EDINBURG, March 24 - Edinburg Mayor Richard Garcia kicked off the South Texas Mayors’ Stakeholder Summit by talking about the economy and jobs.
A member of the panel that looked at life on the border, Garcia said “the economy looks great in our area and our city.”
Garcia reported that Edinburg has one of the highest sales tax collections in the Rio Grande Valley and that it had increased 16.5 percent over the past year. He said unemployment is down to 6.7 percent and that more than 5,000 new jobs have been created in the city over the last few years. In 2012, Garcia said, the City of Edinburg issued 160 million worth of building permits and $100 million in residential permits.
Garcia said he was speaking recently to an official from Corpus Christi who told him to “ride the wave” because things were going to so well for Edinburg and the Valley.
Garcia put Edinburg’s success down in part to the city’s economic development corporation being proactive and working hard at networking. He said numerous businesses have moved into the city, most notably Santana Textiles of Brazil. The company is about to open the largest denim manufacturing plant in the United States. It has two enormous buildings, each the size of one and a half football fields. Both buildings are filled with giant looms that were built in Japan. They were installed by technicians from France and Italy. Garcia said high paying jobs would accrue from the Santana development. “It means high paying jobs. That is the important part of it,” Garcia said.
Garcia said new construction is “going on constantly” in Edinburg. He cited an expansion of The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley. The new mall has just added another 100,000 square feet of retail space, bringing it up to 400,000 square feet in total. Phase Two is about to start, Garcia said, and when finally complete the complex will comprise 1.2 million square feet.
Garcia also touted the new Cinemark Movie Bistro, which is due to open this summer at Trenton Crossroads Plaza. According to the company, the new six-screen movie theater will offer customers an enhanced dining menu and a variety of beverage options, including favorite beers, premium wines and specialty cocktails that can be enjoyed in the auditoriums. Cinemark is opening two Movie Bistros, one in Edinburg and the other in El Paso, Garcia said.
Garcia concluded his remarks by pointing to the new South Texas University and Medical School the University of Texas System is working on. It will have a large footprint in Edinburg. "It is going to be a complete transformation,” Garcia said. “Everybody smile. We are at the right place at the right time. A friend of mine says I would rather be lucky than good. I think it is a little more than luck. I think you create your own luck. I am very happy about the economy.”