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Featured, from left: Elva Jackson Garza, Vice President & Marketing Manager, Edwards Abstract and Title Co.; Byron Jay Lewis, President & CEO, Edwards Abstract and Title Co.; Guy S. Huddleston, III, Senior Vice President & Corporate Ambassador, Edwards Abstract and Title Co.; Mike Overly, Executive Vice President/COO/CFO, Edwards Abstract and Title Co.; Edinburg Mayor Richard García; Dr. Ted C. Jones, Ph.D., Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, Stewart Title Guaranty Co.; D.D. Hoffman, Senior Vice President & Corporate Ambassador, Edwards Abstract & Title Co., and Brandon Linscomb, Vice President/Agency Services Manager, Stewart Title Guaranty Company. This portrait shot was taken on Thursday, March 2, 2017 at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance during the 13th Annual Real Estate Forum, which drew almost 300 real estate professionals and business leaders, and which was hosted by Edwards Abstract and Title Co., whose headquarters is in Edinburg. Garza is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. García is the President of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors.

A group photo during the H-E-B Distinguished Chair in Diabetes and Genomics for the South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute luncheon on Wednesday, Mar. 8, 2017 at the McAllen Country Club in McAllen, Texas. From L to R: Dr. Havidan Rodriguez, Winell Herron, Dr. Sarah Wililams-Blangero, Linda Tovar, Kelly Scrivner-Cronin.
UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy

Photograph By ROBERTO GONZÁLEZ

Featured, from left: Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; Winell Herron, Vice President of Public Affairs, Diversity & Environmental Affairs, H-E-B Grocery Company LP; Dr. Sarah Williams-Blangero (seated), Director, South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute (STDOI); Linda Tovar, H-E-B Manager of Public Affairs, Border Region; and Dr. Kelly Scrivner-Cronin, Vice President for Advancement, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Williams-Blangero, a genetics and infectious diseases expert, is Director of STDOI. UTRGV leaders on Thursday, March 9, 2017, named Williams-Blangero as the Endowed Chair of the H-E-B Distinguished Chair in Diabetes and Genomics for the South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute. Rodríguez is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation.

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

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Edinburg EDC: $93.4 million in total construction took place in city during first month of the year, boosting hopes that 2017 will reach record level

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

Significantly boosted by the issuance in January 2017 of a building permit valued at $80 million for the Bert Ogden Arena, hopes are high that total construction activities in the city at the end of this year will pass the $209.1 million level set in 2016, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.

The 2016 amount of $209.1 million compares favorably with $139.5 million in 2015, $120.5 million in 2014, and $123 million in 2013.

Those totals do not include the value of any building-related activities at The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and the UTRGV School of Medicine in Edinburg because the state government, not the city, oversees all construction at the Edinburg campus.

The building permits do not include the value of the land for the homes and buildings.

The Edinburg EDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.

The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members.

In general, a building permit is legal permission given by the City of Edinburg, through the Code Enforcement Department, to erect, construct, renovate, maintain, or conduct any other specified activity on any building or structure, or on any installations or facilities therein. The term “building permit” includes but is not limited to building permits, electrical permits, mechanical permits, and plumbing permits.

For January 2017, total construction activities in Edinburg totaled $93,419,203 – $80 million of that the result of the building permit for the Bert Ogden Arena – compared with $36,212,106 in January 2016, according to the city’s Code Enforcement Department.

The top construction projects in Edinburg for January 2017, not including the value of the land, are:

$80,000,000 – City of Edinburg, 4900 S. I-69, Edinburg Arena Subdivision;
$1,203,120 – Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, 5501 S. McColl Road, Doctor’s Center Subdivision;
$1,100,000 – The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley, 651 E. Trenton Road, The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley Subdivision;
$950,000 – Discount Tires, 2700 S. I-69, Fairhaven Crossing Subdivision;
$775,000 – AATTIC X Limited Partnership, 1001 S. McColl Rd., Tex-Mex Railway Subdivision; and
$750,000 – McDonald’s USA, 2120 W. University Dr., Remington Square Subdivision.

For the month of January 2017, building permits were issued for 41 new single-family residences, valued at $5,228,786, compared with 45 new single-family residences, valued at $5,885,185 during the same month last year.

In addition, for the month of January 2017, building permits were issued for 53 additions/remodels of single-family residences, valued at $463,908, compared with 27 additions/remodels of single-family residences, valued at $140,075, in January 2016.

Multi-family residences – which range from two-unit duplexes to complexes of five or more units – totaled 15 buildings, representing 29 units, valued at $1,355,159, were approved for construction in January 2017. By comparison, there were 18 multi-family projects, representing 176 units, valued at $9,994,646, issued building permits in January 2016.

