Negotiations underway for hotel and movie theater, with combined value of $10+ million, for 500,000 square foot Resaca Market planned for construction in north Edinburg
By DAVID A. DÍAZ
A hotel and movie theater with a combined value of more than $10 million are under negotiations for the privately-owned and planned 500,000 square-foot Resaca Market, a retail and entertainment complex in north Edinburg, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.
In addition, a third residential subdivision in the upscale La Sienna community – which neighbors the 60-acre Resaca Market site – is approaching final approval from the city to begin construction.
The updates about the 726-acre La Sienna Master Planned Community and Resaca Market, both which represent the grand vision of Burns Brothers, LTD of Edinburg, came on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, during the public meeting of the EEDC Board of Directors.
Todd Gilliland, Project Director of La Sienna, provided the latest news on La Sienna and Resaca Market to the EEDC leadership, which was meeting in the Council Chambers of Edinburg City Hall.
The EEDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.
The EEDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez as Vice President, Ellie M. Torres as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Richard García and Richard Ruppert as Members.
Agustín García, Jr. and Mayor Richard García are not related.
La Sienna is located along U.S. Highway 281/I69C near Davis Road and Resaca Market is located along U.S. Highway 281/I69C near Monte Cristo Road.
Following his presentation during the public portion of the EEDC board meeting, Gilliland provided additional details to journalists who were in attendance.
Reporting on what already has taken place at La Sienna and what is in the works for La Sienna and Resaca Market, he expressed optimism that big things will continue to take place for Edinburg which will boost economic development, job growth, and tourism.
“I think when the announcements (on the hotel and movie theater) are made, assuming it all comes together, it will be very exciting and (La Sienna and Resaca Market) becomes a true destination,” said Gilliland, crediting Kent Burns of Burns Brothers, LTD of Edinburg with helping promote the family’s inspiration for the ambitious commercial and residential undertakings.
“We are not looking to copy what anybody else has done,” Gilliland emphasized. “We are following an idea of creating something different and exciting like everybody talks about but it’s very challenging to put the pieces together.”
Regarding Resaca Market, he made it clear that, as in the case of the residential La Sienna, all goals are legitimate and well-thought out.
“What we really strive to do is not hype something that is unattainable,” Gilliland emphasized. “That is never our intention. We’d rather work the deals and get them going and make the announcements, rather than promise something that is very difficult to bring about.”
Around late spring 2016, movement will accelerate on the hotel/movie theater plans, he predicted.
“We would like to see things really start clicking within 90 days,” he said of those two building projects, which will then bring in more retail firms, even residential housing, targeting consumers with money to
spend and invest in Edinburg.
“Part of Resaca Market is not just commercial shopping and restaurants and hotels and theaters. It’s condominiums and apartments, more of the high-end than you would typically see,” Gilliland explained.
“That brings you into the level of having a destination where people will perhaps stop or perhaps come in from Monterrey and want to locate out there.”
Tapping into consumers from northern Mexico, specifically Monterrey, which is Mexico’s ninth-largest metropolis with a population of more than one million, is part of the Resaca Market/La Sienna growth strategies, he said.
“We know that a tremendous amount of our financial growth comes from Monterrey,” Gilliland said of that economic powerhouse, which is the second-wealthiest city in Mexico and located 140 miles south of Edinburg. “We have some designers who are very familiar, who do business there and who have lived there. We are trying to offer those people an alternative to other places that are overbuilt and very congested at the moment.”
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 estimates that once Resaca Market reaches completion, its presence could bring in as much as $300 million a year into the city’s economy.
So far, La Sienna, which is located by U.S. Expressway 281/169C and Monte Cristo Road, about three miles north of downtown Edinburg, continues to transform former agricultural land into a premiere residential community, with homes and lots combined valued from $170,000 to $400,000.
Two residential subdivisions currently exist in La Sienna: Valencia Subdivision, with homes and lots combined beginning at $170,000 and going to $270,000 in value, and the Coves Subdivision, featuring homes and lots combined valued from $300,000 to $400,000.
The third subdivision, yet unnamed, has the potential for the construction of up to 150 homes on lots whose values will be comparable to the existing two subdivisions, from $250,000 to $325,000.
“That leaves us still with about 200 acres of residential development property for residential construction,” Gilliland noted. “I think ultimately you would see 600 to 800 homes (for the entire La Sienna residential development).”
Since La Sienna broke ground in 2006, Valencia and Coves subdivisions have been served by other amenities desired by homeowners, he added.
“Over that time we have constructed two subdivisions that are both gated. They have dusk-to-dawn security that we pay for, we have a community park with a swimming pool and a club house, a playground, a soccer field, and a basketball court,” Gilliland said.
Those features help contribute to a strong sense of community for the Valencia and Coves subdivisions, and for future residents of La Sienna, he reflected.
“The community park is used quite heavily by the people who live there, and we have gone from being basically 10 to 12 homes to now approaching 200 homes. If you figure three to four people in a home, that’s quite a few people who live out there now,” Gilliland illustrated. “You can see them fishing in the ponds or jogging on the trails or riding their bikes or pushing strollers. The whole project has now taken on a life of its own.”