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McAllen ranked most affordable city in the US

Written by mcallenretail on . Posted in Media Releases

McALLEN — From inexpensive housing to a gallon of gasoline about 20 cents below national average prices, the Rio Grande Valley has historically enjoyed a low cost of living.

As a result, one of the region’s cities, McAllen, has been ranked the most affordable urban area in the nation, according to a recent quarterly report by The Council for Community and Economic Research, a Virginia-based nonprofit research firm. Click here to read more.

$100 million in new development for McAllen

Written by mcallenretail on . Posted in Media Releases

McALLEN – Some $100 million in new restaurants, hotels and stores have opened their doors on McAllen’s southwest side or are planning to soon as the city expands its retail and commercial footprint in the Convention Center-Anzalduas Bridge corridor.

The Embassy Suites Convention Center Hotel, the McAllen Performing Arts Center, various new shopping centers and unique restaurants – local and chain – such as Kokos, Los Asados, RGV Cupcakes, Blue Onion, Rodizio Grill, Salt Grass Steakhouse, Tilted Kilt, Zoe’s Kitchen and Starbucks among many others have set up shop on the city’s west side. Mostly located along West Expressway 83 (Interstate 2), the new attractions cement McAllen as the region’s restaurant hub and serve booming residential and high-traffic areas. Click here to read more.

1,000 New Jobs Coming to the Valley

Written by mcallenretail on . Posted in Media Releases


Four businesses bringing more than 1,000 new jobs – all expected to pay above minimum wage – are slated to come to the Rio Grande Valley over the next year, the McAllen Economic Development Corp. announced Thursday.

“I hope it’s an indicator that we are returning to the way things used to be,” said the corporation’s CEO Keith Partridge, referring to pre-recession levels when on average two major companies came to the region per month, not each year.

The new businesses range from a customer service call center to a corporation specializing in a manufacturing process called “steel slitting” where large coils are spread, cut and stamped into shapes ready for assembly.

“Anything made out of metal starts with us,” said Ed Camden, president of Southwest Steel Coil, a subsidiary of Calstrip Industries.

He said that 50,000-pound steel coils are sent by railroad freight trains from steel mills and will be transformed at the future factory in the Valley. The California-based company is looking at the McAllen area but will likely land in Mission or beyond, Camden said.

The company contracts with the maquiladora industry for home goods and automobile products, and has a similar borderlands operation in Santa Teresa, N.M., across the river from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Camden said that the decision to open a factory in the Valleynear railroad lines and an international bridge was purposeful and the impact is larger than the 50 employees they expect to hire.

“We choose to contract with local companies,” he said of trucking companies and pallet builders, among others. “We touch a lot of other people in the local community.”

A skilled machine operator position can earn up to $21 per hour with full benefits, whereas a semi-skilled crane worker can make up to $14 per hour. Salaried support positions are also expected at the 60,000-square-foot manufacturing plant.

In the service sector, Teletech, a Colorado-based outsourcing company that contracts for customer service phone operations, plans to invest $3.7 million for a 36,000-square-foot building in McAllen and will create 650 jobs, city officials said.

The average hourly wage for a customer service representative at Teletech can range from $9.60 to $14, according to, an open data salary website. Convergys, a call center in Pharr, has comparable wages for the same position.

Conn’s Home Plus, a home goods and electronics store from Woodlands, Texas, will take over a 325,000-square-foot distribution warehouse in Sharyland Plantation and will add 80 jobs. The warehouse will be the organization’s largest distribution center in North America.

Average pay for a Conn’s warehouse worker is $10 per hour, according to

Meanwhile, SFT Food Tech, of Monterrey, Mexico, which supplies prepared and frozen food to institutions and retailers, will build a 90,000-square-foot building on South Bentsen Road – an investment worth up to $12 million that will create 300 jobs, officials said.

In 2013, McAllen spent $1.2 million on infrastructure along South Bentsen Road that included a $600,000 matching grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Neither Conn’s, SFT Food Tech and Teletech could be immediately reached for comment.

McAllen employment way up year over year

Written by mcallenretail on . Posted in Media Releases

More people had jobs in the City of McAllen in February than in the same month of 2013, and the 58,500 people working marked the second most ever employed in the City, according to the latest monthly job data from the Texas Workforce Commission.

The state agency reports that McAllen’s unemployment rate – the lowest in the Rio Grande Valley – was 6.4 percent in February, up just a hair from January’s 6.3 percent. The slight rise reflects a state-wide trend as Texas and many major cities were also up.

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RGV Adds Thousands of Jobs

Written by mcallenretail on . Posted in Media Releases

The vast majority of Rio Grande Valley cities have lowered their unemployment rates and added jobs over the last year, according the Texas Workforce Commission’s latest statistics released by the state agency.

RGV cities and the two Metropolitan Statistical Areas they fall into added thousands of jobs to local payrolls, February 2014 figures show. Combined, the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission and Brownsville-Harlingen-San Benito MSAs had more than 10,000 more people working than in February 2013.

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McAllen Airport Boardings Busiest in 7 Years

Written by mcallenretail on . Posted in Media Releases

The McAllen International Airport experienced its busiest May in seven years – with 34,371 enplanements – helping make it the busiest airport in South Texas so far this year and claim a bigger share of the Valley market, the most recent airport statistics show.

Total boardings (enplanements) in 2014 are also up to the highest point in six years with 152,497 passengers departing from McAllen through the first five months of the year. The monthly and year-to-date totals are greater than the commercial airports in Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Brownsville and Laredo. Including deplanements, the McAllen airport saw nearly 68,000 passengers go through its doors in May.

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Groundbreaking Held for McAllen Performing Arts Center

Written by mcallenretail on . Posted in Media Releases

Mayor Jim Darling and the City Commission broke ground Thursday July 24, 2014 on the new $45 million McAllen Performing Arts Center that will become another signature facility in the city and host everything from big Broadway shows to local recitals.

City Commissioner and Mayor Darling touted the benefits of the new facility at the groundbreaking that included the building’s designers ERO Architects with Holzman Moss Bottino, the contractor SpawGlass Construction, city officials and members of the community. The vision behind the 1,800-seat performance center is to create a dynamic venue that rivals any big city but will also meet the needs of the local community.

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