Texas Border Business
EDINBURG, Texas – City of Edinburg Mayor Ramiro Garza, Jr. delivered his first “State of the City” address to a packed crowd at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance. Mayor Garza focused on his administration’s priorities surrounding economic development, infrastructure, public safety, and quality of life. The theme for the event was, “Empowering today, envisioning tomorrow.” Key highlights of his speech reflecting on 2022 include:
- Edinburg had a total capital investment of $264.8 million, which resulted in an economic impact of $730.5 million and 2,018 jobs created
- Among all U.S. cities with 100,000 or more residents, Edinburg is the FASTEST growing city in South Texas, 5th fastest in the state, and 12th fastest growing in the nation
- More than 9,000 building permits were issued, that resulted in $301 million in construction activity
- $98 million have been invested in improvements throughout Edinburg, that include street upgrades, park and trail improvements, public facilities, and drainage improvements
“The buzz generated by our rapid growth is exciting, but it also comes with challenges. We have to have the right infrastructure in place. That is key to our growth,” Mayor Garza said. “Infrastructure enables trade, powers business, connects workers to their jobs, and creates opportunities for Edinburg.”
During his speech, Mayor Garza highlighted education and the city’s unique partnerships with local school districts. The City of Edinburg recently broke ground on De Zavala Park which will feature a walking trail, basketball court, and two soccer fields. The city also opened its first all-inclusive park in partnership with the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and Vanguard Academy School. The Vanguard Academy Beethoven City Park includes all-inclusive equipment, such as the “We-Go” Swing which can accommodate wheelchairs, a first in the state of Texas.
“In the educational arena, the City of Edinburg is unmatched. Who can say that they have a top tier university in their backyard? We are so proud to be the home of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley,” Mayor Garza said. “UTRGV empowers successful futures and helps our region shine as a global innovator in higher education.”
Mayor Garza also focused on healthcare advancements in the city. South Texas Health System’s new five-story patient tower has officially opened its doors in Edinburg. The new tower represents a $100 million investment. Similarly, a new eight-level freestanding Driscoll Children’s Hospital will be located on the campus of DHR Health and will be a $110 million boost to the city’s economy.
“Edinburg is the medical mecca of the Rio Grande Valley,” Mayor Garza said. “We are home to not one, but two world-class health systems to advance medicine and increase access to medical care in our community.”
The new Edinburg Arts, Culture, and Events Center was also a focal point. Better known as the ACE building, the 36,000 sq. ft. facility will serve as a downtown venue to host local conferences, cultural art exhibits, live performances, and community events. The ACE building is being constructed on a downtown block newly dubbed, “Promenade Park.” It features an outdoor amphitheater, interactive water garden, and green space amenities.
“Our growth is explosive and when you look at what’s coming, like Division 1 collegiate football, the ACE building, state of the art medical facilities, Edinburg is the educational, cultural, and healthcare hub of the Valley.”
Garza also discussed the city’s infrastructure and road improvements – most notably the completion of Schunior, Alberta, and Lull Subdivision street improvements.
“As part of all the improvements we are making, $3 million were also set aside from the city’s capital improvement fund for a residential street improvement program,” he said. “We looked at requests from residents, solicited feedback, and identified streets that needed repairs. Our crews have already repaved about 30 of them. You spoke and we listened!”
Other highlights of Mayor Garza’s State of the City speech include:
- The overall crime rate dropped 5% in 2022, compared to 2021
- For the first time since 1996, property tax rates were lowered from 68 cents to 64 cents
- Unemployment rate dipped to 5.1% in 2022 from 6.4% the previous year
- Edinburg generated $34.6 million in sales tax activity, the highest in the city’s history