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EEDC Frontline News

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on May 14 at 1920 Southeast Industrial Drive for the newest addition to the Renaissance Industrial Park. Molduflex is a 10,000 sq. ft. manufacturing plant that designs and produces architectural precoated mouldings and accessories for the construction industry. Since its founding in 2000, Molduflex has been at the forefront of the light construction segment, producing interior and exterior details for residential construction and commercial buildings. The company created 20 new jobs. Molduflex is an EEDC project.


EEDC Frontline News President Vice-President Secretary/Treasurer Director

According to The Monitor, two national magazines – Forbes Magazine and Money Magazine – have recognized Hidalgo County’s jobs and real estate markets as among the best in the nation. Forbes magazine ranked Hidalgo County as one of the nation’s top 10 job markets over the last five years. Money magazine ranks Hidalgo County as the number 1 area for projected home value growth and predicts the county’s prices will exhibit the fastest growth in the nation during the next year. Locally, job growth is strong, unemployment is falling, housing sales are stable, and retail sales continue to drive commercial business.

Director Executive Director Assistant Executive Director Project Manager Administrative Assistant EEDC is a non-profit company and is responsible for economic development in the City of Edinburg. This newsletter is produced monthly to update the business community and stakeholders on EEDC’s key initiatives. For more information visit the Edinburg EDC web site at www.edinburgedc.com

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Since 2002, Hidalgo County has added 61,753 jobs, a 32 percent increase according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The latest data provided from the Texas Workforce Commission shows that Edinburg’s unemployment rate is at 4.5% which represents one of the lowest rates reported. The average yearto-date (2008: first quarter) unemployment rate is 4.6% Local sales tax collection increased by 8 percent in the first quarter of 2008 in comparison to the same quarter last year. Average year-to-date (2008: first quarter) total local sales tax collected is $3,448,392.49. For the month of March, 2008, Edinburg collected $1,088,092.60 in sales tax. On May 8, the EEDC hosted its quarterly “Commercial Real Estate Roundtable.” Real estate professionals learned about the latest developments and opportunities within Edinburg. The event is a unique forum for the constructive exchange of commercial development updates and key performance demographic data in our area. The project highlight for this roundtable was the Sky View project. Developers are set to build

a $150 million complex that promises to bring new luxury condominiums, retail space and a hotel to the city. The project's developers plan to build a rounded, 14-story tower that would house custom-made condos peaked with a restaurant and bar on the top two floors. Dubbed Sky View Las Palmas, the complex also would include about 200,000 square feet of commercial space, loft-style condo spaces, two parking garages and an upscale hotel, all of which would flank the high-rise. Sky View Las Palmas is already under development along Expressway 281 near Canton Road, close to the 1.2 million square foot Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley, the first phase of which is set to open in August. The complex could bring as many as 1,000 new jobs to the city.

Send us information on your commercial, industrial, retail property so we can upload onto our Real Estate section of the EEDC website, visited by thousands of site selectors, corporate executives, realtors, and investors. E-mail building specs and your contact information to Letty Reyes at: letty@edinburgedc.com

Visit us at www.edinburgedc.com for weekly news and updates in the Edinburg region.

If you wish to receive a copy of the EEDC Frontline News on a monthly basis, please e-mail your request to letty@edinburgedc.com. To unsubscribe, please forward your The EEDC will be attending the International Council of Shopping request to the same email address. Centers Conference in Las Vegas, For a hard copy, please contact our office at (956) 383-7124. May 18-21, in an effort to attract more retail and businesses to the area. The International Council of Shopping Centers is the global 602 W. University Drive trade association of the shopping Edinburg, Texas 78539 center industry. Developers, retailers and lenders will come Office: (956) 383-7124 Fax: (956) 380-2738 together to network and learn about Toll Free: (877) 368-3380 the issues and trends affecting the Internet: www.edinburgedc.com retail industry. If you would like more information, please contact our office at 383-7124. 3


