Duncanville’s new Financial Developer Agustin (Gus) Garcia is returning to his roots. As a younger pupil, he attended Acton Elementary and Byrd Center Colleges earlier than his household moved away. Garcia mentioned he nonetheless has a number of shut mates locally. Whereas he and his spouse, Tonya, and their kids at present reside in Little Elm, he says they’re thrilled to be transferring again to Duncanville this summer time.
“Duncanville has nice colleges and a fantastic high quality of life,” Garcia mentioned, “so my spouse and I are completely satisfied to maneuver our household right here the place we may be extra energetic locally.”
The Garcia’s oldest daughter, Soledad, is a pupil at A&M College. His different three kids: Halle, Agustin III, and Pilar, will attend Duncanville ISD schools.
Like the remainder of the nation, Duncanville is rising from a 100 yr occasion, Garcia mentioned. He in contrast getting back from the influence of Covid-19 and the pandemic to the way in which we had been following the catastrophic period of WWI.
Prepared for Roaring 2020s
“We should be able to seize each alternative we will to convey it is a nice time to go to or relocate right here. We hope to recapture a number of the enthusiasm Individuals skilled through the ‘Roaring 20s’ with the ‘Roaring 2020s,’” he mentioned.
After taking on the place of Duncanville’s Financial Developer April 15, Garcia mentioned he has been busy settling in and establishing his workplace at Metropolis Corridor.
“Whereas getting organized, I’ve reached out to 20-30 group leaders and enterprise homeowners to listen to what they should say. I’m serious about studying what they want or want to see for our metropolis,” he added.
Excessive High quality of Life
Garcia says he’s enthusiastic concerning the alternative to inform folks about all the nice issues Duncanville is already doing. He pointed to the top quality of life, corresponding to being surrounded by nature and getting access to so many parks. After voters accredited Proposition A in 2019, Duncanville’s funds included $6,600,000 for parks and recreation. Town has since changed Kidsville, the family-favorite characteristic at Armstrong Park. Plenty of enhancements have been made at Harrington Park. New parking was put in at Rotary Park, and a picnic/assembly pavilion was changed at Lakeside Park.
Sports activities tourism is one other plus issue and an enormous draw for Duncanville, Garcia mentioned. Annual occasions just like the Sandra Meadows event, and ongoing actions on the Duncanville Subject Home together with basketball, dance competitions, karate, and volley ball draw guests from far and close to. Youth baseball and soccer packages maintain the fields busy at Harrington Park and other Duncanville parks. Duncanville Excessive College brings residence so many championship titles town is now generally known as the Metropolis of Champions. Duncanville ISD colleges are one other massive draw for households in search of a brand new residence, Garcia mentioned.
The keenness of Duncanville’s civic leaders, local business group, and others he has met with is inspiring, Garcia mentioned. He’s busy listening, and making an attempt to assemble as a lot enter as attainable from as many areas as attainable. Garcia mentioned he meets month-to-month with the seven member Financial Growth board. He additionally meets with the city manager, Mayor and councilmembers, and different metropolis division heads and employees.
Conversations with space chambers of commerce, civic organizations, native and state governmental businesses like NTCOG, and anxious residents are ongoing. It’s apparent that enter has been pouring in, as evidenced by the quite a few posters that cowl all of the partitions of Garcia’s workplace.
Alternatives & Challenges
A few of the matters outlined on the posters embrace (1) Emphasize Excessive High quality of Life, with such steered enhancements as extra wi-fi downtown, additionally extra bike trails. Extra performs, live shows, occasions at Armstrong Park amphitheater; plus market Duncanville Community Theatre to different cities’ senior facilities. Different matters to maintain bettering on town’s already top quality of life embrace: higher evening life, revolving round Fundamental Avenue enhancements; extra police presence and addressing citizen’s notion of crime within the space. Additionally look into bringing in additional chain eating places like Cane Russo, Twisted Root, and even an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Different areas embrace selling occasions at Hopkins Senior Heart, and the Finest Southwest library consortium that includes Duncanville Public Library.
Poster #2: Reimagine Fundamental Avenue Metropolis Heart space. Matters of curiosity included increasing boundaries via zoning updates. Bike and pedestrian services alongside the Fundamental Avenue hall, and transit growth, corresponding to a bus from Westmoreland to DART, can be featured. Extra packages and partnerships with downtown enterprise homeowners is one other matter of curiosity. Discovering further makes use of for little-used downtown buildings like Duncanville Community Theater, or the now vacant EON Actuality Constructing (former residence of the Duncanville Public Library) and the tax constructing are different areas to be explored. A cooperative work incubator was one of many options talked about.
Different strategies included a BNSF (railroad) partnership on land use. How one can deal with non-conforming companies, probably by rezoning, amortization, or relocation incentives, is one other matter listed. Extra housing choices downtown to extend density, plus particular downtown advertising and marketing are additionally talked about. Different avenues to discover embrace food trucks for downtown places or parks, and discussions with the Land Financial institution about buying land.
Financial Developer Concepts
Poster #3. Promote progressive concepts for growth and redevelopment. These matters embrace updating town’s Demo program to indicate potential builders. Buying distressed properties for repurposing, incentives for landlords, small enterprise incubators and a enterprise roundtable are talked about. Additionally collaboration with cities who’ve encountered comparable issues.
Poster #4. Develop multi-modes of transportation. Matters of curiosity embrace bike trails, attainable implementation of $1.5M bond from grasp plan. Take part in county-wide Velocity net examine, and in commuter rail examine program with NTCOG. Examine commuter transportation various modes, like Star Transit, shuttles, coaches, and many others. Proceed growing sidewalk property, replace thoroughfare plan, and buy key property are additionally matters of curiosity in growing modes of transportation.
Poster #5. Advance Advertising and marketing Technique of the Metropolis. This poster suggests hiring a videographer to indicate Duncanville’s many alternatives and potential. Selling festivals and occasions via publicity, and advertising and marketing to youthful professionals can be talked about. Bringing in a volunteer committee to ship welcome baskets to newcomers to the group, plus garner extra citizen engagement, are different matters talked about.
Duncanville is a gateway city with quick access to main freeways like State Freeway 67 and I-20. With a inhabitants beneath 40,000, town has a fantastic high quality of life with exemplary colleges and engaged residents. As a result of Duncanville is 92% built-out, challenges going ahead embrace discovering methods to revamp and probably restructure most of the present constructions to seize a bigger tax base. Duncanville now has seven inns, together with two that opened shortly earlier than the pandemic, and their annual gross sales income is $1/2 Billion.
As a twin licensed Financial Developer with a BBA in Accounting from UT Rio Grande Valley, plus serving as a councilman for Edinburg for eight years, Garcia is effectively ready to deal with Duncanville’s financial challenges and alternatives. Most significantly, Garcia has a lot enthusiasm and optimism for Duncanville’s future that spending an hour chatting with him is energizing.