McAllen commissioners address growing ‘historical building’ concerns

Local News

McAllen City Commissioners meeting in City Hall on February 10, 2020. (Source: CBS 4 Photo)

Several McAllen residents and business owners complained about the possible demolishing or redevelopment of a historical building during a city commissioners meeting Monday at city hall. 

Commissioners are trying to find a way to address growing concerns regarding a historical building on Galveston near 17th Street. According to City Manager Roel Rodriguez, the building is currently under McAllen ISD ownership. However, school district officials are ready to sell it. This led the city’s housing authority to submit an application to redevelop or demolish the historic building. 

“We have people who understand that housing is needed in McAllen and then there are also concerns about how to save the historic property,” said Edgar Garcia, city of McAllen Director of Planning. The housing authority planned to transform the historical building into a multi-family senior citizen facility. However, residents and business owners believe it’s a bad idea because the building’s location on Galveston near 17th Street. 

“Anybody that says that building is run down and old, well that’s the fault of McAllen ISD for not taking care of it,” concerned resident, Bert Guerra said. During the meeting, residents heavily expressed that 17th Street is the city’s “entertainment district” and pushed for commissioners to “hear out the citizens” on the matter. 

“On February 24, we are going to have an appeal for the certificate of appropriateness. This is required whenever it’s a historically designated building and that allows the city commission to say ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on whether they want to allow the demolition of the building and the reconstruction of senior housing,”

Commissioners described the situation as unusual, “We’re looking at it favorably to move the process along,” Rodriguez said.  

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