It’s a great time to be living in the Rio Grande Valley! The four-county region is growing steadily as a slew of new projects descend on the area. From retail projects to higher education institutions, the region will soon be booming with new businesses and opportunities for employment, entertainment and education.
About $700 million in construction permits were brought to the Valley in 2014. Construction permits varied amongst retail, office, medical, education, industrial and housing projects according to a report by Randy Summers, CCIM and president-elect of South Texas Commercial Association of Realtors (STCAR), in the August 2015 issue of Texas Real Estate Business Magazine.
There is no doubt that Alamo residents will reap the benefits of new initiatives because of its proximity to McAllen and Brownsville, both being major hubs of commercial business growth. But what exactly is in store for Alamo residents and Alamo business owners? The Alamo EDC has the important information on the changing Rio Grande Valley landscape.
Much of the Valley’s growth can be seen in McAllen as the number of retail stores and restaurants continues to grow exponentially. Just nine miles west of Alamo is the Palms Crossing Shopping Center, owned by Simon Properties. It has welcomed a major number of new restaurants like Zoe’s Kitchen, Chipotle, Corner Bakery and Saltgrass Steak House.
A $20 million dollar, six-story Embassy Suites Hotel is currently under construction at McAllen’s Convention Center Complex. The hotel will be within walking distance of the Palms Crossing Shopping Center and the $40 million Performing Arts Center, which is also under construction. The new center broadens entertainment possibilities for Alamo residents and should bring more tourists to the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo area seeking affordable places to stay.
La Plaza Mall
La Plaza Mall, which is just seven miles from Alamo, is also under construction and will be adding about 80,000 square feet of new space to be used for new stores, according to Rebecca M. Olaguibel, director of retail and business development for McAllen. Olaguibel announced the shopping center’s new expansion plans at the ICSC Texas Alliance for P3 Retail Program.
The Alamo EDC participated in the special program by gathering to discuss the future of Valley retail with the International Council of Shopping centers (ICSC) and the Rio South Texas Economic Council (RSTEC) at the ICSC Texas Alliance for P3 Retail Program, which was hosted at Texas State Technical College University Center in Harlingen. The attendees discussed the future of retail in the Valley and explored retail development opportunities.
Olaguibel revealed that the mall, which has been in operation since 1976, will add two new two-level parking garages. The mall is already 1.2 million square feet in size, making it the largest shopping center south of San Antonio.
More than 18 million visitors travel from all parts of Texas and Northern Mexico to shop at La Plaza Mall. The area profits majorly from international shoppers every weekend and more retail means more growth for the area. Of course, growth also translates to a multitude of new jobs for residents. Currently, the mall employs 2,000 people from all over the region, including the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo area.
David Contis, president of Simon, the mall’s parent company, told The Monitor that the mall is expected to produce an astounding 500 to 750 permanent jobs with an additional 100 during its renovation and construction period.
A New Addition to Retail
Apart from the La Plaza Mall expansion, Olaguibel said the demolition of the McAllen Civic Center will take place within the next few months. A shopping center will take its place by Provident Realty Advisers of Dallas.
Just down the road from Alamo, the Pharr Town Center has brought retail giant Academy Sports and Outdoors for Alamo’s outdoor enthusiasts. What used to be El Centro Mall has now become a new retail and entertainment hub for Pharr. Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen and Luby’s Cafeteria have provided new eateries for area residents and Main Event is now the go-to entertainment venue for kids and their families. Equipped with a bowling alley, a game room, a restaurant and bar, the facility will be calling World Market and TJ Maxx neighbors soon.
Texas A&M University
A stand-alone 4-year Texas A&M University campus is slated for McAllen. The Tres Lagos site, developed by Rhodes Enterprises President & CEO Michael Rhodes, will be located just north of State Highway 107. The campus will be composed of programs in engineering, technology, biomedical science, agriculture and lab sciences. The campus should be open for Alamo students by Fall 2017.
Just an hour south of Alamo, rockets will take flight. Founded in 2002, Space X designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The private spaceflight company broke ground in Brownsville in 2014. The site will be used to launch commercial satellites into orbit in 2017. County representatives hope the project will help boost the region economically in the years to come.
Are You Convinced Yet to do Business in Alamo?
Alamo Residents have much to look forward to in the next few years. With retail opportunities abound and new educational and industrial facilities on the way, the Valley will see a boost in the economy and a major growth in population. This is the time to take advantage of Alamo’s low cost of living and the many business incentives offered by the city.
Alamo has many opportunities and support for businesses and manufacturers hoping to relocate to the Rio Grande Valley. From incentives like the Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) or the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG), the Alamo EDC can assist a startup with the resources it will need to prosper. What are you waiting for? Now is the best time to get your American Dream of starting your very own business started! Imagine the possibilities of starting your own commercial enterprise near such a large and busy economic location. Stop by the Alamo EDC or give us a call for more information.