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Old August 5th, 2011, 12:21 AM   #21
RaRaRyan18
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Has anyone heard anything about the 2 new hotels near the convention center? Will there be a Panda Express in McAllen?
Excited for the Khan's in Mission!
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Old September 6th, 2011, 10:04 AM   #22
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Quote:
San Juan to create historic walking tour
http://www.themonitor.com/news/juan-...-historic.html
September 04, 2011 7:50 PM
Elizabeth Findell

SAN JUAN—This time next year, San Juan hopes to draw visitors to a
historic walking tour, thanks to a grant aimed at promoting heritage
tourism.
Through the grant, awarded by the Texas Historical Commission and
other contributions, the city received $11,200 to buy at least four
historic markers for significant city features.
“We’d like to memorialize San Juan history,” Economic Development
Corporation Director Miki McCarthy said. “It’s part of our
revitalization plan and will tie into the original town sites.”
The city already has a few existing historical markers, including that
of the San Antonio and Rio Grande Railway near the Basilica of Our
Lady of San Juan Del Valle, which McCarthy called a starting point.
“We have visitors who come to the basilica, they can easily pick up a
San Juan historic trail map, and it’s going to be something that’s
walkable for a Sunday stroll,” she said.
The trail will likely extend down Nebraska Avenue to Business 83.
Involvement from partner organizations, including the local Historical
Commission and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the public will help
determine which sites to prioritize.
San Juan’s trail project was selected as one of two in the “Texas
Tropical Trail Region” to receive funding, according to a news release
from the Texas Historical Commission. The designation—one of four
historic regions in the state—encompasses 20 South Texas counties.
The other project granted funding is an initiative in Harlingen to add
to the city’s downtown murals, create a walking guide and add QR codes
into the murals.
“These grants are designed for applicants who are looking to increase
their heritage tourism opportunities,” said Susan Shore, a program
specialist with Texas Heritage Trails. San Juan’s “application was
very strong in their desire to delve deeper into building the history
of their community and making that information available to visitors.”
McCarthy said she hoped the project would draw visitors and
eventually expand. She pointed to neighboring cities like Pharr,
which has seen a lot of interest in its historic trolley tours.
“Heritage tourism is a booming economy for our state,” she said. “We
have a group of retirees and avid historians who will vacation
specifically around historic markers and icons. There’s an industry to
capture.”
..
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Old September 6th, 2011, 10:06 AM   #23
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Investors propose destination theme park, retail development off Expressway 83 in McAllen
August 24, 2011 1:07 PM
http://www.themonitor.com/articles/m...stination.html
Dave Hendricks
The Monitor

McALLEN — Last week, a group of investors approached McAllen with an offer: Let us transform Boeye Reservoir — the city-owned, manmade lake on Expressway 83 — into a theme park and retail development with a River Walk-style feel.

McAllen Attractions Inc. outlined plans to build a 31-acre theme park on the property’s eastern side and an “upper-end lifestyle center” on the remaining 38 acres bordering 23rd Street. The project would be funded with $7 million from private investors, a $6.5 million loan and city assistance, according to McAllen Attractions’ formal proposal submitted Aug. 17.

The theme park would become a regional attraction, drawing people from across the Rio Grande Valley, said Gabriel Kamel, the 42-year-old Mexican businessman who organized McAllen Attractions and represents a large group of investors.

“I think the Valley needs this to get the people to come often and stay longer,” Kamel said. He stressed the proposal is just a concept, subject to negotiation.

Kamel’s business partners include Ricardo Cortez II and Jaime Cortez, sons of Mayor Richard Cortez, who has a longstanding business relationship with Kamel. The mayor has signed conflict-of-interest forms and recused himself from city discussions of the reservoir redevelopment project.

It’s not the first proposal to redevelop Boeye Reservoir, located south of Expressway 83 between 23rd Street and Bicentennial Boulevard.

In 2007, Dallas-based developer Henry S. Miller Sustainable Partners proposed turning the reservoir into a trendy development with an urban feel. The much-touted plan fell through, a victim of the recession and resulting credit crunch.

McAllen officially killed the so-called “Central Park” project Jan. 24, terminating a partnership with Henry S. Miller III and requesting an accounting of how he spent $275,000.

The city went back to the drawing board June 5, requesting redevelopment proposals. Only one developer, McAllen Attractions, responded.

A Houston-based group appeared interested, but ultimately decided not to submit a proposal, said City Manager Mike Perez. The city also contacted major theme park operators about the opportunity.

“We were actively looking for some kind of regional draw,” Perez said, and the McAllen Attractions proposal fits that bill.

The proposal includes a detailed feasibility study prepared by Leisure and Recreation Concepts of Dallas, which breaks down everything from admission fees to projected employment.

A wide range of economic incentives, from land to a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, are available for the project. Possible negotiations over incentives won’t begin until the City Commission makes a decision on the project.

