While negotiations continue, temporary use of building will be for immigrant respite facility
The Federal Transit Administration has given its approval to pay for 80% of the total purchase cost for a building to be the new transit administration building. The City of McAllen will pay the remaining 20% of the total purchase cost. The building, which is currently undergoing a federally mandated appraisal, is located at 111 S. 15th Street and is approximately 30,000 square feet and features a split-level mezzanine area.
Once the appraisal is complete, and purchase of the building is final, plans will be drawn up and construction, renovation or other necessary work will begin to be able to utilize the facility as the administration offices for McAllen Metro.
“This is a great opportunity for Metro McAllen, because not only does this new building have plenty of room for future growth for the department and space enough for possibly multiple uses by the City of McAllen,” said Mario Delgado, Transit Director, City of McAllen, “But also, by vacating the current location will allow us to open up commercial leasing to other businesses who wish to service the downtown transit center bus facility and our customers, opening up a potential new revenue stream,” he concluded.
Currently, the administration staff is cramped at the downtown location.
In the meantime, the City of McAllen intends to allow Catholic Charities use of the facility as the temporary facility for the immigrant respite center, until the construction for the new permanent building for the non-profit aid organization is complete.
“The City of McAllen has been put in an almost impossible situation of trying to respond to a federal government crisis regarding the influx of immigrants, who are dropped in our city by the thousands,” said McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, P.E. “If we do not respond with assistance, by helping to provide shelter, transportation and whatever other resources are at our disposal, there would be thousands of immigrants roaming downtown, creating an unsafe and unhealthy environment for them and just as importantly, our business owners, downtown customers and McAllen residents who live, work and visit in this area. Until the immigrant crisis is resolved by the federal government, the City of McAllen will respond in an appropriate and humane manner consistent with the core values of the City of McAllen.”