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McAllen, Texas is Built for Business

Written by mcallenretail on . Posted in Media Releases

(McAllen, TX)  Nestled in the bustling epicenter of the Rio Grande Valley, McAllen, Texas is built for business.  Well known as a leading retail power-house for shoppers from throughout the southern region of Texas and northern Mexico, the City of McAllen offers investors and businesses an opportunity to partner with them and tap into a market that is growing and prospering, as evidenced by the increase in construction valuation of a whopping $350 million for the past fiscal year, up 47% for residential, commercial, and quality of life development.

“The millions of dollars being invested not only by local developers, but also by companies from around the country and the world, demonstrates that there is money to be made in our city and that McAllen is THE place to work, live and play,” said City of McAllen City Manager Roel Roy Rodriguez, P.E.


McAllen continues to lead the surge in retail sales and development along the Texas/Mexico border.  The city grosses approximately $3 billion in annual retail sales tax revenue and with leading global mall developer Simon’s multi-million dollar mall expansion adding 50 stores, six restaurants and two parking decks to La Plaza Mall, it will further solidify McAllen’s status as the ultimate luxury shopping destination in deep South Texas.  Other retail development throughout the city includes the Shops at 29 developed by Terracor Real Estate Services, an over 200,000 square foot shopping, dining and entertainment power center that will feature the eagerly anticipated Dave & Buster’s, slated to be open later this year.  Washington Prime Group’s Palms Crossings, strategically placed adjacent to the McAllen Convention Center, is also gearing up for construction, with 580,000 square feet of retail space once complete.

In fact, McAllen is a proactive and innovative city that leverages consumer and market analytics through Buxton, a leader in the industry of site selection analytics. Through its partnership with Buxton, the city provides developers, brokers and potential businesses with access to market intelligence to better understand the current economic conditions and available retail opportunities.


Residential construction continues to grow steadily throughout the city, including 63 new subdivisions and 1,049 townhomes, condominiums and apartment complexes throughout the city, in just the last year alone.  Additionally, a Texas A&M School of Engineering, BioMedical, Agriculture and Lab Sciences located within the Tres Lagos subdivision, will be admitting students later this year.


Commercial development has skyrocketed, with new offices, hotels and restaurants breaking ground or expanding to accommodate the growing need for professional office space and hospitality industries.  Visitors to McAllen are able to stay in any number of new hotels, including Embassy Suites, La Quinta and Cambria Suites Hotel, adding over 500 hotel rooms to the McAllen Convention Center campus. Additionally, public-private partnerships, combined with innovation, is priority to McAllen city leaders as demonstrated by a former Walmart transformed into the world’s largest single story public library and a vacant Kmart space being redeveloped into a call center that will add 1,000 new jobs.


The City of McAllen recently opened its doors to the state-of-the-art $52 million McAllen Performing Arts Center, featuring acts as diverse as Tony Bennet and Tito Puente, Broadway’s Jersey Boys and the Moscow Ballet’s Nutcracker, as well as regular performances by the Valley Symphony Orchestra.  Located on the lush grounds of the McAllen Convention Center campus, the stunning facility offers guests an opportunity to fully immerse themselves in an exhilarating entertainment and cultural experience.  Along with entertainment, visitors can treat themselves to plenty of retail therapy and dining all within walking distance.

For those seeking to make their mark in business, McAllen is built for you.

City of McAllen Construction Shows $330 Million-Plus Growth

Written by mcallenretail on . Posted in Media Releases

Increase is $155 million over previous year 

(McAllen, TX)   The City of McAllen is growing and prospering, as evidenced by the increase in construction valuation of $333,114,402 for the current fiscal year, an increase of $155,458,427 over last year at the same time.  This is an increase of 47% in construction value for various projects including residences, such as various subdivisions, homes and apartments; commercial, including new hotels and restaurants; and public buildings, like churches and schools.

“The double digit growth in the construction valuation taking place in our community points to a strong and prosperous local economy that is continuing to be on the rise,” said City of McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez.  “The millions of dollars invested in McAllen not only by local developers, but also by companies from around the country and around the world, demonstrates that there is money to be made in our city and that McAllen is THE place to live.”

