director of Leasing of First Hartford Realty.
The groundbreaking on Tuesday, October 18, 2016, of the multi-million dollar Bob’s Steak and Chop House, which is being built at The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, also drew attention to the ongoing development of a major “entertainment corridor” in South Texas that is designed to create jobs and improve the quality of life for the city. The Shoppes is located at 591 E. Trenton Road in Edinburg, right off U.S. Expressway 281, a six-lane highway which has become part of U.S. Interstate Highway 69. The Shoppes and Bob’s Steak and Chop House are perfectly located to draw business from at least three major entertainment venues now under construction along U.S. Expressway 281/IH 69C: H-E-B Park, which features a soccer-specific,9,700-seat stadium that will serve as home for the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros of the United Soccer League; the IMAX Theatre, which will be part of the existing Carmike 2o Cinemas; and Bert Ogden Arena, the 8,700-seat, 189,000 square-foot enclosed venue, which will be home to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, a professional basketball team associated with the D-League of the National Basketball Association.
Photographs By RONNIE LARRALDE