Featured: Rep. Armando “Mando” Martínez, D-Weslaco (behind podium), leads the applause during the closing ceremony for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Railway Safety Camp held on Friday, July 6, 2018 at the Performing Arts Complex at the UTRGV in Edinburg. 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 PAUL CHOUY
More than $73 million in construction took place in the city from January through June 2018, including two new hotel projects, reports Edinburg EDC
By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Total construction activities in Edinburg during the first half of 2018 were valued at $73,052,927 million, the Economic Development Corporation has announced.
From January through June 2018, new construction of single-family homes and multi-family residences led the way, with the issuance of building permits for investments valued at more than $22.4 million and more than $20.8 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.
177 NEW SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES, VALUED AT $22.4 MILLION, APPROVED FOR CONSTRUCTION DURING JANUARY THROUGH JUNE 2018
From January through June 2018, building permits were issued for 177 new single-family residences, valued at $22,453,243, compared with 263 new single-family residences, valued at $30,916,613, during the same six months of 2017.
During the first six months of 2018, building permits were issued for 322 additions/remodels of single-family residences, valued at $2,923,333, compared with 384 additions/remodels of single-family residences, valued at $3,372,279, from January through June 2017.
From January through June 2018, building permits were issued for 118 multi-family residences, representing 396 units, valued at $20,891,666, compared with 140 multi-family residences, representing 440 units, valued at $23,301,626, during the first six months the previous year.
Multi-family residences range from two-unit duplexes to complexes of five or more units.
JUNE 2018 CITY BUILDING PERMITS, $100,000 AND HIGHER
For June 2018, total construction activities in Edinburg were valued at $19,940,985, according to the city’s Code Enforcement Department.
The top construction projects in Edinburg for June 2018, not including the price of the respective lots, were:
$4,500,000 – OGI Hotels, 411 W. Trenton Rd., TRU Subdivision (Commercial New);
$4,200,000 – OGI Hotels, 407 W. Trenton Rd., TRU Subdivision (Commercial New);
$1,100,000 – Hidalgo County Drainage District No. 1, 902 N. Doolittle Rd., Tex-Mex Survey Subdivision (Non-Taxable Additions/Remodels);
$990,000 – Bill Báez Vanguard Academy, Inc., 2215 S. Veterans Blvd., Tex-Mex Survey Subdivision (Non-Taxable Additions/Remodels);
$589,000 – Francisco and Lilia Torres, 609 N. Jackson Rd., Inland Groves Estate Subdivision (Commercial New).
Single-Family Residences New Construction
For June 2018, there were 34 single-family residences issued building permits by the city.
The building permits, which do not include the price of the lot, ranged from $60,250 to $325,000, and represented a total value of $4,299,583.
Of the 34 single-family residences for which building permits were issued, 19 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.
$325,000 – Mark Hamel, 3116 S. Jackson Rd., Strong Subdivision;
$325,000 – Armando Regalado, 1602 Lago Huron St., Lumen Subdivision Phase A Subdivision;
$230,000 – Hamzah Saei, 1102 May Dr., Summerfield Manor Subdivision;
$200,000 – Rashmee Patil, 1608 St. Claire Ave., Sugar Oaks Subdivision;
$199,750 – Isaiah Martínez, 4905 Nevis Dr., Summerfield Estates Subdivision;
$168,000 – Salvador Alanis, 3021 Grulla Ave., The Reserves at Canton Subdivision;
$150,000 – R0cass Homes, 5003 August Ct., Summerset Estates Subdivision;
$140,535 – McKenny Glenn, Inc., 4217 Stillwater Cove, The Coves Ph. 1 Amended Subdivision;
$140,000 – Juan Reyes, 2423 Radiant Ln., Regal Vista Estates Subdivision;
$138,600 – Olga Macal, 2714 Flipper Dr., Greenleaf Estates Subdivision;
$135,000 – Jose Peña, 2503 Penrose, Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$135,000 – Daniel Olivarez, 408 Padre Ln. Lomas del Valle Subdivision;
$131,000 – Anita Arizmendi, 4903 Retama Ct., Redbud Estates Ph. 3 Subdivision;
$130,500 – McKenny Glenn, Inc., 4317 Stillwater Cove, The Coves Ph. 1 Subdivision;
$130,000 – María del Consuelo Villarreal, 2625 April Ave., Granite Meadows Ph. 2 Subdivision;
$130,000 – Amelia García, 1711 Chapel Hill, The Hills at Chapin Subdivision;
$120,000 – RGV Xtreme Investment, 3112 Bobcat Ave, The Reserves at Canton Subdivision;
$110,000 – Víctor Silva, 4103 Pedernal, Los Llanitos Subdivision; and
$105,000 – Óscar Rodríguez Girasol Properties, 5217 Calle Encantada Ave., Tierra Divina Subdivision.
