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Photo by Stephanie Jara, Rio Grande Guardian.

EDINBURG, RGV – At his 2017 State of the City Address on Wednesday, Edinburg Mayor Richard Garcia listed several major projects to reinforce the message that his city is “flying high.”

Among the multi-million dollar projects referenced were:

  • $29 million, 90,000 square-feet, Cinergy entertainment complex, being built next to I-69C between Monte Cristo and Davis Roads;
  • the new H-E-B Park, home of RGV FC Toros soccer team;
  • the $5 million Carmike AMC IMAX Theater, the only one of its type south of San Antonio;

Asked why he used the motto “flying high” for his State of the City address, Mayor Garcia told the Rio Grande Guardian: “It was to describe how we are doing, which is very, very, well. We had to get up really high in the sky to see all the things that are happening. I was a pilot for a lot of years. We went up and took a look and you can see the results.”

The panoramic views of Edinburg’s growth, from video shot from the sky, were shown with dramatic effect on a big screen at the IMAX Theater.

“This theater is a $5 million investment, creating 50 jobs and contributing a riveting movie experience to all of us and our neighbors. Thank you AMC Theaters for choosing Edinburg to begin your new Valley adventure.”

Garcia said that in his opinion, Edinburg is doing better than ever before. “In fact, we are completely transforming our city. We are becoming a destination city.”

To highlight the growth, pointed to activity by the city’s planning and zoning committee. In 2016, the department issued construction project permits worth $209 million. That is up $130 million compared to 2015.

In the first three months of 2017, the department recorded $134 million in construction projects. That’s $4 million more than the entire 2015 total.

“We are on track to exceed $209 million by the end of the year,” Garcia said. “Numbers don’t lie. Edinburg is Flying High.”

Companies making new investments in Edinburg, Mayor Garcia said, include Hacienda Ford, with a $2.5 million commitment, Bert Ogden Motors, with a new Fiesta Nissan Dealership, with a $5.6 million commitment that will bring 50 new jobs, and a $4 million, 50,500 square foot expansion by FedEx.

In his interview afterwards, Garcia was asked what Edinburg’s population is today and what it might be ten years from now.

“We are hearing that our population is anywhere between 87,000 and 89,000 right now. I have no doubt we are at 100,000. The university’s predictions tell us that within five years McAllen’s and Edinburg’s population should be pretty much equal.

“The reason for that is there is so much room to grow north. Mayor Darling said in his State of the City, that the university’s projections are that 90 percent of the new growth is going to be north of (State Highway) 107. So, McAllen will be growing in that direction. We will too. The difference is, we have so much more space to grow.

“As I like to say, I would rather be lucky than good.”