Livability McAllen, TX 2014

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    2014 | SPONSORED BY THE MCALLEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

    livability.com/mcallen

    MCALLENTEXAS

    GLOBALLEARNINGDistrict expandsIB programsto all schools

    New Nestfor CreativityIncubator hatches ideas,enriches local arts scene

    http://www.livability.com/mcallenhttp://www.livability.com/mcallenhttp://www.livability.com/mcallen
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    http://www.instagram.com/http://www.pinterest.com/http://www.youtube.com/http://www.twitter.com/http://www.facebook.com/http://www.southtexashealthsystem.com/
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    http://www.instagram.com/http://www.pinterest.com/http://www.youtube.com/http://www.twitter.com/http://www.facebook.com/http://www.mcallenmedicalcenter.com/
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    http://www.instagram.com/http://www.pinterest.com/http://www.youtube.com/http://www.twitter.com/http://www.facebook.com/http://www.mcallenhearthospital.com/
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    CONTENTS

    Things to Do 8 Attraction

    New Nest for Creativity Incubator hatches ideas

    and enriches the localarts scene

    12 LocalFlavor

    McAllens FoodScene Heats Up

    14 Arts&Culture

    Heres Your To-Do List

    16 Sports&Recreation

    A Growing Playground

    Living22 Education

    Global Learning McAllen ISD

    expands International

    Baccalaureate programs

    26 Schools

    Set for Success29 Health

    Big on Health Care

    31 Community Profile

    Business37 Business Overview

    The Best of Times

    40 Small Companies

    Small Businesses,

    Big Opportunities

    45 ChamberReport

    Whats the Big Idea?

    47 Economic Profile

    On The CoverMcAllen Creative Incubator Photo by Wendy Jo OBarr

    4Welcome to McAllen An introduction to the community

    8

    12

    40

    MCALLEN2014 EDITION VOLUME 12

    TEXAS

    PLEASE RECYCLETHIS MAGAZINE

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    Public Art Graces Downtown McAllenLocated on Main Street in McAllens Arts District, The Three

    Graceswas created by artist Mick Reber. The 15-foot-tall

    sculpture, made of steel and weighing about 3,000 pounds,represents the graces of faith, hope and charity.

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    AT A GLANCE

    Cultural diversity, progressivebusiness practices and a booming

    economy best characterize McAllen,which is one of the fastest growingmetros in Texas and part of one ofthe fastest growing MSAs in theU.S. A location just five milesfrom the U.S.-Mexico border andclose to Reynosa, Mexicos largepopulation has made it a magnetfor retail, international trade,tourism and manufacturing.

    ABUNDANT LIVING

    McAllens economic mix meanstangible benefits for residentsbeyond a strong job market. Theytake their picks among diverseshopping and dining options thatinclude hundreds of national brandsand unique, independent retailers.

    The resulting tax base meansthe city can offer first-rate amenitiessuch as a massive, state-of-the-artlibrary; in-town bus service; awesomeparks; and hiking and biking trailsthat are enjoyed year round, thanks

    to a desirable warm climate.With all this and much more,

    McAllen also consistently ranksamong cities with the lowest costof living in the U.S.

    GREAT FOR BUSINESS

    McAllen is good for business,big and small. More than 100Fortune 500 companies havea presence within the McAllenMSA, while the city also has been

    recognized recently by CNNMoneyamong its Best Places to Launcha Small Business.

    Key factors bringing expansionsand entrepreneurs are an excellentquality of life, numerous advancedmedical facilities, a comprehensivefinancial services community,demonstrated logistics advantagesto reach existing and new markets,and a mostly young, bicultural andbilingual population.

    Read on to discover whyMcAllen is one of Americas bestplaces to live.

    McAllen, TexasA QUICK, COMPREHENSIVE OVERVIEW OF WHATS GREAT ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

    o ran e

    RioGrande

    83

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    83

    7

    281

    77

    eynosa

    Weslacoarlingen

    Edinburg

    MissionPharr

    McAllen

    HIDALGO

    MEXICO

    UNITED

    STATES

    FOR MORE INFORMATION

    McAllen Chamberof Commerce1200 Ash Ave.McAllen, TX 78501

    Phone:(956) 682-2871

    Fax: (956) 687-2917

    www.mcallenchamber.com

    LOCATION

    McAllen is in the Rio Grande Valleyof South Texas, situated just 70 miles

    west of the Gulf of Mexico. McAllenis the largest city in Hidalgo County.

