To get an idea of how large the population of the Rio Grande Valley is, it outnumbers the population of nine states in the nation. With an estimated 1.4 million residents, forecasts show the population reaching an estimated 2.5 million by 2040, bringing in new and bigger retail developments, attractions and education opportunities. McAllen is seeing new developments and expansions that will cater to the entire Rio Grande Valley, and Alamo is expected to share some of that growth.
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Texas A&M Teaching Facility
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will not be the only university in South Texas anymore. A new, 60,000 sq. ft. extension of Texas A&M College Station is expected to begin construction soon in the Valley. With approved plans for the first academic building in McAllen and an appropriated $36 million for its construction, students will be able to take classes in McAllen and receive a diploma from College Station. The new facility will offer degrees in the colleges of engineering, veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences, taught by Texas A&M faculty.
Only two other facilities are similar to this kind of extension, one is Texas A&M at Qatar in the Middle East and the maritime academy in Galveston. The next step in developing this facility is receiving approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. College Station President Michael Young has already submitted the proposal to the board. If approved, the facility should be in full practice by the Fall of 2018.
Dave & Busters
An exciting opening for Valley residents is the upcoming Dave & Busters in McAllen. The entertainment/restaurant venue, which includes a bar and arcade games, will be located on Expressway 83 and 29th Street. Alongside a new venue, Dave & Busters is expected to bring in around 300 new jobs. The 30,000 sq. ft. facility will join the neighboring Burlington Coat Factory and a new shopping development, Shops at 29th.
In Northern McAllen, a 2,571-acre planned community will develop 5,000 single family homes, 1,000 townhomes and a 2,000 multi-family apartments with a one million dollar community center featuring swimming, fitness facilities, sports courts, soccer fields and over 100 acres of lakes to enjoy paddleboats, swimming and fishing. The Tres Lagos development will also encompass an Island Town Center with over 1.5 million square feet of commercial and retail space. Tres Lagos is especially important because it will serve as the new home for the Texas A&M- McAllen Campus.
With this expansion, about $70 million worth of new road constructions and expansions to enhance mobility from McAllen to Edinburg are also planned. Monte Cristo Road between McColl and 10th Street will turn into a four-lane highway, making traffic manageable and reliable.
La Plaza Mall Makeover
Simon Property Group has already begun construction on a 285,813 sq. ft. addition to McAllen’s La Plaza Mall. The first step was the demolition of the Sears store that Simon acquired in late April of this year. This will accommodate up to 50 new specialty stores, four junior anchors, two new parking decks and six first-to-market restaurants. The mall’s interior and exterior will also be renovated.
With over 18 million annual visitors and retail business booming in part to the proximity of the international border, La Plaza Mall consistently ranks as one of the highest grossing malls in the U.S. The mall’s multimillion-dollar redevelopment effort will cement its status as the ultimate luxury-shopping destination in South Texas. If anything, it will attract even more international attention, contributing to the retail boom of the Rio Grande Valley.
Affecting the Entire Rio Grande Valley
Other developments in the Rio Grande Valley include a $12 million harbor entertainment project in Mercedes, the first IMAX in the Valley in Edinburg and much more. These contributions have enabled the RGV to have constant job growth, a low cost of living and made the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metropolitan statistical area the fifth largest MSA in Texas as recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau. Through this success in retail development, education and tourism, locating along the U.S. Mexico-Border can bring many commercial successes.
The Perfect Location
Being a part of a booming retail region, the quaint City of Alamo contributes greatly to the local economy, bringing in tourism as the top birding destination in the United States. With a retail demand of over $500 million, 400 acres of available land and a 119,480 daily traffic count, Alamo is becoming one of the most vibrant and unique cities for businesses.