Approximately 400 new homes are being constructed, since the start of the fiscal year, valued at just over $59 million, while over 300 homes are either undergoing additions or remodeling, at a value of over $4.5 million.  Duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, townhomes and condominiums construction are adding over $4.2 million to the construction value and 16 new apartment complexes around the city that will each feature club houses, pools, walking trails, and recreation areas, among other amenities and are adding almost $28 million in construction value.

Since a year ago today, new commercial development has skyrocketed, with new buildings, offices, hotels and restaurants breaking ground or expanding, at a value of almost $85 million.  Projects like the new medical offices on Dove Avenue, will help to better accommodate the growing need for professional office space.

Visitors to McAllen for shop, work or play will soon be able to stay in any number of new hotels under construction, including the new Homes 2 Suites Hotel near the McAllen Convention Center, the Four Points Sheraton on Expressway 83 and the Holiday Inn Express on South 6th Street.  

The eagerly anticipated Dave & Buster’s is breaking ground in the just completed Shops at 29 shopping center, which is situated next to the McAllen Convention Center, a new venue offering 200,000 square feet of shopping, dining and entertainment to McAllen and its surrounding communities.  The 30,000 square foot multi-million dollar building construction project, will offer the very best in food, drink and entertainment in an upscale and modern environment.

In fact, Burlington Coat Factory also located in the Shops at 29, only broke ground this calendar year and already opened its doors last weekend, with better than projected sales revenue. Joining Burlington in the shopping center will be Ross Dress for Less, which is scheduled to break ground in October.  Other projects undergoing construction include an additional six new restaurants that will also open their doors in the coming year.

Recently, McAllen was highlighted in an article by Shopping Centers Today, an online retail industry publication, which highlighted the strength of retail development along the Texas/Mexico border with McAllen leading the surge in retail sales and development along the border.   The article mentioned the strength of the Mexican shoppers to the city’s retail strength.  McAllen residents and visitors to the city are eagerly anticipating the opening of the addition to La Plaza Mall which will include 50 stores, six restaurants and two parking decks. The new expansion to the mall alone contributes just over $44 million to the construction value.

A new $9 million warehouse also began construction this year in South McAllen in the industrial park, to further the city’s role in international trade through one of its commercial bridges.

New construction is not limited to homes and businesses, as buildings for the spirit and the mind also broke ground in McAllen in 2016.  While church additions and remodels have added almost $800,000 in construction value to the city, educational institutions have contributed over $40 million, including the new $10.5 million IDEA School and the South Texas College School of Nursing that just recently broke ground for a new training hospital training facility for students in South McAllen. Additionally 36 schools, Nikki Rowe High School and various McAllen Independent School District locations that are undergoing additions or remodeling.

All amounts and values are through August 2016, with one more month left in the 2015-2016 Fiscal Year.

Construction valuation is the cost of constructing the new building, including materials, labor, and other costs.

For the full construction valuation report, head to the City of McAllen website at

McAllen continues to lead Texas border retail development

Written by mcallenretail on . Posted in Media Releases

Mexican shoppers spurring growth and development

(McAllen, TX)  Shopping Centers Today, an online retail industry publication, recently released an article highlighting the strength of retail development along the Texas/Mexico border and to no surprise to City of McAllen leaders, McAllen continues to lead the surge in retail sales and development along the border.

The growth is in response to the large number of shoppers from Mexico who find retail centers along the Texas border being developed to welcome them. According to the article, the influx of shoppers spurred developers, both locally and abroad, to grow their retail presence on the U.S. side, particularly in the Rio Grande Valley.

“McAllen is a bi-cultural city; we are an American city that speaks Spanish,” City of McAllen Mayor Jim Darling said.  “Mexican nationals can shop in almost any store and be greeted in Spanish, helping them to feel more welcome as they come seeking products found in America.”

