Sen. Lucio merging offices into new downtown location

HARLINGEN — Fresh from re-election to his 16th term, state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. is consolidating his district offices in downtown Harlingen.

The senator’s current district office in Brownsville, and another in Pharr, will merge into a new district office in the Capital One Bank Building at 221 E. Van Buren St.

The bank building was purchased by the staffing company SOG International for an undisclosed sum, said SOG president and chief executive officer Wayne Lowry at this week’s meeting of the Downtown Improvement District board.

“We’ve got about 30 new full-time employees who will be working downtown, plus we are bringing Sen. Eddie Lucio’s district office, which is moving from Brownsville to Harlingen where his district office will be here,” Lowry told the board.

“We have other tenants we are in conversation with,” Lowry added. “We hope to fill it up.”

Lucio’s Senate District 27 covers all of Cameron, Kenedy, Kleberg and Willacy counties, and a portion of Hidalgo County, so the new office will be more centrally located within the district.

A staff member at Lucio’s office confirmed Wednesday that the Brownsville and Pharr district offices would be consolidated into the new office in Harlingen, and that the transition should be complete in the next couple of months.

A third district office, in Raymondville, is often made available for local meetings and will continue to operate at that location.

The two-story Capital One Bank Building, which was built in 1932 and offers 31,000 square feet of office space, already has one tenant in the U.S. Postal Service.

“We’re remodeling, or we’re going to begin doing some renovations, some light renovations, with changing the light bulbs and getting AC up and running, things like that,” Lowry said.

“We’re very excited to be part of the downtown district,” he added. “I’ve been in Harlingen 13 years. I love the city. I love the community and I love what’s going on downtown.”

Lucio has been in the state Senate since 1991. On Tuesday, he defeated Republican challenger Vanessa Tijerina, winning 65 percent of the vote to 35 percent for Tijerina.