Multi-Family Residences New Construction
For June 2018, building permits were issued for 17 multi-family residences new construction/addition/remodel, with 13 of those projects valued at $100,000 or higher (not including the price of the lot).
The building permits ranged from $1,000 to $222,000, and represented a total value of $2,415,716.
The building permits for the 13 structures each valued at $100,000 0r higher follow by value of the construction, name of the owner, address, and subdivision:
$222,000 – Chapa Group, 2206 Mojave St., The Sands Subdivision;
$222,000 – Chapa Group, 2205 Mojave St., The Sands Subdivision;
$200,000 – RBR Development & Investments, LLC, 3715 Tinsley Ave., Monmack Landing Subdivision;
$195,000 – Gilbert Zúñiga Domain Developments, 401 Peabody Ave., Monmack Landing Subdivision;
$195,000 – Gilbert Zúñiga Domain Developments, 405 Peabody Ave., Monmack Landing Subdivision;
$195,000 – Gilbert Zúñiga Domain Developments, 3609 Tinsley Ave., Monmack Landing Subdivision;
$195,000 – Gilbert Zúñiga Domain Developments, 401 Peabody Ave., Monmack Landing Subdivision;
$195,000 – Gilbert Zúñiga Domain Developments, 36091 Tinsley Ave., Monmack Landing Subdivision;
$180,000 – Venturo Construction Co., 3707 Tinsley Ave., Monmack Landing Subdivision;
$166,608 – Red Rock Estates Dev. Group, 2110 Taxco Ct., Villas Escondidas Subdivision;
$166,608 – Red Rock Estates Dev. Group, 2114 Taxco Ct., Villas Escondidas Subdivision;
$165,000 – KAB Development & Investments, LLC, 3711 Tinsley Ave. Monmack Landing Subdivision; and
$125,000 – GLZZ LLC, 407 Carlisle Ave. Monmack Landing Subdivision.
Commercial New Construction
For June 2018, there were five building permits issued by the city for new commercial construction, with all five permits issued for work valued at $100,ooo or higher.
The building permits for the five structures each valued at $100,000 or higher follow by value of the construction, name of the owner, address, and subdivision. That building permits, which do not include the price of the lot, are:
$4,500,000 – OGI Hotels, 411 W. Trenton Rd., TRU Subdivision;
$4,200,000 – OGI Hotels, 407 W. Trenton Rd., TRU Subdivision;
$589,000 – Francisco and Lilia Torres, 609 N. Jackson Rd., Inland Groves Estate Subdivision;
$275,000 – Wildcat Commercial Properties, LLC, 922 Big Horn Dr., Big Horn Business Park; and
$250,000 – Pongo RGV INV, LLC, 1509 S. McColl Rd., West Meadows Plaza Subdivision.
The total value for construction of the five buildings was $9,814,000.
For June 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 56 residential additions/repairs projects authorized for that month, ranging from $400 to $50,000, for a total value of $469,328.
For June 2018, there were 30 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 $650 to $60,000, and represented a total value of $417,511.
Of the 30 commercial additions/repairs for which building permits were issued, none were for construction valued at $100,000 or higher.
For June 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 $32,000 to $1,100,000, and represented a total value of $2,523,947.
Of the five non-taxable addition/remodel for which building permits were issued, four were for construction valued at $100,000 or higher.
That building permits follow by the value of the construction, name of the owner, address, and subdivision:
$1,100,000 – Hidalgo County Drainage District No. 1, 902 N. Doolittle Rd., Tex-Mex Survey Subdivision;
$990,000 – Bill Báez Vanguard Academy, Inc., 2215 S. Veterans Blvd., Tex-Mex Survey Subdivision;
$286,133 – Edinburg ECISD Maintenance Bldg. 1305 E. Schunior, Tex-Mex Survey Subdivision; and
$115,814 – Edinburg CISD, 904 S. 12th Ave., Ebony Heights Subdivision.