The City of McAllen has a strong partnership with leading global mall developer Simon, whose property, the 1.2 million-square foot La Plaza Mall, is receiving a 245,000-square foot addition.  The multi-million dollar expansion which will include 50 stores, six restaurants and two parking decks is slated to further define La Plaza Mall’s status as the ultimate luxury shopping destination in deep South Texas. The City of McAllen contributed $20 million towards the construction of the two parking decks to help spur that development which will later be returned to city coffers and to pay the debt service for the contribution via a sales tax agreement.  Mall and city officials look forward to celebrating the expansion with grand opening festivities sometime during fall of 2017.

Part of McAllen’s retail strength comes from Mexican shoppers, who flock from Reynosa and Saltillo and even as far away as Monterrey to take advantage of McAllen’s vast retail and hospitality offerings, despite the fluctuating Mexican peso.  La Plaza Mall marketing director Isabel Rodriguez said approximately 40 percent of La Plaza visitors travel from Mexico to McAllen, which is eight miles from the border.  In fact, the City of McAllen receives a substantial amount of sales tax revenue generated by Mexican shoppers, contributing billions in annual gross retail sales tax revenue to the McAllen economy, stated Rebecca M. Olaguibel, Retail and Business Development Director for the City of McAllen.

La Plaza Mall, the largest retail shopping center south of San Antonio, generates $400 million in sales per year, according to David Contis, president of Simon’s mall division.

“We are part of the economic engine in McAllen and we are proud to be that,” Contis said.

Other new or expanding projects are near the state-of-the-art McAllen Convention Center, which is owned and operated by the City of McAllen.  The facility has quickly become the epicenter for regional events and annual state, regional and national conferences.  The year-round sunshine, friendly atmosphere, and the high-end diverse shopping experience found in McAllen keeps the conventions coming back year after year.

“This is an important recognition to receive from an outside organization, reinforcing what we in McAllen have not only been saying, but also, what we have been doing to further develop the retail economy in McAllen,” City of McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, P.E. said.

For the full article, follow:

McAllen Retail Market Update

Written by mcallenretail on . Posted in Media Releases

  • McAllen ranks #1 among Texas cities in ACTUAL retail sales per household. (Claritas)
  • McAllen ranked #1 Safest City in Texas, 7th as in the U.S. (2015
  • Compared to the rest of the country, McAllen’s cost of living is 17.10% Lower than the U.S. average. (Sperling’s Best Places)
  • Best mid-size city for careers (Forbes, 2015)
  • McAllen is the largest city in one of the fastest growing metro areas in the nation (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Over 16 million travelers visit McAllen, Texas annually for a top-of-the-line shopping experience.

Located in deep South Texas, McAllen has earned its reputation as the retail epicenter of the Rio Grande Valley, and continues to live up to its reputation thanks to an increasing number of investors setting their sights on its robust retail market. Simon’s La Plaza Mall is currently expanding its 1.2 million square feet property with an additional 220,000 square feet, and there are hundreds of thousands of additional retail space under development in McAllen as well. The SIMON project is slated to include an exceptional mix of dining and high end retail options that will delight both locals and tourists.

McAllen’s consumer base lives not only within 200-miles on the U.S. side of the border but stretches far into Mexico including northern and central Mexican cities, the biggest of which is Monterrey, Mexico, the 3rd largest and wealthiest city in Mexico with a population exceeding 4 million – only a 2 hour drive away. With 10 international bridge crossings within an hour or less drive from McAllen’s metro area, shoppers from south Texas and northern Mexico enjoy Interstate expressways which puts them at the heart of this retail mecca easily as well as quick access to the renowned resort of South Padre Island, a popular destination among wealthy Mexican tourists.

McAllen Miller International Airport, the busiest airport in the region, offers easy access to business and leisure travelers. Travelers from the United States connect to McAllen through American, United and Allegiant Airlines. Shoppers from Mexico City – the largest capital city in Latin America – fly to McAllen in less than 2 hours, and speed through a fast and efficient immigration and customs check point inside the airport. The airport recently completed a 55,000 square feet expansion to its terminal including the TSA security checkpoint and checked baggage inspection system.

