Some investors might be hesitant to relocate to the Rio Grande Valley due to the declining Mexican peso against the U.S. dollar and the controversial talk of politics and giant border walls. But, despite the weakness of the peso and the upcoming election, Mexican Nationals continue to travel across the border and spend millions in American shopping centers. With $4.5 billion in annual retail sales, more and more retail developers and international and local developers have expanded to places like the Rio Grande Valley to accommodate Mexican Nationals, and the City of Alamo will be at the forefront.
Eight miles north of the Mexican border, a popular shopping destination for many Reynosa, Saltillo and Monterrey shoppers is the 1.2 million sq. ft. La Plaza Mall. Simon has continuously recognized La Plaza Mall for being one of the highest grossing malls in the U.S. and the largest mall in South Texas.
With 40% of mall visitors traveling from Mexico with a consumer base of over 10 million people, La Plaza Mall attracts more than 18 million annual visitors. A part of the appeal to Mexican shoppers are the incentives the mall provides, including a currency-exchange business, two banks, three tax-back offices and bilingual guest-services. On top of that, the center is expanding.
“The center will add fifty stores, four junior anchor stores and six restaurants with its 220,000-square-foot expansion scheduled to debut in Fall 2017. As part of the expansion, the center will undergo a cosmetic renovation including a new dramatic feature court, skylights, all-glass entrances, upgraded finishes, new flooring and improved customer amenities such as soft-seating areas and refurbished restrooms. In addition, a pair of two-level parking garages will make room for 2,000 vehicles, providing ample parking space for customers.” – Simon Mall Press Release
McAllen is also planning a grouping of several new or expanding retail and hotel projects, including an expansion of Palms Crossing and the new Shops at 29th. Dubbing it as the “West Side Story”, the city plans to expand or create some 200,000 square feet of retail space with the demolition of the McAllen Civic Auditorium.
The City of Edinburg plans on a $250 million, 500,000 sq. ft. market called Resaca Market. Slated to open in 2017, the 45-acre project will include 350,000 sq. ft. of retail development, a movie theatre, hotel, boardwalk and man-made lake.
“We know that a tremendous amount of our financial growth comes from Monterrey. We have some designers who are very familiar, who do business there and who have lived there. We are trying to offer those people an alternative to other places that are overbuilt and very congested at the moment.” – Project Director Todd Gilliland
With cities benefiting from their close proximity to the border, Pharr has also maintained a strong regional retail market. Over the past few years, Pharr has grown with its Cinemark Pharr Town Center theater, Main Events Entertainment, Costco and Freddy’s Burgers. Pushing for more retail, Pharr plans to open several new stores, including Jo-Ann Fabrics, Buy Buy Baby and Cost Plus World Market.
Alamo is at the center of the RGV and minutes away from McAllen, Edinburg, Mission and Weslaco. Our area has welcomed numerous businesses and helped create some of South Texas’ favorite eateries like The Original Willie’s Bar-B-Q and Tower Burgers. If your business is looking to be part of the continuous retail boom in the RGV, contact the Alamo EDC for more information on local initiatives, business workshops and more.