The top categories in Edinburg for January 2017, which led to the total figure of $93,419,203, were:

$80,000,000 – Non-Taxable New (government, religious, but not including the value of construction activities at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley or its School of Medicine.)
$5,228,786 – Single-Family Residences New Construction;
$2,984,520 – Commercial New Construction;
$2,901,830 – Commercial Alterations;
$1,355,159 – Multi-Family Residences New Construction;
$485,000 – Non-Taxable Alterations (government, religious, but not including the value of construction activities at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley or its School of Medicine); and
$463,908 – Residential Alterations.

The top categories in Edinburg during January 2016, which led to the total figure of $36,212,106, were:

$19,240,000 – Commercial New Construction;
$9,994,646 – Multi-Family Residences New Construction;
$5,885,185 – Single-Family Residences New Construction;
$935,200 – Commercial Alterations;
$485,000– Non-Taxable Alterations (government, religious, but not including the value of construction activities at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley or its School of Medicine);
$140,075 – Residential Alterations; and
$0 – Non-Taxable New (government, religious, but not including the value of construction activities at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley or its School of Medicine).

JANUARY 2017 CITY BUILDING PERMITS, $100,000 AND HIGHER

Single-Family Residences New Construction

For January 2017, there were 41 single-family residences issued building permits by the city.

The building permits, which do not include the price of the lot, ranged from $15,900 to $300,000, and represented a total value of $5,228,786.

Of the 41 single-family residences for which building permits were issued, 27 of them were for construction each valued at $100,000 or higher.

The $100,000+ building permits follow by value of the construction, name of the owner(s,), address, and subdivision. The permits do not include the value of the lot.

$300,000 – Aissa D. Cantú/Fortino González, 2008 Rochester, Madison Park Subdivision;
$285,000 – Prestige Luxury Homes, 4807 Nevis Dr., Summerfield Manor Subdivision;
$258,000 – Claudia Rivera, 2214 Vancouver, Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$255,000 – Ben Sandoval, 1736 E. Chapin Rd., Texas Mexican Railway Subdivision;
$212,740 – Eliseo Velásquez , 3513 Lerma Dr., Salva Tierra Subdivision;
$200,000 – Alpha Construction, 2309 McLeod Ave., Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$180,000 – Infinity Custom Construction LLC, 2207 Penrose, Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$180,000 – Daniel Sánchez, 2515 Penrose Ave., Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$170,000 – Ashley Lazaro, 4810 June Dr., Summerfield Manor Subdivision;
$165,000 – Lord I. González, 2312 McLeod, Jackson Heights Subdivision;
$160,000 – Rocass Homes, 4907 June Dr., Summerfield Manor Subdivision;
$155,000 – Dynasty Custom Homes, 1601 Lago Huron, Lumen Subdivision;
$152,000 – Pablo Grimaldo, 5101 August Ct., Summerset Estates Subdivision;
$150,000 – Ángel M. Treviño, 1911 Lago Huron, Lumen Phase A Subdivision;
$150,000 – Iván Almaguer, 3216 W.Chapin St., Texas Mexican Subdivision;
$146,000 – Ideal Choice Builders, Inc., 4005 Lomita St., Hacienda Del Bronco Unit 3 Subdivision;
$140,000 – DH Construction, Inc., 3610 Featherie St., Los Lagos Ph. 4 Subdivision;
$130,000 – DH Construction, Inc., 1204 Maravilla Dr., Summerset Estates Subdivision;
$120,000 – Raymundo Carrisales, 3003 London Dr., Camden Village Subdivision;
$110,000 – Roel A. Rodríguez, 2319 Jeremiah St., The Village at Los Lagos Subdivision;
$110,000 – Dolcán Construction, 2015 Teal Ln., Spring Valley Ph. 2 Lot 11 Subdivision;
$110,000 – Miguel Pérez MP Homes, 1707 Relaxation St., Villa Tranquilla Subdivision;
$105,000 – McAllen Group One LLC, 844 Casa Vieja Dr., Tierra Santa Estates Subdivision;
$101,635 – West Wind Homes, 2613 Singletary Dr., Fairhaven Heights Ph. IV Subdivision;
$100,000 – UR Homes Texas LLC, 3405 Toffee Ln., Sugarland Estates Subdivision;
$100,000 – Mario García, 2712 Montegue St., Los Lagos Phase 4 Subdivision; and
$100,000 – Formosa Homes, 3023 London Dr., Camden Village Subdivision.

Commercial New Construction

For January 2017, six permits were issued for new construction of commercial facilities, for a value totaling $2,984,520.

