Cinema venue now in doubt in Edinburg

EDINBURG — Edinburg officials previously announced a $29 million entertainment venue was coming to the city, but almost a year later, nothing is concrete as McAllen also vies for the investment.

City officials sent out a news release in January touting the landing of Cinergy, a planned 90,000-square-foot facility with an array of entertainment options, including a cinema, a bowling alley, a multi-level laser tag arena, a gaming room, escape rooms, a zip line and an elevated rope course, among other amenities.

Cinergy Entertainment Group Inc. also announced in a news release the city would be home to its fifth location in the state.

But the announcements may have been premature, as only a letter of intent had been signed, newly elected Mayor Richard Molina said. LOIs are usually not legally binding, but are offered as proof of an investor’s interest in a specific location.

“It was never a done deal,” Molina said. “I was surprised by all the signs that they put on La Sienna.”

Burns Brothers Ltd., the developer of La Sienna and Resaca Market, placed several large signs announcing the cinema would be coming to the proposed location off of I-69/U.S. Expressway 281 between Monte Cristo and Davis Roads.

The signs indicate the venue will open in summer 2018, but no sign of activity can be spotted near the area.

“I honest believe they used it for political propaganda because it was an election year,” Molina said, referencing the previous administration, which he was a part of.

It’s unclear what may have steered the entertainment group to explore options in McAllen. It may have been a lack of rooftops or a lack of traffic in the area, Molina suggested.

But Gus Garcia, executive director of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, shares a different view.

“I think there’s already been some discussion regarding the current situation in Edinburg,” he said earlier this week. “I think when things start settling down … we’ll start to see more investment in the city.”

Garcia declined to comment on what was meant by the “current situation in Edinburg.” But it’s no secret the political atmosphere in the city has been highly polarized with the culmination of an election that brought new faces to the council.

Jose Gonzalez, a developer for Cinergy, said he did not know why the development has apparently stalled.

“I have no idea,” he said.

The entertainment group is still interested in the area, but is shopping around, he said.

“I’m going to put them in motion in your town as well,” Gonzalez said of Cinergy.

When asked if he meant Edinburg or McAllen he responded, “Well wherever we can find the better spot.”

The potential $29 million investment was promoted that it would create 375 new jobs.