City Council Approves Bond Program to Revitalize Downtown Edinburg
|August 18, 2021
EDINBURG, TX –The Edinburg City Council approved the issuance of a $23M certificated of obligation bonds dedicated to several major downtown improvement and revitalization projects including:
A future Edinburg Arts, Culture, Events Center (A.C.E.) -This 45,000 sq.foot multi-purpose facility will serve as a downtown venue to host local conferences, cultural art exhibits, live performances, classes and community events. The facility will also serve as City Hall Annex housing several administrative and department offices. The intent of this $14M project is to expand and renovate the site of the 1920’s Sam Houston Elementary School building, located at 315 W McIntyre Street, so that it may feature local artists, host family-friendly cultural events, and conventions for residents and to attract more visitors to the city by creating a downtown entertainment area devoted to the arts. "This is something that is going to be huge for the city. It’s going to make Edinburg a destination site because there isn't another place like it in the Valley," said Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina during Thursday evening’s council meeting.
The A.C.E. Center will be constructed on a 5-acre downtown block newly dubbed “Promenade Park” along the City’s McIntyre Promenade. Promenade Park will feature an outdoor Amphitheater, interactive watergarden, meandering sculpture garden, and other greenspace amenities. “This park and greenspace will be the centerpiece of Edinburg, hosting large festivals and events; providing an urban oasis rivaling those of much larger cities,” said Edinburg City Manager, Ron Garza. The City is set to break ground on phase one, including the amphitheater and watergardens next month.
A downtown parking facility - The City of Edinburg will construct a $10M three-story parking garage with ground-level, mixed-use retail space to provide shopping and parking spaces for the greater downtown area including Hidalgo County Courthouse and Promenade Park area along McIntyre Promenade. This project was in partnership with Hidalgo County Commissioners who met Thursday morning to convey property to the City of Edinburg to develop this multi-story parking garage.
Additional infrastructure improvements in the amount of $8M will expand streets, acquire certain right-of-ways, as well as downtown beautification improving sidewalks, lighting, and signage.
These projects, meant to reinvigorate the downtown Edinburg economy while improving existing infrastructure, would not be possible without the partnership and ongoing support of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which has committed $9M in funding to revitalize the downtown area. “The EDC board rallied around downtown as a signature project for our first year. We felt it would be a catalyst and entice businesses to relocate to downtown Edinburg. $9M is a large sum; however, we felt the amount was needed to make sure the project was done correctly for all future phases of development,” said Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Board President Hiren Govind.
Most importantly, the City of Edinburg would like to reassure its citizens that these certificates of obligation for the downtown revitalization projects will not increase city taxes or affect the cost of city services for residents. With continued double-digit growth in property and sales taxes revenues, bonds will be repaid exclusively utilizing this revenue growth. "Our focus as a city has been on improving the quality of life of our residents. The community has been wanting something like this for years and the fact that we're able to develop and create an entertainment/arts district within our downtown at no additional cost to the taxpayer-that's incredible," stated Mayor Molina.
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