Both six of those projects were valued at $100,000 or higher.

The $100,000+ building permit follow by value of the construction, name of the owner, address, and subdivision. The permit does not include the value of the lot.

$950,000 – Discount Tire, 2700 I-69, Fairhaven Crossing Subdivision;
$775,000 – AATTIC X Limited Partnership, 1001 S. McColl Rd., Tex-Mex Railway Subdivision;
$750,000 – McDonald’s USA, 2120 W. University Dr., Remington Square Subdivision;
$250,000 – GRH Investments, 1050 E. University, Original Townsite Subdivision;
$150,000 – Mac-Leo Homes, 922 S. McColl, Butterfly 2 Subdivision; and
$109,520 – Alonzo Cantú, 1508 S. State Highway 336, Unit 1, Lone Star Plaza Subdivision.

Multi-Family Residences New Construction

For January 2017, building permits were issued for eight multi-family residences new construction/addition/remodel, with all of those projects valued at $100,000 or higher (not including the price of the lot).

Work on those new facilities represented a combined value of $1,355,159 for that month.

That building permits for the eight structures valued at $100,000 0r higher follow by value of the construction, name of the owner, address, and subdivision:

$230,000 – Ernesto Guajardo, 1205 Upas Dr., West Oaks Subdivision;
$226,959 – Greenpoint Developers, LLC, 4604 S.Sugar Road, Kelly-Pharr Subdivision;
$185,000 – Olga Salinas, 3301 Davin Ln., Tulipan Villas Subdivision;
$150,000 – César González, 3413 Aurora Ln., Tulipan Villas Subdivision;
$150,000 – César Solano Golden Homes, 2825 E. Wisconsin Rd., Tulipan Villas Subdivision;
$15o,000 – César Solano, 2902 Bella Flor, Tulipan Villas Subdivision;
$131,600 – Villanueva Construction, 2616 Larkspur Ave., McColl Manor Subdivision; and
$131,600 – Villanueva Construction, 2612 Larkspur Ave., McColl Manor Subdivision.

Residential Additions/Repairs

For January 2017, there were no residential additions/repairs projects, valued at $100,000 or higher, issued a building permit by the city.

In all, there were 53 residential additions/repairs projects authorized for that month, ranging from $300 to $75,000, for a total value of $463,908.

Commercial Additions/Repairs

For January 2017, there were 32 commercial additions/repairs which were issued building permits by the city.

The building permits, which do not include the price of the lot, ranged from $500 to $1,203,000, and represented a total value of $2,901,830.

Of the 32 commercial additions/repairs for which building permits were issued, three were for construction valued at $100,000 or higher.

That $100,000+ building permits follow by value of the construction, name of the owner, address, and subdivision. The permits do not include the value of the lot.

$1,203,120 – Doctors’ Hospital at Renaissance, 5501 S. McColl Rd., Doctors’ Center Subdivision;
$1,100,000 – The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley, 651 E. Trenton Rd., The Shoppes at RGV Valley Subdivision; and
$391,760 – Doctors’ Hospital at Renaissance, 5501 S. McColl Rd., Doctors’ Center Subdivision.

Non-Taxable Additions/Repairs

For January 2017, there were three non-taxable additions/remodels issued building permits by the city.

Those three building permits, which do not include the price of the lot, represent a combined value of work of $485,000.

Two of those projects involved building permits each valued at $100,000 or more. Those permits follow by value of the construction, name of the owner, address, and subdivision. The permits do not include the value of the lot.

$280,000 – Truman Elementary, 701 W. Rogers Rd., Tex-Mex Subdivision; and
$200,000 – Monte Cristo Elementary, 4010 N. Doolittle Rd., ECISD #5 Subdivision.

Non-Taxable New Construction

For January 2017, there was one building permit issued for non-taxable new construction, but is was a very valuable one – building the $88.3 million, city-owned, 190,000 square foot Bert Ogden Arena.

That building permit, which does not include the value of the land on which the facility will be located, is for construction work valued at $80 million.

The Bert Ogden Arena is being designed to host a variety of entertainment events, including sporting events such as basketball, concerts, family shows, and trade shows. Once completed, the first-class indoor multi-purpose center being built at the corner of Interstate Highway 69-Central and Alberta Road in east Edinburg, will serve as a major economic development engine for that region of the city.

The Bert Ogden Arena will feature 8,500 fixed seats, which includes 1,200 club seats, 12 luxury suites, a restaurant/club area, locker rooms, offices for sports team personnel, and marquee signs by the expressway.

