McAllen, Texas: Simply the Place to Be

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Lush tropical landscapes sway gently in warm coastal breezes. Bright sunshine frames year-round activities like golf and birdwatching. But McAllen, Texas, nestled in deep South Texas, is more than just another beautiful destination.

Innovative business and investment opportunities, a rapidly expanding medical education and research industry, and premier luxury retail locations pair with a constant flow of visitors from throughout the region, Mexico and the United States spurring residential and commercial development. In addition, expanding educational opportunities and a quality of life that is unmatched in few communities make McAllen, Texas simply the place to be for anyone wishing to make their business a success.

“McAllen is a powerhouse city, fueled by international trade, medical tourism, retail and growth in the field of higher education,” said Rebecca Olaguibel, the City of McAllen’s Director of Retail and Business Development. “As a matter of fact, McAllen generates more than $3 billion in gross retail sales every year.”

One reason the City of McAllen continues to set the standard and raise the bar for retail and business development is the unique approach developed by City leaders to work in partnership with investors to quickly move projects through the process to be able to go from plans to permits in record time. Led by a cohesive team of city management and elected officials who are pro-business, this attitude and process has propelled McAllen’s continued growth and success.

That means there’s an open door for developers with the right ideas.

One such project is the new and innovative 2,500-acre North McAllen Tres Lagos subdivision, developed as a TIRZ in partnership with Hidalgo County. The development features 5,000 single-family homes, 200+ acres of public parks, pools, sports fields, playgrounds, picnic areas, and over 20 miles of hike and bike trails. Commercial development also compliments the distinctive project with an impressive 1.5 million square feet of retail space slated for the master planned community. Rounding out the amenities and convenience of this exciting development is the new Texas A&M Higher Education Center McAllen campus. Tres Lagos is one of many developments, projects and business plans that highlight just how creative the city can become when working in concert with developers.

Other creative approaches to development include the recently expanded, Simon-owned, La Plaza Mall. While other malls across the country are shuttering, La Plaza’s aggressive 250,000 square foot expansion proudly showcases two new parking garages and first-to-market retail stores and restaurants, including Kendra Scott, Zara, H&M, as well as Buddy V’s, Carlos Bakery, Texas de Brazil and Yard House. As the premier retail destination in South Texas, the mall is a draw for the 18 million visitors from Mexico, South Texas and beyond the city welcomes annually.

Retail and entertainment dominate the McAllen landscape. Shoppers may enjoy one of McAllen’s newest power centers, Shops at 29, anchored by Dave & Busters, Ulta, and Burlington. Palms Crossing, a development by Washington Prime Group, now in its third phase of development, conveniently located steps away from the McAllen Convention Center, offers fabulous shopping, dining and entertainment within its 580,000 square foot campus. Along McAllen’s famous 10th Street, an eclectic six-mile stretch of home-grown restaurants and retail, there is a cafe or boutique for just about any taste. Development, growth and opportunity are on every corner in McAllen.

Of course, it is not all work and no play in McAllen. Not only does McAllen feature favorites like Dave and Buster’s and a recently opened TopGolf in the area, the McAllen Performing Arts Center has already upped the entertainment options for the area with international acts and Broadway musicals that bring the world to McAllen’s doorsteps. Tony Bennet, Julio Iglesias, Peter Cetera, the Moscow Ballet, and Les Miserables are just some of the shows that have been featured at the facility that continues to astound every artist who has performed there in terms of its beauty and scope.

“McAllen is a place where developers can truly partner with a community to create something special we can all be proud of,” concluded Olaguibel.

With a booming economy and business development at an all-time high, anyone seeking to invest in a solid market, the growth and opportunities found in McAllen make it simply the place to be.

McAllen, Texas is Built for Business

Written by mcallenretail on . Posted in Media Releases

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 over $600 million since 2016 in residential, commercial, and quality of life development. 

“The millions of dollars being invested by local developers and companies from around the country and the world, demonstrates that there is money to be made in our city,” said City of McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, P.E. “McAllen is THE place to work, live and play.”


McAllen is the leader in retail sales and development along the Texas/Mexico border. The city grosses approximately $3 billion in annual retail sales tax revenue with leading global mall developer Simon’s multi-million- dollar mall expansion opening in late 2017 to bustling crowds, eager for the first-to- market additional shops. The mall added 50 stores, six restaurants and two parking decks to La Plaza, further solidifying McAllen’s status as the ultimate luxury shopping destination in deep South Texas. Other retail development includes The Shops at 29, a $40 million, 200,000-plus square foot shopping, dining and entertainment power center by Terracor Real Estate Services. Located one block south of the McAllen Performing Arts Center, Shops at 29 features Dave & Buster’s, Burlington, Ulta and Freddy’s. Washington Prime Group’s Palms Crossings, strategically placed adjacent to the McAllen Convention Center, is 580,000 square feet of retail space that boasts multiple retail and dining options, with new eateries including Cowboy Chicken, Il Forno and a first-ever location for Reserva Coffee Roasters. 

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, with multiple new subdivisions, in just the last year alone. Additionally, a Texas A&M School of Engineering, BioMedical, Agriculture and Lab Sciences located within the 2,500-acre Tres Lagos subdivision, will be opening its doors to students later this year. Tres Lagos, a master planned community, will not only feature state-of- the-art smart homes at every available price point, the TIRZ agreement with the City of McAllen and Hidalgo County created for the development allows for multiple parks; hike and bike trails; and volleyball, basketball, and tennis courts, to name just a few of the amenities. A charter school along with mixed use shopping centers will make this the most sought-after community in McAllen.


Commercial development has skyrocketed, with new offices, hotels, restaurants, and even, schools and hospitals breaking ground or expanding to accommodate the growth of the city. 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 Spectrum transforming a vacant Kmart space into a regional bilingual call center that has already added 700 new jobs. Additionally, a new nursing school expansion, multiple hospital and medical center renovations and a soon-to- be completed research facility by
the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Medical School in McAllen are spurring the medical industry growth.

Quality of Life

The City of McAllen state-of- the-art McAllen Performing Arts Center, features 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 grounds of the McAllen Convention Center campus, the facility offers patrons a chance to take in shopping and enjoy a meal before or after the show.

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

City of McAllen Construction Shows $330 Million-Plus Growth

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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

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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

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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

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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.