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As newly-appointed Mayor Pro Tem, Richard Molina increases his role as a representative for Edinburg at the local, state and national levels, EEDC announces


Featured, from left: Agustín García, Jr., Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; newly-appointed Mayor Pro Tem Richard Molina; Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg; and former City Manager Ramiro Garza, Jr., who now serves as President and CEO of RG Economic Advisors. This image was taken on Thursday, February 6, 2014, during joint grand opening ceremonies of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation business complex, located at 101 North 10th Avenue, and Canales’ District 40 Legislative Office, which is in the EEDC facility.


With his unanimous selection on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 by the mayor and city council to serve as the city’s mayor pro tem, Councilmember Richard Molina continues to build his leadership role as a representative for Edinburg at the local, state and national levels, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. Molina will now run city council meetings, address business and community groups, and work even more with state and federal lawmakers on the city’s successful legislative agendas whenever Mayor Richard García is unable to perform those duties. For a city such as Edinburg, where economic development advances and improvements to the quality-of-life continue to take place at an impressive pace, being mayor pro tem has always been much more than an honorary title. “Mayor Richard García is a well-known defense attorney, and his busy schedule on behalf of his clients and our city have him traveling away from Edinburg throughout the Valley, Texas, and the nation. This is when the mayor pro tem is vitally needed to show Edinburg citizens how important are their concerns and issues, especially during gatherings and meetings here at home when the mayor is not available,” said Molina. Edinburg is growing so fast that sometimes the mayor is needed at one meeting, and the mayor pro tem is needed at another session that is going on at the same time, he explained. “Just today (Saturday, February 27, 2016), Councilmember David Torres and I represented the city council for an important tour of the new soccer practice fields, which are being upgraded to first-class levels at the Edinburg Municipal Park. One of those fields which will host the practices for the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros professional soccer team,” Molina illustrated. “We also met with Bert García, the president of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers professional basketball team, and Alonzo Cantú, the developer of the $16.8 million soccer stadium complex being built in Edinburg, for an in-depth tour and update of this major new professional soccer venue coming to our city later this spring.” The Rio Grande Valley FC Toros professional soccer team and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers professional basketball team are part of an ownership group which features Cantú, with Bert García in the top executive role. Cantú and Bert García are also key figures, along with the Mayor and City Council, in the planned construction of the $88 million Bert Ogden Arena that will be home to the Vipers, and which is being built in south Edinburg along U.S. Expressway 281/Interstate Highway 69C. For all the responsibilities he willingly takes, and the many hours he dedicates to the city, Molina never takes himself too seriously, often demonstrating that humor and good will go a long way towards keeping the people’s touch that is essential for any political leader. “When Mayor Richard García is not able to make key meetings, then Mayor Pro Tem Richard Molina is ready, willing and able to represent Edinburg,” he said. “You always need a good backup quarterback if you want to get to and win a Super Bowl.”

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$68 million Bert Ogden Arena breaks ground in East Edinburg as part of City Council, EEDC vision for economic growth


Artist’s rendition of $68 million, 8,500-seat Bert Ogden Arena set to open in southeast Edinburg in October 2016.


The NBA Development League Rio Grande Valley Vipers, along with the City of Edinburg, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and Cantú Construction on Thursday, February 26, broke ground on a new, state-of-the-art arena located at Interstate 69-Central and Alberta Road in Edinburg. Bert Ogden Auto Group was also announced as the arena’s naming rights sponsor. With a capacity of 8,500 seats, Bert Ogden Arena will be the largest entertainment venue in South Texas and is slated to open in October 2016. “Today is the biggest day in franchise history for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. We are excited to break ground and be the anchor tenants of Bert Ogden Arena,” RGV Vipers president Bert García said. “A few miles away, we are wrapping up construction on a state-of-the-art practice facility and community center. Not only does Edinburg serve as the county seat, but now, it is also becoming the sports and entertainment hub of the Rio Grande Valley.” The RGV Vipers will serve as the anchor tenant of Bert Ogden Arena and will tip off the team’s 10th season in the facility in the fall of 2016. In addition to being the home of the RGV Vipers, Bert Ogden Arena will host a variety of musical and entertainment acts year round.“This joint venture is a tremendous opportunity for the City of Edinburg to improve the quality of life for residents without having to pay a single penny up front or take any away from other projects,” said Edinburg Mayor Richard H. García. “This is definitely a triumph for our residents. We are very excited about this project.” Bert Ogden Arena will be funded by Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) and Edinburg Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) sales taxes. The EEDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council. Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones (TIRZs) are special zones created by a governmental body, such as a city council, to attract new investment to an area. TIRZs help finance the cost of redevelopment and encourage development in an area that would otherwise not attract sufficient market development in a timely manner. Taxes attributable to new improvements (tax increments) are set-aside in a fund to finance public improvements within the boundaries of the zone. “The arena from day one brings $30 million in private dollars into our community. A recent study conducted at the University of Texas-Pan American identified $95 million in direct economic impact in the first year and $45 million every year after, while creating more than 150 jobs for the area,” said EEDC Executive Director Agustín “Gus” García. Gus García, Bert García and Mayor Richard García are not related. The RGV Vipers are in their eighth season in the RGV and currently play at State Farm Arena in Hidalgo. The team will fulfill its current contract with State Farm Arena before moving to Bert Ogden Arena in the fall of 2016. The arena’s namesake, the late Bert Ogden, established his first dealership in Edinburg in 1970. He and his wife, Dorothy, passed away several years later, but his daughter, Janet, and son-in-law, Robert Vacker, continued with the family business, which has evolved into one of the most successful vehicle dealerships in the nation. In addition to being one of the largest privately-owned dealer groups in the United States, with 22 complexes Valley-wide, including seven dealerships in Edinburg, the family business employs more than 1,000 people in deep South Texas.

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