Another major retail and entertainment complex, complete with a hotel, is in the planning stages for Edinburg, a project that could bring in as much as $300 million a year into the city’s economy, Agustín “Gus” García, the Executive Director for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, has announced.

García delivered that news and provided other insights into the strength and future of Edinburg and its economy during the Public Affairs Luncheon, sponsored by The Bert Ogden Auto Group and the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, on Thursday, July 24.

His remarks, illustrated by a Power Point presentation, were made before about 225 community and business leaders who attended the function, held in one of the main reception rooms at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance.

García said the EEDC has been working with Burns Brothers, LTD, a local development firm which in 2008 created the 726-acre La Sienna Master Planned Community in north Edinburg, to help bring about the adjoining planned retail/hotel conglomerate to be known as Resaca Market.

García said Resaca Market would take advantage not only of the growing residential subdivisions within the La Sienna Master Planned Community, but especially with the tens of thousands of prospective customers who would travel by it every day on U.S. Expressway 281, which on May 30, 2013 was designated Interstate 69-Central.

The planned Resaca Market and La Sienna Master Planned Community are located by the U.S. Expressway 281/169C six-lane thoroughfare’s intersection with Monte Cristo Road.

Resaca Market and La Sienna Master Planned Community are about 3.5 miles north of Edinburg’s downtown, and approximately six miles north of Edinburg’s city-owned, planned $54 million, 8,500-seat arena to be constructed along U.S. 281/I69C in south Edinburg.

“They are changing the shopping industry with Resaca Market,” García said. “We are currently working with Burns Brothers, LTD to develop that project, which would feature about 500,000 square feet of retail, restaurants, hotel, shopping, entertainment, movie theaters, and so on. What a wonderful opportunity for shopping this will be, which would bring many more Mexican consumers and American dollars to that area, and into our city.”

In general, a master planned community is an economically-upscale residential center, with homes built by several different builders, pools, trails, and other recreational facilities, designed to provide all the major amenities to its residents. There are often adjacent commercial districts with shopping and entertainment venues, as would be the case with the Resaca Market.

García said Resaca Market has the potential to generate as much as $5 million a year in local sales tax revenue for key public services – additional money that can be used by the Edinburg City Council and EEDC for a wide range of its duties, from public safety, infrastructure improvements and youth programs to economic development and job-creation efforts.

The EEDC executive director said Resaca Market would have similar benefits as another of the Valley’s more well-known retail venues, the Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets, which is the 587,000-square-foot shopping center located in Mercedes by U.S. Expressway 83.

To provide Edinburg’s leadership with an analysis of the potential financial impact of Resaca Market, the EEDC reviewed the positive economic impact of the Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets, which took advantage of being located right off U.S. Expressway 281.

“In the area of Mercedes that now includes the Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets, before that shopping center was built, that region of their city generated about $1.2 million to $1.5 million a year in local sales taxes,” García reported. “After the outlet was built, that figure, in as few as five years, increased to $7.4 million in local sales taxes generated annually. That equates to roughly $300 million in sales a year. If all goes well for Resaca Market, that could bring the extra $5 million a year for local city services in Edinburg.”

“Location, location, location” – that famous selling point for successful real estate transactions – is one of the major themes Edinburg has been using in encouraging new commercial and residential developments and expansions in the city, including along the frontage roads of the 18-mile stretch of U.S. Expressway 281/I69C that spans Edinburg’s southern and northern city limits.

While Resaca Market would serve as the northern anchor of retail action for Edinburg which will draw traffic from U.S. Expressway 281/169C, that same interstate also is benefiting another developing retail corridor that features The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley – and other vital businesses.

García said that The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, which currently has 450,000 square feet of retail space in use, is planning its next significant addition, which will provide more restaurants in high demand by local residents.

This latest expansion involving those new restaurants is part of a vision by city leaders and First Hartford Realty Corporation, the developers of The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley, which was opened in 2008.

Currently, The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley is generating about $100 million annually in retail activity from existing stores, but that figure will grow significantly when that complex eventually reaches its goal of becoming a 1.1 million square-foot retail giant.

Near the Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley, major auto dealerships and large shopping venues, such as the city’s third Wal-Mart Supercenter, are open for business.

Other existing and planned retail venues, such as the city’s third H-E-B supermarket, are drawn by the high-traffic counts of U.S. Expressway 281/I69C in south Edinburg. That region will also soon boast the $54 million, 8,500-seat arena, to be owned by the city, that will serve as home to the NBA-affiliated Rio Grande Valley Vipers professional basketball team, as well as host major concerts and other large gatherings.

The EEDC executive director’s overview also included summaries of more than one dozen other ongoing and planned major projects, ranging from new hotels coming to the city to more than $200 million in new construction now underway, approved, or proposed for the The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg and the UT-RGV school of medicine in Edinburg.

“Ladies and gentlemen, that is a lot of activity going on in Edinburg right now,” García concluded his presentation, then predicted, “We’re helping lead the way in education, medicine, and government. In partnership with all cities in the Valley, I know that South Texas is going to become one of the epicenters of economic development for Texas.”

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