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More than .1 million in construction, led by residential housing, took place in the city from January through May 2018, reports Edinburg EDC

Featured: “Good Books Radio,” which has been airing on 88FM, the Rio Grande Valley’s Public Radio Station, for several years, is hosted by Dr. John Cook, Associate Professor and Chair of the UTRGV Communications Department. Cook partnered with UTRGV communications professor Dr. W. F. Strong on the program, which is produced by the UTRGV video production team in the University Marketing and Communications Department. The Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, along with the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors, lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on matters that benefit and protect UTRGV and its School of Medicine, which have major campuses in the city.

Photograph By MARÍA ELENA HERNÁNDEZ 

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More than $53.1 million in construction, led by residential housing, took place in the city from January through May 2018, reports Edinburg EDC

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

Total construction activities in Edinburg during the first five months of 2018 were valued at more than $53.1 million, the Economic Development Corporation has announced.

From January through May 2018, new construction of multi-family residences and single-family homes  led the way, with the issuance of building permits for investments valued at almost $18.5 million and more than $18.1 million, respectively.

All year-to-date and monthly totals do not include the value of any building-related activities at The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine in Edinburg because the state government, not the city, oversees all construction at the Edinburg campus.

The building permits do not include the value of the land for the homes and 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.

There was a building permit issued during February 2018 for construction, valued at $18 million, which appeared on the city’s Code Enforcement Department’s construction activities report for that month.

But that $18 million figure is for work already authorized by the Code Enforcement Department in early 2017 for the city-owned $88.3 million Bert Ogden Arena.

As a result, the $18 million value for the building permit for the Bert Ogden Arena is not, and will not be, included in this and subsequent articles about the monthly and year-to-date construction activities in the city for 2018.

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

The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Salinas as Secretary/Treasurer, and Molina and Torres as Members.

143 NEW SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES, VALUED AT $18.1 MILLION, APPROVED FOR CONSTRUCTION DURING JANUARY THROUGH MAY 2018

From January through May 2018, building permits were issued for 143 new single-family residences, valued at $18,153,660, compared with 211 new single-family residences, valued at $24,512,232, during the same five months of 2017.

During the first five months of 2018, building permits were issued for 266 additions/remodels of single-family residences, valued at $2,454,005, compared with 323 additions/remodels of single-family residences, valued at $2,770,323, from January through May 2017.

From January through May 2018, building permits were issued for 92 multi-family residences, representing 344 units, valued at $18,475,950, compared with 120 multi-family residences, representing 392 units, valued at $20,465,444, during the first five months the previous year.

Multi-family residences range from two-unit duplexes to complexes of five or more units.

MAY 2018 CITY BUILDING PERMITS, $100,000 AND HIGHER

For May 2018, total construction activities in Edinburg were valued at $9,546,303, according to the city’s Code Enforcement Department.

The top construction projects in Edinburg for May 2018, not including the price of the respective lots, were:

$1,951,607 – Avanti Apartments, 1215 E. Owassa, Avani East Subdivision (Multi-Family New/Addition/Remodel); and
$850,000 – Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, 5502 S. McColl Rd., Doctors Center Subdivision (Commercial Additions/Repairs).

Single-Family Residences New Construction

For May 2018, there were 27 single-family residences issued building permits by the city.

The building permits, which do not include the price of the lot, ranged from $45,000 to $231,793, and represented a total value of $3,361,295.

Of the 27 single-family residences for which building permits were issued, 17 of them were for construction each valued at $100,000 or higher.

The $100,000+ building permits issued follow by value of the construction, name of the owner(s), address, and subdivision.

$231,793 – César & Leslie Castro, 2104 Arlina Dr., Los Lagos Ph. 1 Subdivision;
$204,500 – Jessica Rei Rivera, 3205 Brightwood Ave., West Meadows UT 2 Subdivision;
$200,000 – Rocass Homes, 2401 Penrose, Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$190,000 – Ryan Yoder, 2674 Easy St., Copperfield Amended Subdivision;
$185,000 – César Chapa, 2689 Easy St., Copperfield Subdivision;
$175,000 – Evelyn & Héctor Rodríguez, 3307 Francis Ln., Santa Cruz Estates Subdivision;
$169,280 – Newmark Custom Homes, LLC, 3111 Grulla Ave., The Reserve at Canton Subdivision;
$143,550 – McKenney Glenn, Inc., 4318 Stillwater Cove, The Coves @ La Sienna Subdivision;
$142,000 – Guzmán Construction, LLC, 3626 Tigris Dr., Hacienda Las Fuentes Subdivision;
$140,000 – Jesús De León, 2619 Drakensburg Ave., Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$130,000 – La Gran Piedra, 2608 Wolverine St., The Reserve at Canton Subdivision;
$125,000 – Gilbert Espino, 3619 Morris St., Los Lagos Ph. 4 Subdivision;
$120,000 – Ernesto Torres, 3516 Morris St., Los Lagos Ph. 4 Subdivision;
$118,000 – Carranza Development, 2804 Red Raider Ave., The Reserve at Canton Subdivision;
$105,000 – José Santos, 2701 Gator Ave., The Reserve at Canton Subdivision;
$100,000 – Mesquite Homes, LLC, 4211 Stillwater Cv., The Coves Ph. 1 Subdivision; and
$100,000 – Pricila Torrero, 1806 Lago Delton, Lumen Ph. B Subdivision.

Multi-Family Residences New Construction

For May 2018, building permits were issued for 11 multi-family residences new construction/addition/remodel, with nine of those projects valued at $100,000 or higher (not including the price of the lot).