The commission considered the proposal Monday night, but took no action because only four of the six commissioners were present.



THE PARK PLAN

The theme park proposal describes an as-yet-unnamed “wholesome, family entertainment park” encompassing about 31 acres on the property’s eastern side.

A concept drawing shows numerous rides, games and concession stands throughout the theme park, including a roller coaster, paddle boats, bumper cars and a log ride. The project would also include “major water shows” on a manmade lake between the retail development and theme park.

“The Theme Park Development will likely have a tropical paradise theme, which will require a substantial investment in trees, plant materials and other landscaping features,” according to the proposal.

If elected officials decide to ink a deal with McAllen Attractions, the theme park’s design could be finalized within six months. It’d take another year-and-a-half to build the park.

Leisure and Recreation Concepts based its financial projections on a $25 admittance fee for adults and a $20 admittance fee for children. With food, games and other purchases factored into the equation, an average visitor would spend $32.49 during the park’s first year of operation, according to the feasibility study.

Attendance would top 400,000 during the first year, drawing people from up to 150 miles away, according to the feasibility study. Nearly two-thirds would live less than 50 miles from the theme park.

McAllen Attractions’ nearest major competitor would be the Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark on South Padre Island. The region’s last inland water attraction, Edinburg’s SuperSplash Water Park, proved a colossal flop.

The theme park, open 10 months each year, would hire 47 full-time employees and 265 part-time employees, according to a letter from Leisure and Recreation Concepts President Michael A. Jenkins that was included with the proposal.

McAllen Attractions also submitted a study assessing the theme park’s broader economic impact.

The University of Texas-Pan American’s Data and Information Systems Center produced a report showing the project would create 2,000 jobs and have “a total economic impact of $221 million in the local economy.”



THE RESERVOIR

McAllen built Boeye Reservoir — a 187 million-gallon, manmade lake — in the late 1950s. It’s now prime commercial property, close to Expressway 83, La Plaza Mall and McAllen-Miller International Airport.

Recognizing the property’s value, elected officials decided to build a new, larger reservoir south of the airport and attempt to redevelop Boeye.

Work on the new, triangle-shaped reservoir should be completed this fall. When finished, it will hold up to 300 million gallons, according to city bid documents.

Once the McAllen Public Utility transitions from Boeye to the new reservoir, the city will drain Boeye and begin preparing the property for development. In a packet given to developers, McAllen estimated the site would be ready for construction Dec. 1, 2012.



THE CORTEZ CONNECTION

Mayor Cortez, who aggressively pushed the Central Park project in State of the City addresses during the past few years and spearheaded the reservoir’s relocation, has taken a backseat because of his connections to McAllen Attractions.

Kamel said he met Cortez about seven years ago, when he first began investing in the Valley. Mayor Cortez is a partner at Burton, McCumber and Cortez, an accounting and management consulting firm with offices in McAllen, Reynosa, Brownsville and Matamoros.

The firm provides accounting services and business advice to Kamel’s company, Kamel Investments.

Kamel said he met Cortez’s sons, Ricardo Cortez II and Jaime Cortez, about the same time.

When the Central Park project fell through, Kamel said the mayor asked him to approach Carlos Slim Helú, the billionaire businessman and Mexican telecommunications magnate, about the idea. Forbes Magazine has ranked Slim the world’s richest man for two straight years, pegging his fortune at $74 billion.

Kamel said Slim wasn’t interested. Instead, he went to Cortez with the theme park idea.

At that point, Cortez said, he recused himself and sent Kamel to discuss the idea with other city officials and the McAllen Economic Development Corp.

At City Commission meetings, Cortez has consistently disclosed his conflict and recused himself from relevant discussions. At Monday’s meeting, Cortez sat in the staff lounge with city employees while the commissioners met privately to discuss McAllen Attractions’ proposal.
..
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Old September 6th, 2011, 10:14 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaRaRyan18 View Post
Has anyone heard anything about the 2 new hotels near the convention center? Will there be a Panda Express in McAllen?
Excited for the Khan's in Mission!
Hard for me to say since I have not been down there in years. I get most of my news from the area from The Monitor, so if someone else who has a more of a connection to the area then me has recent news regarding anything, then feel free to post it here.
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Old September 24th, 2011, 01:36 PM   #25
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Boeye Reservoir

http://www.5gstudio.com/branding_cen...l#/Branding02/
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Old October 30th, 2011, 01:45 PM   #27
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Quote:
FedEx Ground puts new distribution center near U.S. 281 in Edinburg
October 27, 2011 3:29 PM
http://www.themonitor.com/articles/e...ex-ground.html
Jared Janes
The Monitor

EDINBURG — A large FedEx Ground distribution center that recently opened in the city’s North Industrial Park will provide the shipping company quick access to U.S. 281, shaving hours off delivery times and saving fuel costs for tractor-trailers.

