Featured: Borja Angoitia, goalkeeper for the Rio Grande Valley Football Club Toros professional soccer team, helps defend against the Liga MX side C.F. Monterrey Rayados on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at the club’s new H-E-B Park for the venue’s inaugural game.
Photograph By DIEGO REYNA
H-E-B Park, a $16.8+ million sports and entertainment outdoor complex that features a 9,700 seat capacity soccer-specific stadium, has scored another major goal for its hometown with news that WalletHub, a national personal finance website, has named Edinburg as 2nd Best Small City for Soccer Fans for 2017, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. In addition, WalletHub rated Edinburg 29th best among all U.S. cities for soccer fans, an accomplishment that places it in the top 10 percent in the nation, among the cities involved in the study, for community involvement in that sport. “Once more, a national, independent, and very credible source has concluded what we know very well here at home – Edinburg has a very high quality-of-life to offer its citizens from all walks of life,” said Agustín García, Executive Director for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. “We have one of the best public school systems in the state, we feature one of the largest University of Texas campuses, with its own School of Medicine, our hospital systems are nationally-ranked, and by the time 2017 is completed, the construction of new homes and businesses in Edinburg for the year is anticipated to pass $200 million.” The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of Edinburg Mayor Richard García and the Edinburg City Council, which includes Mayor Pro Tem J.R. Betancourt, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr. Councilmember Richard Molina, and Councilmember David Torres. 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 Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García, Jr. are not related.
The state-of-the-art H-E-B Park in Edinburg has many amenities, including a full-service restaurant, executive lounges, a sports bar, and 33 suites. Suites include VIP amenities and a 16-seat capacity. Park grounds include practice fields for 7v7 and 5v5 soccer, various bench areas with picnic-sized tables, a playground, and an amphitheater with a capacity for more than 2,000 individuals. H-E-B Park hosts top-of-the-line professional soccer, musical concerts, high school sporting events, and other forms of entertainment. The stadium, which is modeled after the Houston Dynamo’s BBVA Compass Stadium, is located at the intersection of East Freddy González Drive and South Raúl Longoria Road.
Photo Courtesy RGV FC TOROS
“We are about three months away from opening the $88+ million Bert Ogden Arena, which will be the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex south of San Antonio, and people from all over the Valley, Texas, and the U.S. have a direct, nonstop way to get to Edinburg because we are served by Interstate Highway 69 and the South Texas International Airport at Edinburg. Those assets are just the tip of the iceberg of what makes our community a ‘Destination City’,” said Agustín García, Executive Director of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. “But most important, the vision of our elected, business and community leadership, and the amazing people of our community are who make Edinburg the American Success story that it has become.” Even the symbol of the hometown professional soccer team, the Rio Grande Valley Football Club Toros, proudly portrays Edinburg’s and the Rio Grande Valley’s regional strengths, according to the team’s website, which explains, “The Toros’ logo follows the mold of a traditional soccer shield, but offers a twist with the addition of horns to allude to the Toros nickname. The stripes at the bottom of the shield represent the agriculture industry of the Rio Grande Valley, which historically bright trade and commerce to the region. The vertical lines at the top of the graphic represent the sun and Valley heat, while also reflecting an element of the Toros’ Major League Soccer single-affiliate Houston Dynamo’s logo.” H-E-B Park at all its amenities enables Edinburg to be a staple as an entertainment hub in the Rio Grande Valley, and considerably helps it in the city and Edinburg EDC leaderships’ efforts to market the community as a “Destination City”.
Featured, on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, for the groundbreaking of the $1.6+ million Edinburg Fire Station No. 5, to be built at 8502 N. Jasman Road in north Edinburg, are, from left: Augie Lozano, Public Relations Manager, Bert Ogden Auto Group and Member, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Mario Lizcano, Director of Corporate Affairs, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance and Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Councilmember David Torres; Mayor Richard García and President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr.; Councilmember Richard Molina and Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Fire Chief Shawn Snider; and Alex Ríos, District Director, Office of State Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, and Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce.
Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE
More business and residential developments, along with improved public safety protections, will soon be coming to an estimated combined total of 60,000 city and Hidalgo County residents as a result of recent decisions by elected leaders, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. Edinburg Fire Station No. 5, a 9,571-square foot facility – which also will house emergency medical services (EMS ambulance) – is set to open around the spring of 2018. The complex, being constructed by Candela Organization, LLC, will be the first fire station in the northern part of the city. Edinburg Fire Station No. 5 will be a full service station with four fire trucks and one ambulance, and will be equipped with dormitories, a kitchen, and a workout area to house up to 10 firefighters and two ambulance attendants. “Besides the obvious advantages of bringing emergency fire protection and emergency medical services (ambulance) closer to hundreds of residences and businesses, fire insurance premiums will be more affordable,” said Agustín García, Executive Director of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. “Together, those two elements should help more businesses expand or locate in north Edinburg, making Edinburg Fire Station No. 5 an economic engine which will help power more jobs, increase prosperity, and generate more residential and commercial developments in that region.” The Edinburg EDC 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 Edinburg EDC Executive Director Gus García are not related.
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.