EDINBURG, RGV – The City of Edinburg will invest in a 25,000-square-foot plaza dedicated to five dining establishments, including Bob’s Steak & Chop House, a nationally recognized restaurant.

Gus Garcia, executive director of Edinburg Economic Development Corporation (EEDC), said there was a mandate by the council to find more restaurants and live venues for the community about three to five years ago.

Since then, the City of Edinburg delivered sufficient infrastructures and entertainment venues such as the Cinemark Movie Bistro, The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley, the Edinburg soccer stadium, the upcoming IMAX theater and the upcoming Bert Ogden Arena.

“The city has delivered,” Garcia said. “The leadership has delivered with quality life, restaurants and hotels for this community. You’re seeing the fruits of those labors happen now.”

According to Edinburg EDC, construction and building related activities from Jan. to Aug. 2016 passed $166 million. This is an approximate $80 million increase for the same time period in 2015.

One of the top projects for Edinburg in August 2016 was the construction of a 9,000-square-foot Bob’s Steak & Chop House restaurant. First Hartford Realty Corporation received a $2.5 million building permit for work.

The restaurant will serve as the anchor of a larger 25,000-square-foot restaurant plaza at The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley located on Trenton and I-69 Central. The plaza will feature four other restaurants including Kumori.

Peter Higgins, vice president and director of leasing at First Hartford Corp. said the groundbreaking ceremony for First Hartford’s Bob’s Steak & Chop House is set for Tuesday, Oct. 18. The grand opening is set for Spring 2017.

“If you look at the IMAX theater, the two stadiums and you’ve got the other dinner theater on Trenton, you can describe the area as an entertainment corridor,” Higgins said. “And you could also tie in the University with their new philharmonic center. So we’re very excited to be part of Edinburg and the Valley in total.”

Richard Garcia, mayor of Edinburg, previously said the area is on its way to becoming the destination city. He said the city will need not only more restaurants, but high quality hotels to accommodate the people that will be coming to Edinburg.

“I see in the future some big name sporting events happening here, entertainment of different types nationally,” Garcia said. “We’re all gearing up for that, we’re excited. This is going to be the place to come for everything–for culture, for entertainment, for good paying jobs [and] a place to take your family that can be high dollar or … affordable.”

The remainder of the money went to constructing multiple and single family residences, commercial constructions and alterations, as well as residential alterations. Garcia said the census bureau estimates Edinburg’s annual growth rate is at five percent. Within the next five years, he said the population can reach over 100,000.