Non-Taxable New Construction
For June 2018, there was no building permit issued for non-taxable new construction.
FORMER PARTICIPANT OF UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS RIO GRANDE VALLEY RAILWAY SAFETY CAMP HELPING NEW GENERATION LEARN
VIDEO by María Elena Hernández:
Victoria Garza, a University of Texas Rio Grande Valley mechanical engineering major from Pharr, said summer camps set her future career path.
“I chose engineering because of the camps that I was in while I was younger,” she said. “Without the camps, I wouldn’t have known what all of this was.”
Garza was participating in the TexPREP camp when she was introduced into the UTRGV Railway Safety Camp – now the largest transportation-related camp in the nation. Now, as a UTRGV engineering senior, Garza is back at the camp to lead a class of her own.
“I’ve seen some of my students change their perspective, because they realize it’s not all hard and it can be fun,” she said.
She also has noticed a change from her time as a camp participant.
“When I was in the camp, there was a large majority of boys,” she said.
But her class this year is a stark contrast to that. “I have one boy and the rest are girls, so I’m really happy. I’m shaping my new generation of engineers,” she said, smiling with pride.
Increasing Under-Represented Populations
Dr. Constantine Tarawneh, Director of the UTRGV Transportation Center for Railway Safety and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, said under-represented individuals in the transportation field include females and Hispanics.
“Female Hispanics are really under-represented in the transportation career field, and that’s one of the things we’re trying to address in this camp,” he said.
“When we started in 2014, the ratio, for example, of females to males was one to four at the high school level,” Tarawneh said.
But this year, there was an equal number of females and males in the high school classes.
“We’re accomplishing a lot of the things we wanted to do,” he said.
Thousands of Students Reached
The program already has expanded to include middle school and elementary students.
“We have so far reached 5,500 students around the Valley. And we’ve also trained almost 500 teachers on the use of this curriculum that is available on our website,” Tarawneh said.
This year, more than 1,200 students from more than 26 local school districts participated in the Railway Safety Camp.
Edoardo García, a junior at Santa María High School, attended the camp along with his siblings and cousins.
“My counselor recommended I go to the program, because I was in the automotive program. So, basically, this will help me out for my career, too,” he said.
While Railway Safety Camp might not seem a match for an automotive program, the camp covers a wide range of fields, Tarawneh said.
“In reality, transportation engineering is a very multidisciplinary field. For example, in railway, you’ll have electrical engineers, mechanical, computer scientists, civil engineers – all types of engineers working on different aspects.
“Yes, it is math and science, but we gave it a transportation and railway safety spin.”
New Love of Engineering
Students at the camps worked with LEGO MINDSTORM EV3 robots and Arduino-based mBots.
“It’s very fun and I was so excited to come,” said Izabella Cerón, a student at PSJA’s Long Elementary. “We learned that if you use a nail and connect it with a wire to a battery, then you can turn it into a magnet. It’s exciting to learn all the other things that they’re showing us.”
Tarawneh said the students really do love the camp.
“One of our classrooms is actually all 30 kids repeating. Last year, they were here, and all 30 kids are back. They want to perfect their robots and compete and do better.”
The Railway Safety Center director said many students write letters at the end of the camp, and he got a letter recently from a student who started as an unwilling participant.
“Her mom forced her to come to the camp. And she didn’t want to do it. But now that she has gone through it, she really loved it,” he said. “And, she wants to study engineering.”
Garza, who is well on her way to becoming an engineer, enjoys watching her students experience the camp like she did.
“You don’t want to be here, because it’s the summer. But then when you leave, you don’t want to leave because you’re having so much fun,” she said.
For more information about UTRGV summer camps, visit UTRGV.edu/camps.
PHOTO GALLERY by PAUL CHOUY: https://utrgv-umc.photoshelter.com/galleries/C00005VpyHfz6R6c/G0000vPUnPWgBOEI/20180706-UTCRS-Closing-Ceremony-EC-PC
Password: utcrscamp (case sensitive)
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.
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.