McAllen generates $3.56 billion dollars in gross retail sales per year according to the State of Texas Comptroller’s office. Recent in-depth studies conducted with the help of VISA Indicate that Mexican shoppers spend more in McAllen than in any other city in the United States. These findings are buttressed by the fact that many national franchise retailers report their highest performing locations are those located in McAllen.

McAllen is not only the place where shoppers go, it is also the place where investors go. Being some 7 miles from the international border, it has a distinctly “American” feel with beautifully manicured trails lining its main thoroughfares. The city is one of the fastest growing in the nation with a high quality of life including a safe and enjoyable environment. McAllen boasts the lowest cost of living rates in Texas and reinforces its low cost of living by having one of the state’s lowest property tax rates.

For further information:

Rebecca M. Olaguibel
Retail and Business Development Director
McAllen, TX 78501
Office: 956.681.1001

McAllen airport unveils $26.5M expansion

Written by mcallenretail on . Posted in Media Releases

Local officials gathered Tuesday morning to tout $26.5 million worth of improvements to the McAllen-Miller International Airport that expanded its terminal to accommodate more passengers and improve security.

The new airport terminal covers more than 100,000 square feet — double its original footprint — in an effort to alleviate overcrowding in the boarding area.

Click here to read the Full Article

McAllen retail sales reach record receipts: 2015 first quarter show steady growth as retail base grows

Written by mcallenretail on . Posted in Media Releases

McALLEN – The City recorded its highest-ever local sales tax first quarter this year by collecting more than $17.5 million in retail taxes in January, February and March, according to the Texas Comptroller.

McAllen, the region’s largest city retail market by a commanding margin, is up 2.3 percent over the first quarter of last year, and it’s the largest year-over-year gain for the first quarter in three years. A general upturn in the economy, easing traffic at international crossings and more shopping options have all contributed to the increase, said McAllen Mayor Jim Darling.

Read the full story here.

City moves forward with Tres Lagos development

Written by mcallenretail on . Posted in Media Releases

The McAllen City Commission approved a $2 billion multi-faced plan that would develop a large area of far north McAllen with residential, commercial and government subdivisions using sustainable and smart technology.

To launch the mega 2,571-acre master planned development; commissioners gave the nod at Monday’s March 10 meeting approving an agreement between the City and Rhodes Enterprises (Tres Lagos developer) for Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) No. 1, and adopted an interlocal agreement between the City and Hidalgo County for participation in the TIRZ. Read the Full Article Here.

McAllen unemployment lowest in six years, Jobless rate bests national average 7-years running

Written by mcallenretail on . Posted in Media Releases

McALLEN – More people are working in McAllen than ever before helping the city boast one of the higher job growth rates in the country and besting the nation’s unemployment average seven years in row.

McAllen recorded a 5.0 percent unemployment rate for November, according to the latest statistics released by the Texas Workforce Commission. Five percent is the lowest jobless rate among cities in the Rio Grande Valley and the lowest rate in 6½ years for the City. Its 59,604 people employed in town are the most ever since the commission has kept those figures for cities beginning 2005.

The City grew some 1,703 jobs from November 2013 to November 2014 – the most by any city in the Valley, and McAllen’s unemployment dropped from 6.5 percent to its level over the same period. What’s more, the City’s unemployment rate has bested the annual U.S. national average for seven years running, according to the Workforce Commission.

The 3 percent employment growth rate, year over year, would stand to be among the faster job producing cities in the country. In the last year, several major job-creating projects have been launched in McAllen, trade has increased and the health, education and government sectors have continued to grow. McAllen Mayor Jim Darling said the City will continue to invest in job-growth strategies and education to have a ready workforce that can produce.

“Most people in Texas and around the country simply don’t know that McAllen’s job market is better than the national one and has been for the last seven years,” said Darling. “We have a diversified economy that relies on international trade, advanced manufacturing, the health industry and retail trade, and we’re growing fast. McAllen will also continue to work with cities in the region and Mexico to raise all our boats and stay above of the national averages.”

Workforce Commission reports show that in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA (Hidalgo County), trade, transportation & utilities, healthcare and government sectors as creating the most jobs year over year. The McAllen MSA recorded its second lowest unemployment rate since 2008 at 8.2 percent and has added about 8,400 jobs since November 2013.

