MISSION, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A new restaurant coming to Mission is highlighting the growth the city has seen in its private sector, medical sector and with government jobs.

ValleyCentral spoke with some of local businesses in Mission about whether they are feeling the economic boom.

The site of a new Olive Garden in Mission is located on the intersection of I-2 and Bryan Road – expected to open in July 2024.

It’s next to an old K-Mart building that is being turned into a Burlington and a ranch and home supply store.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports unemployment in Mission for April 2023 preliminary statistics were at 5.6 percent, down from 7.1 percent in January 2023. According to the Mission Economic Development Corporation, there are other positive signs.

“If a corporation like Darden, which owns the Olive Garden, if they want to be in your town, they’ve done their studies. They’ve done the research and they know there’s disposable income,” said Teclo Garcia, CEO, Mission EDC.

There are others who say they see Mission is not the place it used to be. We spoke with a dentist’s office right across the street from where the proposed Olive Garden project will be and they say they’ve seen Mission grow a great deal since they started doing business in the city in 1982.

“This road was like a two-lane highway with ditches and stuff and since that time, you can see the expressway has come in,” Dr. Henry Smith, a Mission dentist said.

Smith believes the new businesses opening next door will help them. Dare we say it – it’s making them smile.

“This is a fairly busy road anyway. But as people from the northside come to the southside, they will actually go by our business more,” Smith explained.

A manager at another Mission business tells us he has also seen dramatic growth in Mission over the last five to ten years and they believe the new restaurant will only help them too.

“Yes, we’re getting a lot more clientele. We get a lot more visitors coming in because they’re just noticing the area. They come visit our new place and they’re just like, ‘oh, let me stop by really quick.'” Jason Reyes, a Mission hair salon manager said.

Both businesses say the news of a new Olive Garden is being celebrated across the city. The Mission EDC says the town’s economic growth is intertwined with the Valley’s overall growth – as well as northern Mexico’s growth.