The valley of the Rio Grande once was primarily agricultural. But in contemporary times it is being developed into an international trade center with first-class commercial, retail, office, industrial, medical, retirement and educational facilities.
Forbes Magazine ranked McAllen ninth fastest growing metropolitan area in the U.S. in number of new jobs created with a 23% increase in job growth - They also ranked McAllen as #1 lowest cost city in which to do business in the nation. Money Magazine rated McAllen #43 in the 1998 Top 300 Best Cities to Live in the United States. It is designated All-America City by the National Urban League and was chosen #3 Star City in Texas by Outlook Magazine on criteria such as business environment and quality of life.
McAllen was chosen #18 in the Top 25 Choice Cities for Business in the United States by Outlook Magazine. It was selected as one of 25 Great Places in the South to do Business in 1999 and the #1 Middle Market Area in the South for business development in 1998 by Southern Business & Development Magazine.
The "City of Palms" has a population of 100,000 and is the center of the Valley's extensive citrus industry. McAllen hosts almost 45 RV parks, making it a major destination for Winter Texans. In addition, its proximity to the large Mexican city of Reynosa and its plentiful shopping opportunities make it the most popular Valley destination for tourists from Mexico.
McAllen is indeed the "Jewel in the Valley Crown." This is not to imply the other Valley communities are not doing well. It is just apparent that McAllen, economically, is running like a finely tuned engine. Consider these facts: The McAllen, Mission, Edinburg MSA and Reynosa, Mexico, comprise a dynamic community with a combined population of 1.4 million. During the past two decades, this area has made bold advances, with unprecedented growth in both population and industrial attraction.
McAllen is represented by 37 of America's top 100 retailers. More than 80 of Fortune 500's global manufacturers have operations in McAllen/Reynosa. Included among them are: AT&T, Bissel, Black & Decker, BMW, Delco, Drexel Meyer, Eaton, Emerson, GE, Johnson Controls, Nokia, R. R. Donnelley & Sons, Panasonic, Siemens, Sony, Symbol, TRW, West Bend and Whirlpool.
In 2000, from among the top 20 cities in Texas, McAllen ranks 4th in per-capita sales tax collections, 6th in the percent change in population, 12th in retail sales and 15th in population.
County bank deposits grew from $2.6 billion to $4.8 billion in the 1990's, while McAllen's share grew 68%, from $1.6 billion to $2.5 billion of the total.
County retail trade grew from $2.57 billion to $ 4.90 billion, while McAllen's retail sales grew 74%, from $1.86 billion to $2.37 billion of the total.
Á McAllen's retail totals accounted for 48% of all retail sales in Hidalgo County, even though McAllen represents just 19% of the county's population.
McAllen is the retail center of South Texas and Northern Mexico, drawing from a consumer base of over 10 million people. This sector has become the driving force in McAllen's economy, growing a staggering 138% over the last 10 years, to over 2 billion and employing 27% of the workforce.
The McAllen area has also been successful in attracting new call centers employing over 4,200 people due mostly to the fact that the Valley boasts the 7th largest pool of available labor in the country, and it is bilingual, too. A few of the call centers that have established in the past two years are Convergys, TicketMaster, West TeleServices, Western Wireless and Teleperformance.
In Hidalgo County, cross-border cargo and vehicular traffic increased 214% and 69% respectively during the decade of the 1990's from 228,133 to 715,305 cargo trucks and from 10.92 million to 18.45 million automobiles. US/Mexico trade crossing the international bridge in Hidalgo County increased from $5.0 billion in 1994, pre-NAFTA, to $12.56 billion in 2000.
Single-family home sales by McAllen MLS Realtors in 2000 was 1,003. The average selling price for these new homes was $80,020.
Cumulative single-family permits in McAllen reached 788 in 2000. On the basis of permit value, the average new home cost is $70,101. 2001 looks like it will have 885 permits, with costs averaging $69,728.
Building permit values in the Rio Grande Valley cities rose from $264 million in 1990 to an all-time high of $825 million in 2000. Building permits, Valley-wide are projected to exceed $994 million by the end of 2001.
McAllen MSA's share of total building permits was $161 million and $434 million for 1990 and 2000 respectively. McAllen leads the Valley with $84 million and $179 million respectively.
MCALLEN INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM
The McAllen International Museum has served as a vital educational force in the Rio Grande Valley for nearly 30 years. Since its opening in 1969, the museum has served over one-million people. It is accredited by the American Association of Museums, a professional stature held by fewer than 10% of all U.S. institutions. The only art and science museum between Corpus Christi and Monterey, Mexico, the Museum's mission is to promote an understanding and appreciation for the arts and sciences through its exhibitions, cultural events and educational programs.
Discover the friendly city of McAllen and take advantage of near-perfect South Texas weather year round. Take a trip to nearby Reynosa, Mexico. Dine at one of hundreds of great restaurants. Enjoy the "City of Palms", and come back often!