Teclo Garcia writes about Tesla, Olive Garden and the latest RGV population estimates

MISSION, TEXAS – As befits a former newspaper editor, Mission Economic Development Corporation CEO Teclo Garcia writes a lot on LinkedIn.

And he has built up quite a large following on the platform.

In recent days Garcia has written about Olive Garden coming to Mission, population growth in the Rio Grande Valley, and a Tesla-related car show and tech expo coming to Mission’s Center for Education & Economic Development (CEED).

Mission EDC is based in the CEED building. 

Here are those commentary pieces:

Tesla Takeover

“We’re so excited to partner with Tesla and several other innovative, forward-thinking firms and groups to put on the #teslatakeovermission – an exhibition of auto & tech at the Mission EDC CEED Building on July 1. 

“It only makes sense. Since it’s inception, the CEED has led the region in tech training and entrepreneurship while Tesla has sandwiched Mission and the RGV between multi-billion dollar gigafactories in Austin and Monterrey. Tesla owners please sign up to show off your car. Event is open to the public!.” 

Garcia also linked to the official Mission EDC news release. It stated:

“We’re thrilled to announce the 2023 Tesla Takeover, a car show and tech expo that is centered on #EmergingTechnologies, #workforce development and #education

“On Saturday, July 1, we’ll be marking the 20th anniversary of Tesla‘s founding with a tech expo at our headquarters, the Center for Education and Economic Development, located at 801 N. Bryan Road. 

“We’ve partnered with the Tesla Service Center in Brownsville, the South Texas College Technology Campus, 5×5 Brewing Co. and Brand Geniuz to roll out this first-of-its-kind event for the Rio Grande Valley.

“We’ll be rounding up Tesla drivers from across the region for a festival-style car show that will feature food trucks, high-tech exhibits and even its own Tesla-inspired brew, which was crafted specifically for the event by 5X5 Brewery. Tesla owners please sign up to show off your cars!

“Learn more about this buzzworthy event by visiting our website, www.missionedc.com, our Facebook event page, https://shorturl.at/hoS13 and our registration page.”

Olive Garden

Also on LinkedIn, Garcia wrote:

“Mission is coming into its own. Slowly but surely and confidently. Ask Darden Restaurants, aka Olive Garden.

“For decades has been a McAllen beneficiary. Its amenities, massive mall, beautiful airport and bountiful selection of restaurants has made it easy for thousands of Cimarron and Plantation residents to shop there. A great neighbor for sure.

“But with impressive growth, Mission, the RGV’s 4th largest city, has now drawn the attention of some of the country’s most popular restaurants and stores, and we are working very hard to make sure they land here. These stores and restaurants not only provide residents exciting new options, they create jobs, expand the tax base and draw visitors to the city.

“Mission’s new Olive Garden will be strategically located at Bryan and I-2, just 2 miles from the Anzalduas Bridge, next to Cimarron and Sharyland, and it will be the only OG for nearly 200,000 people in western Hidalgo County. OG signals a new age of growth for Mission. More on the way. #letsdothis”

Garcia also linked to the official Mission EDC news release. It stated:

Olive Garden is preparing to serve up some spaghetti, bake breadsticks and plate some parmigiana to go along with its $4.9M capital investment and new restaurant in Mission.

“The Mission EDC Board of Directors approved an economic incentive agreement to help locate an Olive Garden to the City that would create 50 full-time jobs and bring another nationally recognized brand to town. 

“Its proposed location is near the northeast corner of Bryan Road and Interstate 2. Construction is expected to start in October, with completion scheduled for July 2024. It may be the closest Olive Garden to Mexico in the entire Southwest – just 2 miles from the Anzalduas International Bridge, and the eatery is the lynchpin for many new businesses coming to the Mission I-2 area.

“And because we’re all family here, Olive Garden has also pledged to donate $25,000 worth of food to the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, Inc. Welcome OG!”

Census population estimates

Also on LinkedIn, Garcia wrote:

“RGV cities are growing, but they are not growing by much and don’t compare favorably to the fastest growing cities in Texas, according to the latest Census population estimates.

“From 2020 to 2022 Brownsville, McAllen and Mission populations increased 1% to 1.5%, meanwhile, Pharr and Harlingen counts remained the same. Even the RGV’s fastest growing large cities Weslaco and Edinburg only posted modest jumps of 4% and 3.4%, respectively. Several Austin, DFW, SA & Houston suburbs like Leander, McKinney, New Braunfels, The Woodlands and others have expanded at a much higher rates (upwards of 10% and 20%) the last few years.

“The asterisk* here is that these counts are based on the 2020 Census, which many folks believe was mired in controversy and undercounted minority dominant areas up to 3% maybe more. For Hidalgo County that would be some 30,000 or more people not accounted for. Here are the RGV’s 8 largest cities, 2022 estimated pop. and growth from 2020-22.”

1. Brownsville: 189,382 — 1.3%
2. McAllen: 144,579 — 1.5%
3. Edinburg: 104,294 — 3.6%
4. Mission: 86,735 — 1%
5. Pharr: 80,179 — .4%
6. Harlingen: 71,678 — 0%
7. Weslaco: 42,231 — 4%
8. San Juan: 35,782 — 1%

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