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.
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.”
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.”
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
Featured: TownePlace Suites by Marriott in Edinburg, whose owners, the Qube Hotel Group of Carrollton, Texas, hosted a grand opening on Friday, February 10, 2017, is the first of its type for the famous Marriott International brand, considered one of the top hospitality companies in the world, according to Ron Stewart of Dallas, Area Vice President, Lodging Development for Marriott International, Inc. “We have been watching Edinburg for a while. I have heard a lot of interesting things about what is happening with the growth, and among the most impressive things now, there have been some really big changes, not just in the economic, housing and retail environments, but some of the projects I saw today were so impressive, such as Bob’s Steak & Chop House, with the Bert Ogden Arena construction finally going vertical, the soccer stadium complex (H-E-B Park). Those, to me, were very, very impressive.” Ideal for travelers who need accommodations for longer stays, this new property offers studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens, as well as separate living/working and sleeping areas.
Photograph By JERI DEATHERAGE
Featured: Mayor Richard García on Friday, February 10, 2o17, applauds the grand opening of the 95-room, TownePlace Suites by Marriott, located at 502 W. Trenton Road in Edinburg. The new hotel, a $10 million investment, is owned and managed by Qube Hotel Group of Carrollton, Texas. Along with the mayor in this image are, from left: Agustín “Augie” Lozano, Jr., Public Relations Manager, Bert Ogden Auto Group, and two-time Ambassador of the Year for the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Himesh M. Jeram, Chief Executive Officer, Qube Hotel Group; Mayor García, who also serves as President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Hiren M. Govind, Chief Operating Officer, Qube Hotel Group, holding son Zaylen Govind; Mohan Tewani, Chief Financial Officer, Qube Hotel Group; René Flores, Ambassador, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, and Owner of The X-Factor; Brenda Garza, General Manager, TownePlace Suites by Marriott; and Shekhar Gianchandani, Chief Development Officer, Qube Hotel Group. The Edinburg EDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. In addition to the mayor, the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García, Jr. are not related. “Such a major investment, the most recent of many outstanding businesses growing in our community or moving to our city, with more to come, is a reflection of the strong confidence that business owners, from independent, small family-owned stores to global corporations, have in our city, its future, and especially in our citizens,” the mayor said. “As I predicted during my State of the City Address less than a year ago, together, we are transforming Edinburg into a ‘Destination City’, a city that offers the best education, superb residential options for every level, and world-class cultural and sporting venues.”
Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE
Featured: Mayor Richard García makes a point to the audience during his State of the City Address on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance.
Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR
Mayor Richard García has joined 28 other border leaders in asking Congress to oppose President Trump’s “reckless policies regarding our U.S. Border and Mexico, our neighbor and trading partner,” according to a letter dated Tuesday, January 31, 2017. The Edinburg Mayor, along with Hidalgo County Judge Ramón García (no relation), Brownsville Mayor Antonio “Tony” Martínez, and Rio Grande City Mayor Joel Villarreal were among the elected and appointed officials who signed the correspondence. The group’s concerns revolve around the public statements and actions, through presidential executive orders, issued by Trump about the Border Wall, immigration policies, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and “border tax” on imports to the U.S. from Mexico. “The President’s recent executive actions and rhetoric threaten not only lasting damage to our country’s relationship with Mexico but severe economic consequences to Border communities and the United States as a whole,” contend the Edinburg Mayor and the other leaders. “We have much to lose as a nation with the approach that the President is taking and we urge you to stand up for our communities and economy in the face of this divisive and dangerous antagonism toward the Border and Mexico.” Executive Orders (EOs) are legally binding orders given by the President, acting as the head of the Executive Branch, to Federal Administrative Agencies. Executive Orders are generally used to direct federal agencies and officials in their execution of congressionally established laws or policies, according to ThisNation.com. Trumps’ executive orders are available online at:
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.”