151022-darling 151022-mcallen_performing_arts_1 151022-darling_2

McALLEN, RGV – McAllen is back to booming again, according to McAllen Mayor Jim Darling.

Speaking at the latest announcement for McAllen’s upcoming Performing Arts Center, Darling said development at the city’s Convention Center district is symbolic of growth in the Rio Grande Valley.

“We are back to booming again. These are exciting times, and it’s symbolic of what’s going on all around us, not just in McAllen but in the entire region,” Darling said. “This building here is going to support the whole Valley from the standpoint of performing arts and things we want to bring in, just like other venues in other cities.

“It’s very exciting. The Valley is a great place to live,” Darling said. “There is something to do every weekend, and all the different cities participating make it a really exciting place.”

A “topping out ceremony” for the City of McAllen Performing Arts Center was held on Thursday morning. The ceremony was held to commemorate reaching the highest point of the structure, according to representatives with the project team, which includes the City of McAllen, general contractor SpawGlass, and ERO Architects.

The design of the Performing Arts Center includes cast-in-place concrete walls approximately 90 feet high at the perimeter and interior of the stage and proscenium. The project site is located directly southeast of the McAllen Convention Center, which was constructed by SpawGlass in 2007.

When complete, the four-story Performing Arts Center will total 93,471 square feet and seat approximately 1,800 spectators. The venue is designed to accommodate full-scale Broadway productions. Completion is scheduled for summer 2016.

“This whole area, along with the whole shopping center is quite a venue,” Darling said. “The Convention Center is quite a venue with the courtyard outside so we are having things here all the time. There’s a little for everybody.”

The area around the convention center is arguably one of McAllen’s busiest sites for development. The city broke ground on a four-story La Quinta Inn and Suites back in March, and Embassy Suites’ $20 million hotel in 2014.

Contracts are currently underway in separate negotiations for two more hotels and a restaurant. In addition, Darling said construction of the Veterans War Memorial is almost complete.

“We are working on other projects. Sometimes with commercial ventures, you can’t get too far in front of yourself. But I think we are going to have another exciting announcement within the next two months of a major commercial endeavor,” Darling said, without going into detail. “We will do a hotel announcement as soon as we are ready to break ground. We have a new sports complex that we just opened up, and some other things on the north side.”