Featured: Mayor Richard Molina shows off a championship boxing belt during his State of the City Address, held on Thursday, April 19, 2017 at the Edinburg Auditorium, in part to symbolize the power of the city’s economy. “Here’s the bottom line: more people are moving to Edinburg,” the mayor proclaimed. “They know this is the best place to live, work and learn. We expect the population to continue to grow because of everything this city has to offer.”
Photograph By LUIS LARRAGA
29 building permits for construction projects valued at least $1 million each have been issued in Edinburg between January 2017 and March 2018
To paraphrase a famous saying, “In Edinburg, it ain’t bragging if its true.”
So one can understand Mayor Richard Molina being energized on Thursday, April 19, 2018, in the Edinburg Auditorium where delivered his first State of the City Address, a presentation which was filled with good news and high hopes, and backed by positive economic realities.
“Construction permits in Edinburg are at an all-time high,” said Molina, citing figures for 2017. “We finished off with $271 million in construction activity. Nine hundred new apartments have been constructed, 469 new single-family homes have been built, and more people are remodeling and making improvements to their homes.”
Molina, who was elected to the Edinburg City Council in the Fall of 2013, won his bid for election for mayor in November 2017. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation.
The Edinburg EDC, of which Joey Treviño is the Executive Director, 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.
The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Councilmember Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Councilmember Salinas as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Molina and Mayor Pro Tem Torres as Members.
“On the commercial side (in 2017), we also saw an increase with several multi-million dollar projects that include banks, law offices, medical buildings, and vehicle service centers, just to name a few,” the mayor continued. “Here’s the bottom line: more people are moving to Edinburg. They know this is the best place to live, work and learn. We expect the population to continue to grow because of everything this city has to offer.”
According to the city’s Code Enforcement Department, 29 building permits for construction projects valued at least $1 million each have been issued between January 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018.
Those totals do not include the value of any building-related activities at The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and the UTRGV School of Medicine in Edinburg because the state government, not the city, oversees all construction at the Edinburg campus.
“We have plenty of room for that growth. We are not land-locked. The possibilities for Edinburg are endless,” he predicted.
The mayor said planning for the future is one of the most important duties for him and his colleagues on the Edinburg City Council and Edinburg EDC.
“Our population is now more than 87,000 people. Edinburg is the 35th most populous city out of 961 cities in Texas. Our City Council is encouraging growth by streamlining the process for anyone interested in building or developing here,” Molina reported. “We’ve even moved the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation into City Hall, so you’ll be able to go to one place to do all your business.”
Enríquez explained the importance of relocating the Edinburg EDC offices, which were formally headquartered at 101 North 10th Avenue, when the announcement of the relocation to City Hall was first made on Monday, December 18, 2017.
“The Edinburg EDC is an extension of the City of Edinburg, therefore it is only logical that it should be in City Hall so they can utilize planning and zoning and engineering, as well as the city manager’s personnel and other resources,” Enríquez said.
The Development Corporation Act of 1979 gives cities the ability to finance new and expanded business enterprises in their local communities through economic development corporations (EDCs), according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Chapters 501, 504 and 505 of the Local Government Code outline the characteristics of Type A and Type B EDCs, authorize cities to adopt a sales tax to fund the corporations and define projects EDCs are allowed to undertake. (https://comptroller.texas.gov/economy/local/type-ab/index.php)
“In our dedication to help existing businesses to expand, and to recruit new businesses, Edinburg City Hall will now truly become a one-stop center for economic development, because all the key issues needed for businesses to grow, from learning the zoning requirements, obtaining building permits, meeting with the key city and Edinburg EDC leadership, and so on, all will now take place in one location,” said Enríquez. “So when potential developers come into City Hall, they are able to go to every department and get the answers they need in order to continue with the activities they want to do in Edinburg.”
In another economic development success, for the second consecutive month, Edinburg registered the Valley’s lowest unemployment rate – 4.7 percent in March 2018 – which represented an increase of 1,056 jobs compared with March 2017 figure.