City of Edinburg Residential Building Permits $25,100,000 $20,100,000

2004

$15,100,000

2005 2006

$10,100,000

2007

$5,100,000

2008

$100,000

City of Edinburg Commercial Building Permits $100,000,000 2004 2005

$10,000,000

2006 2007

$1,000,000

2008

$100,000 Jan Feb March April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec

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City of Edinburg Bank Deposits

$1,200,000,000 $1,000,000,000 $800,000,000

2005

$600,000,000

2006

$400,000,000

2007

$200,000,000

2008

$0

City of Edinburg Unemployment Rate 7.0% 6.0% 5.0%

2005

4.0%

2006

3.0%

2007

2.0%

2008

1.0% 0.0%

City of Edinburg Local Sales Tax

$1,600,000 $1,400,000 $1,200,000 $1,000,000 $800,000 $600,000 $400,000 $200,000 $0

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

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City of Edinburg Hotel Occupancy 80 70 Percentage

60

Q1

50

Q2

40 30

Q3 Q4

20 10 0 2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Year

City of Edinburg Hotel Revenue(in thousands) $5,400 $5,200

$5,236

$5,333

$5,317

$5,000 $4,885

$4,800

$4,688

$4,600 $4,400 $4,200 2002

2003

2004

2005

Source: Texas Tourism

2006


Top Magazines Give Kudos to Local Economy by Kyle Arnold, The Monitor Two national magazines have pointed to Hidalgo County's job and real estate markets as among the best in the nation. Forbes magazine said the area has had one of the nation's top 10 job markets over the last five years. Money magazine predicts the county's home prices will exhibit the fastest growth in the nation during the next year. While the Upper Rio Grande Valley regularly receives kudos from national media for its vibrant economy, the newest accolades are signs the Rio Grande Valley's economy is resisting a nationwide downturn. Locally, job growth is strong, unemployment is falling, housing sales are stable and retail sales continue to drive commercial business. It's a good sign for nearly all aspects of the local economy, from income growth to house prices. "We are going to be dealing with a very sluggish national economy," said Ray Perryman, an independent economist who focuses on Texas. "But Texas and particularly South Texas is doing very well and has managed to grow while the rest of the country's economy shrinks." With local unemployment rates near an all-time low, Forbes said McAllen was one of the best places in the country to get a job during the last five years. The magazine cites the 4.7 percent annual job growth during that period. Since 2002, Hidalgo County has added 61,753 jobs, a 32 percent increase, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Mexico's robust economy is helping the Valley to prosper, Perryman said. "There are a lot of factors down there that are making the economy work," he said. Job growth in healthcare and education have helped the area succeed financially as the Valley grows and becomes more affluent, said Gรถkรงe Soydemir, an economics and finance professor at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg. "This is a booming area and the border is a great economy right now," Soydemir said. The Money magazine report published online this week says the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metro area will have the fastest home price growth in the country. The magazine predicts home prices will grow 4 percent during the next year, almost 50 percent faster than the next strongest market in Rochester, N.Y. "The long range for job growth and population growth make it a desirable area to own a home," Randall Allsup, a real estate analyst with Metrostudy, said of the McAllen metro area. "If you are willing to own your home for more than three years, buyers stand to make some money." Nationwide the real estate market is being hammered by a tight credit market, which is making it harder to get home mortgages. In turn, fewer people are looking for homes. But this region is coming off a strong first quarter of 2008 for home sales. The area has also seen record home sales and prices during the last five years. At the end of 2007, the median home price was $106,300, up 25 percent from five years earlier. Housing prices have actually decreased in many parts of the country. Real estate agents continue to see a steady stream of prospective buyers, said Roxanne Rydell, an agent with Celebrity Realtors and president of the Greater McAllen Association of Realtors. "It seems like everything is perking since the beginning of the year," Rydell said. "Buyer confidence is improving and people are seeing that this is a very stable housing market."


