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Edinburg EDC: Mayor García adds landmark “special needs” park, designed for Edinburg’s younger residents, to Downtown Master Plan

Featured: Following his State of the City Address on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, held inside the newly-opened $5 million IMAX theatre at Carmike Cinemas, Mayor Richard García, speaking to area journalists in a section of the IMAX lobby, praises Edinburg for its many assets, including the diversity of its people.

Photograph By DIEGO REYNA

With more than 80,000 Hidalgo County residents estimated by the state government with various types and degrees of disabilities, Edinburg Mayor Richard García, whose hometown is the county seat, wants them and their loved ones to know they are very important to the general well-being, positive image, reputation for diversity, and successes of the city. As part of his vision for Edinburg is a landmark plan to create a “special needs” park next to City Hall that would provide recreational equipment and positive experiences for children and teens with hearing, vision, independent living, ambulatory or cognitive difficulties. “This park will be a place where children with all types of challenges will be able to enjoy the outdoors, and have fun with other kids,” the mayor said. “It will be a place where they can learn about feelings of belonging and acceptance.” García, during his Wednesday, April 12, 2017 State of the City Address that he delivered as part of the public unveiling of the $5 million IMAX theater at Carmike Cinemas, emphasized his determination for such an outdoors complex. At the State of the City address, in announcing the special needs park, the mayor was joined by several young people and their families who represented the many residents for which the park is being created. Funding for the special needs park, when a final price tag is determined at a later date, will include financial support from the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The mayor’s proposed special needs park also sends a clear message to Edinburg’s youngest residents that the city government is responsive to all of its constituents. “Everyone, no matter what challenges or difficulties we face, has the potential for greatness,” García reflected. “This park will let people know that all of our young people are part of their hometown’s goals and achievements. Edinburg’s current successes and bright future will depend on the city’s leadership providing our young people with the encouragement, opportunities, resources, and physical and emotional support to help them reach their goals and dreams.” In general, a special needs park has an all-inclusive playground that is a place where children can play together with their peers, family, friends, and neighbors without experiencing physical or social barriers to inclusion. Play components are featured that challenge and accommodate typically developing children, as well as children with autism, hearing impairments, cognitive disabilities, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and other physical and developmental needs.

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Edinburg EDC: $102.6 million in construction took place during first two months of 2017; “We are on track to exceed $209 million by the end of this year,” Mayor García confidently predicts

Featured, from left: Mayor Pro Tem J.R. Betancourt; Harvey Rodríguez, Jr., Vice President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Elías Longoria, Jr., Secretary/Treasurer, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; and City Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr. The local leaders were in attendance on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 for the State of the City Address by Mayor Richard García, held in the recently-opened IMAX theatre in Edinburg. “Success attracts success, and major developments such as this venue where we are, is one such example,” García said. “We are proud to be the home to the only IMAX theatre south of San Antonio. This IMAX is a $5 million investment, creating 50 jobs, and contributing a riveting movie experience.”

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Featured, from left: City Councilmember David Torres and his wife, Ellie Torres, who currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District; and Ambrosio “Amos” Hernández, M.D., Mayor of Pharr, on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 for the State of the City Address by Mayor Richard García, held in the recently-opened $5 million IMAX theatre in Edinburg. Torres also is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. Mayor Richard García predicted that the construction activities in Edinburg are sure to break last year’s mark. “In 2016, the Planning and Zoning Department issued $209 in construction project permits, up from $139.5 million in 2015, $120.5 million in 2014, and $123 million in 2013,” the mayor reported. “We are on track to exceed $209 million by the end of this year.”

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Featured: City Councilmember Richard Molina and his wife, Dalia (shown smiling at the camera), take a photograph with an unidentified resident outside the recently-opened $5 million IMAX theater in Edinburg. The Molinas along with the Edinburg City Council and the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation joined several hundred area residents on Wednesday, May 12, 2017, for the State of the City Address by Mayor Richard García. Total construction activities in Edinburg during February 2017 reached more than $9.2 million – almost the exact total for the February 2016 figure – with the construction of new homes leading the way, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. Year-t0-date, however, as a result of a construction permit valued at $80 million for the city-owned Bert Ogden Arena being issued in January 2017, total construction in the city for the first two months of 2017 is valued at more than $102.6 million – more than double the $45.4 million combined level for January and February 2016.

Photographs By ALEX RÍOS

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South Texas International Film Festival 2016 among items on agenda on Tuesday, August 30, for Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors

08_28_16 ___ South Texas International Film Festival 2016 among items on agenda on Tuesday, August 30, for Edinburg Economic Development Corporation

Featured: Hollywood stars David Barrera, originally from San Juan, and his actress wife, María Canals-Barrera, will highlight South Texas International Film Festival 2016. This year marks the second anniversary of the event and the City of Edinburg is proud to welcome two of Hollywood’s finest.

Photograph Courtesy DANIEL MICHAEL SEKULA MEMORIAL LIBRARY

With multi-million dollar movie theaters already part of the growing entertainment industry in the city – including the Valley’s first IMAX set to open for business early next year – the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation on Tuesday, August 30, 2016, will consider a plan to help sponsor the second-annual South Texas International Film Festival 2016. The South Texas International Film Festival and Conference 2016 will be held at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance on Friday, September 9, and Saturday, September 10, with a special Opening Night Screening to take place at Carmike 20 Cinemas in Edinburg the evening of Thursday, September 8. For more details about the South Texas International Film Festival, or to get involved, call Arts Coordinator, Magdiel Alfonso at (956) 383-6246 or visit http://www.stxff.us. In addition, the Board of Directors of the Edinburg EDC – which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council – in open session will also review the proposed budget for the upcoming year, consider the election of officers for the five-member governing board, and review possible action relating to agreements/contracts with the City of Edinburg regarding the purchase of surplus property and real property.

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With positive growth at all levels, Edinburg is being transformed into “Destination City”, Mayor García says in his 2016 State of the City Address

Photograph By DIEGO REYNA

Featured: With his image on a big screen, Mayor Richard García delivers his State of the City Address before a full house at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance on Thursday, May 19, 2016. The entire State of the City Address is available for viewing on the City of Edinburg web page – http://www.cityofedinburg.com.

Photograph By DIEGO REYNA

Add a new nickname to Edinburg – “Destination City”. As the city has undergone tremendous changes in just one generation – about 20 years – it has proudly been known for being a “Gateway to the Future” city, a “university city”, a “three-time All-America City”. Now, with so much positive growth going on in his beloved hometown, Mayor Richard García is promoting the latest moniker, which he came up with, for Edinburg – “Destination City.”

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Deep South Texas’ first IMAX theater coming to Edinburg; city’s March 2016 retail economy shows 8.04 percent improvement over March 2015 figure

Photograph: pocket-lint.com

Featured: An IMAX theater, similar to the one featured in this image by pocket-lint.com, will be coming to Carmike 20 Cinemas in Edinburg and is scheduled to open next year, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The news comes as the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts released statewide data showing the retail economy in Edinburg for the month of March 2016 is more than eight percent better than the same month last year.

Photograph: pocket-lint.com

Edinburg’s retail economy during March 2016 was more than eight percent ahead of the same period last year, much better than the statewide average of all Texas cities for the same period, which came in with a 1.4 percent improvement, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. This latest positive news about the Edinburg’s economy, which was prepared by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and released on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, came as Carmike Cinemas’ corporate headquarters revealed they have begun large-scale renovations at its Carmike Cinemas 20 entertainment complex in Edinburg. The nearest IMAX to the Valley is located in Corpus Christi.

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