“We have more new jobs here. Our unemployment rate (remains) one of the lowest in the entire Valley, he added. “There are jobs in our city. People are working, and as we work to bring more businesses, we want to see that unemployment rate drop even more.”
To prove his points, Molina offered reports that were produced by the Edinburg EDC, which include data provided by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, the Texas Workforce Commission, the University of Texas System, and the City of Edinburg’s Code Enforcement Department.
Those four sources, which represent independent confirmation of key economic activities in the city, feature the following highlights, along with the dates those announcements were first made:
• Construction activities in city approach $37.5 million for the first three months of 2018 (April 30, 2018).
• For second consecutive month, Edinburg registers Valley’s lowest unemployment rate – 4.7 percent in March 2018 – an increase of 1,056 jobs compared with March 2017 figure (April 27, 2018).
• The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine hosted a grand opening of its UT Health RGV Pediatric Specialty office, located at 4150 Crosspoint Blvd. in Edinburg. The specialty office aims to close gaps in access to general and specialty care for children, with services that include general pediatrics, pulmonary, developmental, and metabolic and genetic disorders (April 25, 2018).
• Edinburg’s retail economy in February 2018 registers more than 11 percent improvement over same moth in 2017 (April 26, 2018).
• Edinburg registers Valley’s lowest unemployment rate – 4.9 percent in February 2018 – an increase 0f 1,080 jobs compared with February 2017 figure (April 13, 2018).
• Edinburg’s retail economy in January 2018 registers 9.29 percent improvement over same month in 2017, according to Edinburg Economic Development Corporation (April 6, 2018).
• Inner-city trolley bus service designed to increase prosperity for downtown restaurants and other businesses being reviewed by Valley Metro and Edinburg Economic Development Corporation (March 29, 2018).
• City’s retail economy during Thanksgiving and Christmas 2017 showed combined improvement over 2016 holiday period (March 11, 2018).
• Presentations by South Texas Health System, Texas Workforce Commission, Toyota Motor North America highlight weekend joint session of Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and Edinburg City Council (March 10, 2018).
• $12.2 million building to be added to UTRGV School of Medicine campus in Edinburg by UT System Board of Regents (February 23, 2018).
• City saw total construction activities in 2017 pass $271 million in value, compared with $209 million the previous year (February 9, 2018).
• Edinburg one of only two Valley cities with unemployment rate lower than five percent in December 2017 as number of local jobs that month reached 37,232 (January 27, 2018).
• Edinburg EDC offices, effective on Monday, January 29, 2018, will be housed in Edinburg City Hall in order to generate new non-tax revenue for its jobs-creation mission (January 24, 2018).
• Edinburg’s retail economy for November 2017 registered an 8.49 percent improvement – one of the Valley’s best figures – over November 2016 (January 15, 2018).
• Ribbon-cutting held for $8.6 million South Texas Health System ER Monte Cristo, a new stand-alone emergency room located at 3615 N. Interstate 69-C in north Edinburg. The facility is providing 24-hour emergency services year-round, and is staffed and equipped with the same diagnostic technology available in STHS’s hospital-based emergency rooms. The new STHS location is the first in north Edinburg and will serve approximately 60,000 residents in the area (January 6, 2018).
As for the construction activities for 2017 which Molina referenced in his State of the City Address – and for the first three months of 2018 – the mayor provided details of the new construction and remodeling of buildings that were valued beginning at $1 million each.
Those values do not include the price of the lots, furnishings, or equipment in those buildings.
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.
Those building permits, which include the name of the owner, address, and subdivision, along with the category of construction, follow:
• $80,000,000 – City of Edinburg (Bert Ogden Arena), 4900 S. I-69, Edinburg Arena Subdivision (New Construction, Non-Taxable).
• $12,500,000 – EHA Liberty Village, LTD, 4710 Veterans Blvd., Liberty Village Subdivision (Multi-Family Residences New Construction).
