MISSION, Texas – Could Mission, Texas, be getting a skyscraper? Or at least a tower six or eight stories high?

Mission Mayor Armando O’Caña alluded to this in his latest economic development update with the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service.

“Economic development in Mission? I want to say, the sky is the limit,” O’Caña said. “If you look around, the highest buildings in Mission are three stories in height. That is all I can say.”

A reporter then asked: “So, you are getting a skyscraper, or a tall tower?” The mayor replied: “Wait till they have signed the contract, then I will release it.”

When will that be, the mayor was asked. “Very close,” he responded.

Mayor O’Caña gave his exclusive interview at a celebration event for a huge new car and jeep showroom being built by Burns Motors in Mission. 

After the event, O’Caña told the Guardian that the new showroom was going to be spectacular.

“This is a spectacular project coming to Mission. It is the newest car dealership coming to town,” O’Caña said. “But, if you look around Mission you will see this is being echoed across the four quadrants of the city.”

O’Caña encouraged this reporter to drive around Mission and look at all the construction going on.

“If you drive around you are going to see people moving dirt. You are going to see the installation of new piping systems, new drainage systems. And there is more to come.”

O’Caña was asked, why Mission? He responded: “Because Mission is the place to be. We have a great tax rate, our public safety is second to none. We are one of the safest cities in the Rio Grande Valley and in Texas. This is the place to be. And, we have the land. We have the land opportunities.”

O’Caña pointed out that in January, Mission’s sales tax revenues were up 69 percent compared to the same month last year. “It is happening. It is here,” he said.

100,000 population

Mayor O’Caña was asked how fast Mission’s population was growing. He said he and the city council disagreed with the U.S. Census Bureau’s numbers. According to the 2020 Census, Mission’s population was around 85,000.

“We are asking them to review our numbers. We estimated ours to be over 100,000. It came out at 85,000. So we are not satisfied with the numbers. There is a letter that is going to be sent by the city manager requesting, I do not want to say a recount, but a review of the process.”

Asked why Mission’s population was so badly undercounted, O’Caña said: “I really don’t know. The pandemic is one reason. The other one is a lot of people fear (Census Bureau enumerators) knocking on their doors because of immigration issues. If you look at Mission, we are a blended city of Hispanics and a lot of the Hispanics have primos and primas that come and visit them or are staying there for a short term or long term and they do not want to answer. When we do public service announcements about the Census we do not ask for immigration status. If there is a body there, just count the body.”

Madero International Bridge

The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service never lets an interview opportunity with Mayor O’Caña go by without asking about one of his biggest projects: the Madero International Bridge.

Asked how the project is going, O’Caña said: “We are in the middle of the environmental study. Things are looking great. We are working with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) right now to get the environmental clearance. Once we get the environmental clearance then we will move forward with it. But, everything is moving on track.”

The Madero International Bridge would be built just upstream from Anzalduas International Bridge in Mission. O’Caña argues it would augment Anzalduas by concentrating on rail and passenger vehicle traffic.

O’Caña said he was in Dallas last week to attend the Southwestern Rail Conference 2022. The event was put on by Texas Rail Advocates.

“I was very impressed that our Rio Grande Valley MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) was there. So, now we are looking at a regional project, not just a city of Mission project,” O’Caña said.

“One of the things that stood out for me is that a lot of the rail lines stop at San Antonio, Houston and El Paso. South of there, there are few connections. It is time to connect the Rio Grande Valley, through Mission to San Antonio, Houston and Dallas.

“When I got back I sent an email to the RGV MPO executive director, Andrew Canon. I said it is time to start connecting San Antonio to the Rio Grande Valley through Mission and on to Monterrey, Mexico.”

O’Caña said he was pleased to learn that more federal funding is being made available for rail projects.

“One of the things the Federal Rail Administration said was there was going to be $66 billion in this infrastructure bill specifically for rail. So, now we are looking at fast rail for passenger traffic and we are looking at freight also.”

Editor’s Note: Mission Mayor Armando O’Caña points to a new showroom being built by Burns Motors on the Northside of I-2 in Mission, Texas.

Editor’s Note: The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service will have more information about the new Burns Motors showroom coming to Mission, Texas, in our next edition.

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