    POPULATION

    133,821(McAllen)774,769(MSA)

    ANNUAL RAINFALL

    23

    DISTANCES TO THREEMAJOR CITIES NEARBY

    San Antonio, 224 miles

    Austin, 311 milesFort Worth/Dallas, 502 miles

    TIMEZONE

    Central

    National Average: 30

    No. 2

    Best City for

    Future Job Growth

    - Forbes

    ACCOLADE

    McAllen

    LIVABILITY.COM/MCALLEN 5

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    Museum

    SEE THE EXHIBITS

    Visit the International

    Museum of Art and

    Science to exploremore than 50,000

    square feet of art andscience displays, such as

    paintings, sculpture andgeological collections.

    The museum also offers

    educational programsand hosts special events.

    Natural Attractions

    EXPERIENCE NATURE

    Enjoy McAllens wildlifehavens, which include

    Quinta Mazatlan, asanctuary for birds, plants

    and other wildlife;Valley

    Nature Center, the oldest

    nature center in the area;and Santa Ana NationalWildlife Refuge, home to

    record numbers of birdand butterfly species.

    Shopping

    SHOP IN STYLE

    McAllens La Plaza Malldraws more than 18 million

    visitors each year as themain shopping spot for Rio

    Grande Valley residents.Comprising 1.2 million

    square feet, the mall hasmore than 150 retailers

    and several restaurants

    in its recently renovatedfood court.

    Baseball

    ROOT FOR THEHOME TEAM

    The McAllen Thunderand

    Edinburg Roadrunnersare baseball teams

    that play at EdinburgBaseball Stadium. Both

    teams are membersof the North American

    League, an independent

    professional league.

    THINGS TO DOMcAllens must-do attractions, activitiesand dining

    Explore the Shelves and Grab a BookCheck out the massive new McAllen Public Libraryfor a variety of family-friendly activities. The library hasmore than 30,000 childrens books and audiotapes, many of which are bilingual. The library frequently hosts

    programs for children, adults and teens.

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    Professional Sports

    TAKE IN A GAME ATSTATE FARM ARENA

    Cheer on the La FieraFtbol Club, a ProfessionalArena Soccer League

    Team; the RGV Killer

    Bees, a North American

    Hockey League team;and the Rio Grande

    Valley Vipers, 2010 and

    2013 NBA DevelopmentLeague champions.

    Concerts

    ENJOY THE SHOW

    Be sure to take in a

    Valley Symphony

    Orchestraperformanceby acclaimed artists.

    Ticket discounts areavailable for groups

    of more than 10. Andtake note: In addition

    to its annual concert

    season, the symphonyalso hosts a popular gala.

    Ice Skating

    HIT THE ICE

    Spend a fun-filled dayice skating at the FrioGrande Valley Ice

    Center, or play ice

    hockey or broomball.Learn to Ice Skate

    programs and figureskating lessons are

    offered, and the center

    is available for birthdayparties and lock-ins.

    THINGS TO DO

    Entertainment

    HEAD TOHAPPY HOUR

    Enjoy dinner, drinks

    and good times atthe many businesses

    located within the 17th

    Street Entertainment

    Districtof downtownMcAllen, a revitalized

    area bustling with fun

    restaurants, pubs, clubsand lounges.

    Stay in LuxuryBook a stay at the historic Renaissance Casade Palmas, conveniently located withinwalking distance from downtown and only2 miles from La Plaza Mall. The hotel offers

    a free shuttle to and from the nearby airport.

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    THINGS TO DO

    The McAllen Creative Incubator, located ina former library, includes several art studios,

    as well as a gallery, a paint lab and the Idea Lab.The McAllen Chamber of Commerce sponsors

    the Incubator, which showcases exhibits andoffers art classes to students of all ages and

    skill levels.

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    ARTS INCUBATOR GROWS ARTISTS,

    INNOVATORS AND CULTURAL OFFERINGS

    CreativityNew Nest for

    The Creative Incubator is actually rightin the middle of the art district, says Ivan

    Gonzalez, director of art development for theMcAllen Chamber of Commerce. We haveat least another five or six galleries nearby,so we all share the same concept of hostingartists so they can exhibit their work.

    Whats more, the building