The building permits ranged from $200 to $1,951,607, and represented a total value of $3,247,307.

The building permits for the nine structures each valued at $100,000 0r higher follow by value of the construction, name of the owner, address, and subdivision:

$1,951,607 – Avanti Apartments, 1215 E. Owassa, Avanti East Subdivision;
$200,000 – Raúl Pérez Caltia Construction, 1401 Coyote Hills, The Hills at Chapin II Subdivision;
$200,000 – Raúl Pérez Caltia Construction, 1402 Coyote Hills, The Hills at Chapin II Subdivision;
$200,000 – Raúl Pérez Caltia Construction, 1406 Coyote Hills, The Hills at Chapin Subdivision;
$180,000 – Daniela Pérez DP Homes, 508 Downing Ave., Monmack Landing Subdivision;
$170,000 – El Piloto Enterprises, LLC, 429 Pebble Creek, Mesquite Ridge Subdivision;
$125,000 – GLZZ LLC, 411 Carlisle Ave., Monmack Landing Ph. 1 Subdivision;
$120,000 – LDL Construction, 419 Lotto Ln, Torres Del Sol Ph. 1 Subdivision; and
$100,000 – Género Cantú, 3003 Linda Vista St., Tulipan Villas Subdivision.

Commercial New Construction

For May 2018, there were six building permits issued by the city for new commercial construction, with one of those permits for work valued at $100,ooo or higher.

The building permits for the one structure valued at $100,000 or higher follows by value of the construction, name of the owner, address, and subdivision. That building permit, which do not include the price of the lot, is:

$250,000 – Aon Group, LLC, 508 W. Trenton Rd. Ste A&B, Kelley-Pharr Subdivision.

The total value for construction of the six buildings was $594,570.

Residential Additions/Repairs

For May 2018, there were no residential additions/repairs projects valued at $100,000 or higher, issued a building permit by the city.

In all, there were 58 residential additions/repairs projects authorized for that month, ranging from $200 to $80,000, for a total value of $613,331.

Commercial Additions/Repairs

For May 2018, there were 49 commercial additions/remodels which were issued building permits by the city.

The building permits, which do not include the price of the lot, ranged from $100 to $850,000, and represented a total value of $1,388,550.

Of the 49 commercial additions/repairs for which building permits were issued, one was for construction valued at $100,000 or higher.

The building permit for the structure valued at $100,000 or higher follows by value of the construction, name of the owner, address, and subdivision:

$850,000 –Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, 5502 S. McColl Rd., Doctors Center Subdivision.

Non-Taxable Additions/Remodels

For May 2018, there were five non-taxable addition/remodel issued building permits by the city.

The building permits, which do not include the price of the lot, ranged from $5,000 to $268,000, and represented a total value of $341,250.

Of the nine non-taxable addition/remodel for which building permits were issued, one was for construction valued at $100,000 or higher.

That building permit follows by the value of the construction, name of the owner, address, and subdivision:

$268,000 – Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District, 3101 N. Closner, Texas Mexican Railway Subdivision.

Non-Taxable New Construction

For May 2018, there was no building permit issued for non-taxable new construction.

RADIO SHOW PRODUCED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS RIO GRANDE VALLEY HELPS  AUDIENCES DISCOVER NEW BOOKS

UTRGV VIDEO by María Elena Hernández: 

If you ask the host of “Good Books Radio” for a summer reading list, it would be a very long list.

“I can’t think of a book that I wouldn’t recommend,” says Dr. John Cook, the show’s host, Associate Professor and Chair of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley communications department.

“Start with LBJ’s ‘1968.’ That would be a good place to start.”

It also would be the subject of the program he had just recorded.

“Good Books Radio” has been airing on 88FM, the Rio Grande Valley’s Public Radio Station, for several years. Cook partnered with UTRGV communications professor Dr. W. F. Strong to produce the program, which is produced by the UTRGV video production team in the University Marketing and Communications Department.

“If I couldn’t depend on them, I couldn’t do this show. They are really great,” he said. “They make you sound good. I’m very much appreciative of them.”

When he and Strong started “Good Books Radio,” they focused on interviews with non-fiction writers.

“And we provided a show a week, which is now aired two times on Thursday and twice on Sunday,” he said. “I focus a lot on wellness, spirituality and history. Those are the primary topics I get interested in the most. Politics, sometimes.”

Cook said that while he wants the books to be interesting to his audience, they also have to interest him, since he reads the books. It’s something he learned that surprises some of the authors he interviews.

“Apparently, some people do not read them, but I can’t imagine doing a 30-minute interview on a book without having read it. So I always read them,” he said.

It really is critical for Cook to be well-informed, as there are plenty of people listening.

“Somebody will hear my voice and say, ‘Are you John Cook? I listen to your program,’” he said. “It’s flattering, just flattering. But the thing I like best about it is that it’s good for everyone to know what books are out there.”

The communications associate professor said he’s concerned that people aren’t reading books as much anymore.

“The other day, I was on Facebook and one of my graduates was asking for books to read. He said, ‘I’ve read two books since I graduated, which was more than I read in the previous five years.’ That concerns me, because I really believe that in order to have critical thinking skills, you have to read,” Cook said.

That isn’t a problem for Cook, though. With a stack of books in his office and an inbox full of requests for interviews, there is a wealth of material for “Good Books Radio” to explore.

“I really enjoy it,” Cook said with a smile. “I hope to continue this as long as I live.”

About UTRGV

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.

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María Elena Hernández contributed to this article. For more information on the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the City of Edinburg, please log on to http://edinburgedc.com.

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