• $9,000,000 – MDS Housing Owassa, Ltd., 1215 E. Owassa, Avanti East Subdivision (Commercial New).
• $8,603,477 –Wisconsin Street Housing LP, 2132 E. Wisconsin Rd., The Heights Subdivision (Multi-Family New/Addition/Remodel).
• $6,320,000 – JTMR, KKC, 5348 S. Sugar Rd., The Villages of Sugar Rd., Ph. 2 (Multi-Family New/Addition/Remodel).
• $4,537,000 – City of Edinburg Engineering Department, 617 W. University Dr., Edinburg Original Townsite Subdivision (New Non-Taxable).
• $4,500,000 – Edinburg Surgery Center LP, 4702 S. McColl Rd., Northpoint Ph. 1 Subdivision (Commercial New).
• $4,000,000 – Safil Group LLC, 3131 W. Freddy González Dr., West Meadows Subdivision (Commercial New).
• $4,000,000 – Doug Matney, 3615 N. I-69, Arguindegui Commercial Subdivision (Commercial New).
• $2,500,000 – Vantage Venture, LTD, 4160 N. I-69, Vantage Edinburg No. 1 Subdivision (Commercial New).
• $2,125,616 – Memorial Middle School, 3105 N. Doolittle Road, Tex-Mex Subdivision (Non-Taxable Addition/Repair).
• $2,100,000 – Lakeside Produce USA, 1302 S. 28th, Tex-Mex Subdivision (Commercial Additions/Repairs).
• $2,000,000 – Malahit, LLC, 2111B W. University Dr., Tex-Mex Survey Subdivision (Multi-Family, New/Addition/Remodel).
• $2,000,000 – South Texas International Airport at Edinburg, 1300 E. FM 490, Edinburg Airport Subdivision (Non-taxable/Addition/Remodel).
• $1,950,000 – Eliud García, 627 S. McColl Rd. West Meadows Subdivision (Commercial New).
• $1,700,000 – AATIC X Limited Partnership, 1001 S. McColl Rd., Tex-Mex Railway Subdivision (Commercial New).
• $1,600,000 – Texas Regional Bank, 203 S. Jackson Rd., Jackson Park Subdivision Phase 2 (Commercial New).
• $1,600,000 – Three Willows Land Development, LLC., 2825 Canton Rd., Avalon Subdivision (Commercial New).
• $1,500,000 – Dan and Jacky Damon Family Trust, 508 W. Trenton Rd., Kelly-Pharr Subdivision (Commercial New).
• $1,500,000 – RMJ Investments, 1761 W. Trenton, Concord Plaza Subdivision (Commercial/New).
• $1,500,000 – Aguayo Corona LEP, 3807 S. Veterans Blvd., Kelly-Pharr Subdivision (Multi-Family New/Addition/Remodel).
• $1,500,000 – CTC Asset Company, LTD, 501 W. Owassa, Kelly Pharr Tract Subdivision (Commercial New).
• $1,500,000 – RMS Investments, 1727 Trenton Rd., Concord Plaza Subdivision (Commercial New).
• $1,498,000 – City of Edinburg Fire Station No. 3, 8502 Jasmine Road (New Non-Taxable).
• $1,400,000 – Raising Cane’s Restaurant, LLC, 718 W. University Dr., Edinburg Original Townsite Subdivision (Commercial New).
• $1,300,000 – Cantú Construction, 5501 S. McColl Rd., Doctors Hospital at Renaissance Subdivision (Commercial Additions/Repairs).
• $1,250,000 – South Texas Museum, 200 N. Closner Blvd., Edinburg Original Townsite Subdivision (Non-Taxable Additions/Repairs).
• $1,203,120 – Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, 5501 S. McColl Road, Doctor’s Center Subdivision (Commercial Additions/Repairs).
• $1,100,000 – The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley, 651 E. Trenton Road, The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley Subdivision (Commercial Additions/Repairs).