The Bert Ogden Arena, which will have parking for 2,856 vehicles, is part of a 49.57 acre site with plans by a private investment group to build – next to or near the arena – nine pad sites that will add millions of dollars in value to that upscale commercial development. Those pad sites represent one million square feet of property for new businesses.

Through a state economic development strategy – known as a Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) – being used by the city, there will be no increase in local property tax rates to pay for the construction of the complex.

Instead, a portion of the city’s and Edinburg EDC’s local sales taxes will be used to pay the city’s share through revenue bonds – about $46 million – of the arena’s construction, with Vipers Arena, LLC covering the rest of those costs.

A revenue bond is a municipal bond supported by revenue from a specific project, such as a toll bridge, highway, or local stadium, according to investopedia.com. Revenue bonds are municipal bonds that finance income-producing projects are are secured by a specified revenue source. Typically, revenue bonds can be issued by any government agency or fund that is manager in the manner of a business, such as entities have both operating revenues and expenses.

Vipers Arena LLC of McAllen, whose principal agent is Alonzo Cantú of McAllen, is serving as the private investor in the Public-Private Partnership. Vipers Arena LLC is overseeing all aspects of the construction of the facility, with Cantú Construction of McAllen, which is a company owned by Alonzo Cantú, building the Bert Ogden Arena.

“This joint venture is a tremendous opportunity for the City of Edinburg to improve the quality of life for residents without having to pay a single penny up front or take any away from other projects,” said Edinburg Mayor Richard H. García. “This is definitely a triumph for our residents. We are very excited about this project.”

Vipers Arena, LLC will also serve as the major tenant of the Bert Ogden Arena, and will be responsible for the operations, maintenance, scheduling of events, and marketing of the facility.

Elías Longoria, Jr., Secretary/Treasurer for the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors, noted that the Bert Ogden Arena will have a dramatic and positive impact because of the economic develop it will create next to it.

“Obviously, the arena is going to be a major attraction, so we are going to get large numbers of people, not just from Edinburg but from throughout the region, to come see high-quality sports and events,” Longoria said. “As more people come, there will be needs for more restaurants, more service stations, so people will want to invest even more in east Edinburg, which is an area of growth for our city now.”

The address for the Bert Ogden Arena is 4900 I-69C in the Edinburg Arena Subdivision.

DR. SARAH WILLIAMS-BLANGERO, DIRECTOR OF SOUTH TEXAS DIABETES AND OBESITY INSTITUTE, NAMED H-E-B DISTINGUISHED CHAIR FOR DIABETES AND GENOMICS

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on Thursday, March 9, 2017, named Dr. Sarah Williams-Blangero as the Endowed Chair of the H-E-B Distinguished Chair in Diabetes and Genomics for the South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute.

Williams-Blangero, a renowned genetics and infectious diseases expert, is director of the South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute.

H-E-B in December 2014 donated $1 million to establish the H-E-B Distinguished Chair in Diabetes and Genomics, benefitting STDOI.

“We are pleased to be able to partner with UTRGV in helping to safeguard the well-being of our Rio Grande Valley community,” said Linda Tovar, H-E-B Senior Manager of Public Affairs. “We strongly believe in the critical work that Dr. Williams-Blangero and her team of researchers at the South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute are engaged in, and support the university’s continued commitment to health and wellness research.”

UTRGV President Guy Bailey said the university is grateful to H-E-B for its donation and for its continued support.

“This gift will advance critical research that will result in significant impacts at the regional, national, and global level,” Bailey said.

Dr. Steven A. Lieberman, Interim Dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine, where the STDOI is housed, said the endowment will help Williams-Blangero and her team in their efforts to find new, more effective treatments for diabetes, which affects about 30 percent of the Rio Grande Valley population.

“The funds from this endowment will allow Dr. Williams-Blangero and her team to apply their cutting-edge research approaches to gain greater insight into metabolic disorders including diabetes that are so common here in the Valley.”

ABOUT WILLIAMS-BLANGERO

Williams-Blangero came to UTRGV in October 2014 to lead STDOI. She and her research team, which has grown to more than 50 scientists, are advancing research of diabetes and obesity that will lead to more effective treatments and improve the lives of residents throughout South Texas and beyond.

She earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Before coming to UTRGV, Williams-Blangero had worked at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio, where she served as chair of the Department of Genetics and deputy director of the Southwest National Primate Center.

Williams-Blangero has published more than 100 articles in scientific literature. In 2001, she was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, for her contributions to anthropological genetics and health, for dedication to advancing biological anthropology, and for developing one of the premier research groups in the field.

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Diana Ramos and Jennifer L. Berghom contributed to this article. For more information on the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the City of Edinburg, please log on to http://edinburgedc.com or to http://www.facebook.com/edinburgedc

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