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UTRGV to buy old Guard armory Land to be used for campus expansion

BY Oscar Castillo | NEWS EDITOR

UTRGV has started the process of buying 3.603 acres of land and three buildings located at 340 Porter Dr., across the street from Brownsville Early College High School and adjacent to the Texas Southmost College Recreation Center parking lot./Oscar Castillo/The Rider
UTRGV has started the process of buying 3.603 acres of land and three buildings located at 340 Porter Dr., across the street from Brownsville Early College High School and adjacent to the Texas Southmost College Recreation Center parking lot./Oscar Castillo/The Rider

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is in the final stage of purchasing 3.603 acres of land, which includes the Armory Complex, for $1,010,000 from the City of Brownsville.

“I understand the City of Brownsville was going to have final authority to execute the contract from the city commission, and once that approval was obtained, then the city would sign the contract and we would move toward closing,” said Mark Saenz, UTRGV’s chief real estate and space planning officer. “Closing typically takes up to 60 days.”

The Brownsville City Commission approved the sale on Sept. 20.

The Armory Complex is located at 340 Porter Drive, across the street from Brownsville Early College High School and adjacent to the Texas Southmost College Recreation Center parking lot.

“At the moment, there was a small police presence, so they were using it for a training facility,” said Ramiro Gonzalez, assistant director of planning for the City of Brownsville, about the current use of the Armory Complex. “Before that, it was actually the Army National Guard that moved out to the expressway.”

The Texas Army National Guard recruiting office is now located at 600 Woodruff Ave. in Brownsville.

Asked what UTRGV will use the building for, Saenz replied: “That is unknown at this time, just for future campus expansion.”

The $1,010,000 land purchase, which the university had appraised, will include 3.603 acres of land and three buildings of about 20,531 square feet combined, Saenz said.

“We’re anticipating it will be 60 to 90 days before … ownership transfers,” Gonzalez said.

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