$150 Million Luxury Complex Set for Edinburg by Jared Taylor Developers are set to build a $150 million complex that promises to bring new luxury condominiums, retail space and a hotel to the city. The project's developers plan to build a rounded, 14-story tower that would house custom-made condos peaked with a restaurant and bar on the top two floors. Dubbed Sky View Las Palmas, the complex also would include about 200,000 square feet of commercial space, loft-style condo spaces, two parking garages and an upscale hotel, all of which would flank the high-rise. Developers plan to spend as much as $150 million to build the complex, said Abraham Gottlieb, a Los Angeles-based builder spearheading the project. Sky View Las Palmas is already under development along Expressway 281 near Canton Road, close to the 1.2 million-square-foot Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley, the first phase of which is set to open in August. City leaders first gave preliminary approval for the privately funded Sky View project in January, said Isidro Fernandez, the city's urban planner. Workers have already begun installing water and sewer lines for the development, which is set to be built in four phases, Gottlieb said. He expects the project to be completed within two years. The first two phases encompass most of the retail space, the loft-style condos and automated underground parking garages, all of which are set to open by the end of this year, Gottlieb said. Phase three, the tower, will include custom-designed condos and the restaurant, which will offer patrons a panoramic view of the Valley and is set to open in summer 2009. The hotel is slated for final completion in 2010 and will be the last phase of the project to open, Gottlieb said. Prices for the loft condos at the complex start at about $180,000, while the tower condos start at $350,000, said Vicki Chrysler, the project's real estate agent. Potential buyers for the condos have inquired from as far away as Mexico City, Monterrey and San Antonio. "People want access to San Antonio but want to be 8

close to the border," Chrysler said. The project is getting under way amid reports of a looming nationwide recession. But Gottlieb said he sees few signs of a slowdown here in the Valley. "This is the only area that is attracting people, because the cost of living is cheap and you can get more for what you're (earning), so people can get nicer houses for a nicer price," he said. Ramiro Garza, who heads the Edinburg Economic Development Corp., said the complex could bring as many as 1,000 new jobs to the city. The corporation may help pay to build the utility lines for the project, but the rest is privately funded. "It will enhance Edinburg's potential for development in the future," Garza said. City Manager J.J. Rodriguez said the complex would be a good addition to Edinburg. "The architecture is different from what we're accustomed to in South Texas," he said of the tower.The tower at Sky View Las Palmas would be the secondtallest building in Hidalgo County, behind McAllen's 17-story Chase Texas Tower, which opened in 1979.


Unemployment Rate Stays Steady at 4.1% in April 2008 Edinburg posted a 4.1 percent unemployment rate in April 2008, about the same as during the previous month, and represented the second best showing among all major Valley cities. By comparison, the state’s unemployment rate in April 2008 averaged 3.9 percent, a small decrease from the March 2008 level of 4.2 percent, while the U.S. unemployment rate in March 2008 was 4.8 percent. Total Nonagricultural Employment in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA grew by 2,000 jobs in April. Since April 2007, the MSA gained 5,300 jobs. Retail Trade experienced an employment increase of 800 jobs in April. The industry has experienced two consecutive months of positive job growth. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities gained 100 jobs over the month, the first over-the-month increase since October 2007. The annual growth rate for this industry was 7.2 percent in April. Financial Activities added 200 jobs over the month and added 100 jobs since April 2007. Leisure and Hospitality increased by 300 jobs over the month, and added 400 over the year. Employment in Local Government gained 300 jobs over the month, a 1.7 percent annual growth rate.

Total construction activities in Edinburg between January and April 2008 totaled more than $16 million, with a planned commercial facility owned by Security First Federal Credit Union, valued at $8.6 million. Security First Federal Credit Union received a building permit for the most valuable construction project in April 2008. This commercial facility, is located at 3515 South Jackson Road, in the AJ McColl Subdivision. Credit union officials, along with local community, business, and political leaders on Thursday, May 15, participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new financial institution. In April 2008, total construction in Edinburg was reported at $16,018,968, compared with $13,056,149 in April 2007. Security First Federal Credit Union received a building permit for the most valuable construction project in April 2008. Allan Mercado and JosĂŠ Chapa were issued building permits for the second-most valuable construction projects in April. Mercado began construction on a commercial facility,

Permit filed by:

Project Name

Project Cost

Security First Federal Credit Un.

