The first phase of construction for Santana Textiles long awaited facility in Edinburg has begun. With it comes the prospect for future millions in investment to the city, and hundreds of potential jobs as the company prepares to make the region its home, city officials say.

Members of the Delfino family, who own Santana, along with stakeholders, city officials and county officials gathered to celebrate the start of construction for the company's planned 775,000 square foot denim manufacturing facility to be located in north Edinburg.

Santana is one of the top denim producers in the world, and plans to employ more than 800 once the facility gets underway within the next 18 months. The facility will be the company's first in North America

The complex will occupy 33 acres at the city's North Industrial Park, and is slated to have an economic impact of $270 million to the region, according to city leaders.

"Based on this, we can start to do even more promotion for our area, saying why this is such a great area to be in," said Edinburg Mayor Richard Garcia. "If these people (Santana) can have faith, contrary to what we are hearing across the nation, that we are one of the fastest growing regions, I know it all comes into play."

Santana's complex will be completed in four phases within the next five years. The company is slated to invest $170 million in Edinburg, with a capital investment of at least $80 million, according to the EDC.

Edinburg's plant will be Santana's sixth, and most technologically advanced facility to date, according to the EDC. The company currently has four plants in Brazil and one in Argentina. The company will work with FibeRio, located within UTPA's Rapid Response Manufacturing Center (RRMC) to research and potentially develop new materials as Santana's plant begins production.

"There is sufficient infrastructure to create a great business here," said Raimundo Delfino Neto, president of Santana, in Spanish.