November unemployment rates for some RGV cities and MSAs: McAllen 5.0%, Edinburg 5.5%, Harlingen 5.7%, Mission 6.5%, Weslaco 7.0%, Pharr 7.2%, Brownsville 8.2%, Brownsville MSA 7.7%, and McAllen MSA 8.2%.

McAllen announces largest holiday illuminated parade in Texas

Written by mcallenretail on . Posted in Media Releases


November 10, 2014

Contact: Roy Cantu, Public Information Office, 956-681-1201, 956-792-7779

Rebecca Olaguibel Retail and Business Development Director 956-681-1001

McAllen announces largest holiday illuminated parade in Texas

City touts bigger and better event

McALLEN – McAllen’s biggest, brightest and most anticipated event of the holiday season will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6. City of McAllen leaders and parade sponsors hosted a press conference today at La Plaza Mall and unveiled details regarding the newly revamped McAllen Holiday Parade.  This year the City has plans to grow it on an even bigger scale to match the City’s tremendous growth.

La Plaza Mall will serve as a presenting sponsor for the parade.

For 32 years McAllen has hosted thousands of spectators for its annual Candlelight Posada Parade, this year the City has plans to innovate and grow the parade on an even greater scale to match the city’s growth.

The City will partner with major event and parade production companies to produce the largest illuminated holiday parade in Texas. It will feature a large array of giant helium-filled balloons similar to those seen in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

It will also showcase decorated, colorful and illuminated parade floats including some from Blaine Kern Studios in New Orleans, the company that creates the magic of Mardi Gras. The floats that will be featured in the McAllen Holiday Parade are by invitation only and will be themed and built around a storybook Christmas.

“We have a much more energized vision for this year’s Christmas parade,” Mayor Pro tem and Commissioner Hilda Salinas said. “Our crews are working at a remarkably intense pace to make this one of the most inspiring holiday parades in the country, and potentially the largest illuminated parade in Texas. Everything will be on a different scale. It’s going be a memorable event with giant helium balloons, marching bands playing uplifting holiday tunes, impressive new floats and a few celebrity appearances. This year’s McAllen Holiday Parade should be the most remarkable ever.”

The new parade route will begin on Business 83 and will run north on Bicentennial Blvd. culminating at the McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium for a grand finale.

Five row bleachers will be set up along the route for spectators to experience the magnitude of the parade that evening.

Saturday will be a day full of holiday fun and activities suitable for the entire family. Christmas in the Park will combine two unique holiday celebrations: the McAllen Tamale Fest and Kids Marathon and the Candlelight Posada and Marketplace.

“As our city continues to see constant growth it is important that our events are able to accommodate more people, not only from McAllen, but from our surrounding communities as well,” McAllen Mayor Jim Darling said. “This year’s parade will be unlike any other in the past years and we are extremely excited to have everyone join us for a wonderful holiday experience.”

Sponsors of the Holiday Parade include:

La Plaza Mall – A Simon Mall 

Bert Ogden

L&F Distributors

McAllen PUB

McAllen CVB

Anzalduas Bridge

Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson

ERO Architects

McAllen Reynosa Maquilla Association




Melden & Hunt

Halff & Associates

IBC Bank



Plains Capital  Bank

The tentative schedule for Christmas in the Park is as follows:

Tamale Fest: 12:00 p.m.

Tamale Kids Fun Run: 4:00 p.m.

Candlelight Posada: 5:15

McAllen Holiday Parade: 6:00 p.m.

Other City of McAllen holiday events throughout December include:

Dec.1 Tree Lighting: (Time is still tentative) at the McAllen Convention Center

Dec. 13 Sunset Live: 5:00 the McAllen Convention Center

Dec.14 McAllen Marathon: 7:00 a.m. at the McAllen Sports Complex

Dec. 20 Christmas for Kids: 8:30 a.m. at the McAllen Police Department

Dec.31 New Year’s Eve Bash: (Time is still tentative) at the McAllen Convention Center


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