Mission EDC inks Deal to Bring New Olive Garden
MISSION, TX – The Board of Directors of the Mission Economic Development Corporation approved an economic incentive agreement on Wednesday to facilitate the construction of an Olive Garden restaurant in Mission.
The proposed project would usher in a $4.9 million capital investment and create the equivalent of 50 full-time jobs through the construction of a 7,800 square-foot restaurant at the northeast corner of Bryan Road and Interstate 2.
Mission EDC CEO Teclo Garcia said he was excited about the possibility of bringing a nationally recognized restaurant to Mission.
“Olive Garden would be a true lynchpin for the continued development of our Anzalduas corridor, which runs from our international bridge to I-2,” Garcia said. “Last year, more than 1.2 million visitors came in through our port of entry, and we plan to leverage that visibility.”
The restaurant’s proposed location is in an area that is already seeing new life. New Quest Properties is currently revamping what was once known as “the old K-Mart site” to include a new Burlington and Murdoch’s Ranch and Home Supply.
“Visitors coming in from our bridge will soon be able to shop, eat and play without having to travel far,” Garcia said.
The City of Mission approved the economic incentive agreement during a council meeting last week. The project will tentatively begin construction in October and is expected to be completed in July 2024.
As part of the agreement, Olive Garden has agreed to donate $25,000 worth of food to the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley over a five-year period through the Darden Harvest Program.
There are currently eight restaurants in Hidalgo County that are participating in the program. Since 2005, they have donated over 260,000 pounds of food, or approximately $1.9 million, to various Rio Grande Valley agencies, including the food bank, Salvation Army, Aurora House Foundation and the Light of Life Ministries.
The Darden Foundation has also donated $6.5 million to Feeding America over the past two years to provide refrigerated box trucks to 25 food banks across the country, and one of them was the Food Bank of Rio Grande Valley. The local nonprofit also received $50,000 in operating funds and has since distributed 118,000 pounds of food and 98,333 meals.
From left: Senior consultant Austin Arnold, Mission EDC Secretary Deborah Cordova, Mission EDC Board Member Noel Salinas, Mission EDC Board President Richard Hernandez, Mission EDC CEO Teclo Garcia, Marty Wilson, Darden Restaurants Inc. Manager for Development Incentives and Property Tax, Mission EDC Vice President Jose. E. Vargas, Mission EDC Treasurer Estella Saenz, and Mission EDC Board Member Carl Davis.