Security First Federal Credit Union

$8.6 Million

Allan Mercado/ Jose Chapa

Commercial Project

$1.5 Million

Jose Chapa

Commercial Project

$1.5 Million

Jeff Radesi

The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley

$500,000

valued at $1,500,000, located at 316 Conquest Boulevard in the Sheaval Subdivision. Chapa began construction on a separate commercial project, also valued at $1,500,000, located at 2892 W. University Drive in the LNB Subdivision. The fourth most valuable project authorized to begin in April belonged to Jeff Radesi, for a commercial facility, valued at $500,000, located at 443 East Trenton Road in the Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley Subdivision. In all, there were building permits issued for eight new commercial projects, not including commercial additions or repairs. 9


- Over 1 million square feet of retail space is being developed on the corner of Expressway 281 and Trenton Road; approximately 120 acres. - Luxury complex featuring a 14-story tower of condos with a restaurant/bar on the top two levels, 200,000 square feet of commercial space surrounding the tower (retail, 2 parking garages, upscale hotel. Space still available. - When completed this 726 acre mixed used project will be home to 4,500 residents, 2.5 million square feet of retail/office space, and 650,000 square feet of multi-family residential units. Retail sites are available at the new 204,000 square-foot retail center. There is an additional 43,000 square feet of retail space; 4 available pad sites for restaurants. - An estimated $12 million, 101,000sf commercial and retail center that will be anchored by Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, is on track and set to open in the near future. Trenton Crossroads Plaza is located on a 20-acre site in southwest Edinburg at the intersection of Trenton and Jackson road. - 280,000 square feet available for sale or for lease at the North East corner of McColl and Alberta.

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25 acres of prime commercial land is available for commercial development on the corner of University Drive and McColl Road. 40,000 sq. ft. of retail space. Fair Haven is located off Expressway 281. 25,000 additional sq. ft. of retail space is available for lease. 20 acres for sale on 3307 S. Closner. Across the street from the Shoppes at RGV and two blocks away from Sky View Plaza: Las Palmas. $5.74 sq/ft.


Edinburg’s retail economy in May 2008, as measured by the amount of local and state sales taxes generated by a wide range of local businesses generated $1,314,030.20 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,406,491.03 in local sales taxes in 2007.

strength of the local economy. “Banner job gains in January indicate a resilient Texas labor market,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chair Diane Rath. “Texas tops the nation in annual job growth rates in every industry sector, providing more opportunities for Texans.” for the Month of March 2008 totaled $1,372,685.00; YTD $29,612,924.00

Edinburg posted a 4.1 percent jobless rate in April 2008, the second best showing among major Valley cities. The jobless rate is a key indicator of the

$3,119,231.00; $9,227,091

RECon, the largest retail real estate in the world, is continuing through May 21 in Las Vegas. This year the meeting took up the entire convention center. ICSC staff were still processing the number of attendees, but said attendance would be close to last year’s 50,000 record. The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation took part in this conference in an effort to attract new businesses to the city. 11

- Autos & Other: 436,743; Pedestrian: 370; Trucks: 137,774 - Autos & Other: 322,623; Pedestrian: 0; Trucks: 39,697

YTD

Total Building Permits for the Month of March $4,491,916.00; YTD $38,840,015

While the economy might be slow, business is brisk at this year’s ICSC RECon, where attendance is close to last year’s record levels. Real estate prices are returning to more realistic levels, allowing developers to consider projects that last year would have cost too much to contemplate, several said. Furthermore, healthy companies are looking to take over developments that others can’t finance.

for the Month of March 2008 totaled $1,046,241,626.20 according to the Valley Chamber’s business barometer.

Brownsville: Harlingen: McAllen: Total:

9,246 43,187 37,605 90,038


Edinburg Economic Development Corp. 602 W. University Drive Edinburg, TX 78539

PRESORTED FIRST-CLASS MAIL EDINBURG,TX


May 2008