EDINBURG, RGV – Edinburg Mayor Richard Garcia says the city’s South Texas International Airport is primed for expansion, with interest from businesses and well-established families across the border.
Garcia, who is also president of Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, said city officials have begun meeting with potential investors from Mexico positioning Edinburg for exponential growth.
“People are talking about Edinburg in Mexico, and we have people looking at our airport for investment and development right now,” Mayor Garcia said.
Garcia chaired an Edinburg EDC meeting on Tuesday. After the meeting had ended, Garcia told the Rio Grande Guardian that potential investments from Mexico were discussed in executive session. He said he could not say too much more at this stage.
“We now have other Mexican investors looking to do major investment in the north of our city, not necessarily the airport but north of the city. We are in discussions with Mexican investors for projects that are in the tens of millions of dollars,” Garcia said. “It brings truth to everything we have been saying, that we are flying high, that we are the fastest growing, that we are where investors are looking to put their money. We are the future.”
Currently, the airport is used by law enforcement and emergency response teams, individuals with private jets and those completing flight school training. But, Mayor Garcia foresees an increased need in the near future for access to the airport. He cites burgeoning business ties with Mexico as well as the newly-established UTRGV School of Medicine for the projected surge in traffic – doctors and businesspeople flying to and from the area.
“We need more service – personal service – from our airport for these type of people, people coming in on their private jets and charters from Mexico,” Mayor Garcia said.
Like Fort Worth Alliance Airport, Mayor Garcia hopes South Texas International Airport will become the industrial and corporate aviation hub of the Rio Grande Valley. Sitting on 1,200 acres, Mayor Garcia says the potential is even there for it to someday be a major regional airport, the actualization of which would be several years away.
Meeting with Henry Cisneros
Mayor Garcia also hinted at a new venture involving former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros. Cisneros is chairman and co-founder of CityView, an investment management and development firm focused on urban planning. At a private meeting at Pepper’s in McAllen, Cisneros met with Mayor Garcia, McAllen Mayor Jim Darling, and Alonzo Cantu. Mayor Garcia said that the meeting was really focused on Edinburg, but emphasized the benefit for the surrounding communities.
“This is about regional growth. Everything that we have in Edinburg is for the whole region,” Mayor Garcia said.
Mayor Garcia said he was pleased to attend the opening on Monday of a new Mexican restaurant, Gorditas Doña Tota on Closner Boulevard in Edinburg.
Among those at the official opening were local businessman Alonzo Cantu and the First Lady of Tamaulipas, Mariana Gómez de García Cabeza de Vaca, wife of the state’s governor, Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca.
“It is important we have these types of personalities coming to our area,” Mayor Garcia said.
Meanwhile, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation is finalizing several other projects across the city. On the premiere episode of their Facebook Live series, Edinburg Connect, Edinburg EDC Executive Director Gus Garcia briefly mentioned some of these projects. The revitalization of strip malls near H-E-B Park soccer stadium on Raul Longoria Road and the ongoing construction of and around Bert Ogden Arena at Alberta Road are two developments to be discussed in a subsequent stream.
“What’s happening in that corridor is it’s growing so fast that companies are trying to figure out what they’re going to do there,” Gus Garcia said. “The arena is a huge catalyst for growth.”
With co-host and Grindstone Coworking founder Daniel Rivera, Gus Garcia mainly used the inaugural episode of Edinburg Connect to explain the purpose and function of the Edinburg EDC.
“The EDC specifically is a promoter of the community … We want to try and attract business to the area,” Gus Garcia said. “…Our policies and our vision is really dictated by our board, and then our board is appointed by city council, and so those two have to work together.”
The next episode of Edinburg Connect will be on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 10 a.m.
Editor’s Note: Rio Grande Guardian publisher hosted an RGG LIVE event with Gus Garcia recently on Facebook. Here it is:
City of Edinburg-Government, the fastest growing city in the RGV. How did it happen? We look for answers in a conversation with Edinburg EDC Executive Director Gus Garcia.
Posted by Rio Grande Guardian on Wednesday, August 16, 2017