The newly constructed 107,000-square-foot warehouse located in the industrial park just off U.S. 281 and Farm-to-Market Road 2812 is more than four times the size of the company’s old Rio Grande Valley distribution center near the Weslaco airport, FedEx Ground officials said at an opening ceremony Wednesday. But it was the close proximity to the Valley’s major route north — and the company’s large customer base in the McAllen metro area — that sold the company on the Edinburg location.

..
..
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Old November 5th, 2011, 03:40 PM   #28
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Costco is expected to open a new store in Pharr in March.

Quote:
Pharr Costco to open in March; city lured warehouse store with $11M incentive
October 24, 2011 2:01 PM
Elizabeth Findell
http://www.themonitor.com/articles/p...ty-costco.html

PHARR — City Manager Fred Sandoval won’t have to drive to San Antonio anymore to get what he described as the Costco shopping experience.

“I’ve been a card-carrying member of Costco for eight years now,” he said. “It’s that aspect of the treasure hunt, to quote the president: You never know what you’re going to find.”

Construction of Pharr’s Costco is under way in earnest after the sale of the property was finalized last week, and the store should open its doors sometime in March, Sandoval said.

He and his staff committed to paying the warehouse retail giant $11 million to get it to locate in Pharr.
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Old November 29th, 2011, 01:03 PM   #29
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Mexican investors plan to build 22-story tower in McAllen



Quote:
November 28, 2011 11:46 PM

Dave Hendricks

McALLEN — A consortium of Mexican investors plans to build a 22-story tower, which would become McAllen’s tallest building, near the intersection of North 10th Street and Dove Avenue.

The tower would house 152 upscale apartments and be surrounded by a development containing several restaurants with national reputations and a “competitor of Whole Foods,” said Marco Ramirez, director and owner of the USA NOW Regional Center, which helps foreign investors obtain green cards through the EB-5 visa program.

Located north of Lowe’s, the tower would face the intersection of North 10th Street and Dove Avenue. Its biggest obstacle, though, may be homeowners immediately north and east of the proposed tower, who have started at least one petition against the development’s conditional use permit.

“It’s a fabulous development in an inappropriate location,” said City Commissioner Scott Crane, who represents McAllen’s northeast side. Crane said he’s heard it’s a “long shot” the project will find enough investors.

The McAllen City Commission tabled the development’s conditional use permit on Monday, and Ramirez said he expected the permit to have a public hearing on Dec. 12. At that meeting, Ramirez said the architect, engineer, builder and other key players would be available to answer questions.
http://www.themonitor.com/news/plan-...ory-build.html
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Old February 21st, 2012, 04:38 PM   #30
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I'm pulling this one out
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 12:46 AM   #31
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More renderings.


Quote:
It’ll take about $60 million from 120 EB-5 investors and another $20 million from other investors to build the tower and an adjacent retail development, which Ramirez said will include a MadDogs British Pub and a “competitor of Whole Foods.”

A site plan provided by USA NOW shows a small park behind the tower with landscaped green space surrounding a pond. The area also includes a dog run and tree-lined running trail.

The tower’s first three floors will provide parking for residents, who will have access to an amenity deck on the building’s fourth floor. A schematic shows two pools, a life-sized chess board, mini golf, game rooms, a library, several lounges and guest apartments on the deck.

Apartments of varying sizes, ranging from the 1,655 square-foot “Conde” model to the 2,805 square-foot “Zar” suite will occupy the next 16 floors. The building’s 21st and 22nd floors have been earmarked for the tower’s two-story penthouse suites, which would have views of northern Mexico on a clear day.
http://www.themonitor.com/articles/t...or-permit.html
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Old May 25th, 2012, 02:53 AM   #32
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Schlitterbahn Beach Resort South Padre Island

http://schlitterblogkc.blogspot.com/...ear-round.html
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Old November 27th, 2012, 10:20 AM   #33
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La Plaza Mall officially opens new food court
Posted: Friday, November 2, 2012 9:15 pm | Updated: 6:02 pm, Sat Nov 3, 2012.
Dave Hendricks, Twitter: @dmhj
[HTML]http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/article_551cb816-255c-11e2-be05-001a4bcf6878.html[/HTML]

McALLEN — La Plaza Mall officially opened its new food court Friday morning, showing off the dining area’s classy new look and several new restaurants.

The renovation adds about 12,000 feet to La Plaza, according to city records. Simon Property Group, which owns La Plaza and the nearby Palms Crossing development, kept mainstays including McDonald’s and Taco Palenque, but also added Gorditas Doña Tota and Green Leaf’s Beyond Great Salads, among other options.

...
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Old December 7th, 2012, 11:32 AM   #34
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UT proposes new university in South Texas

http://www.statesman.com/news/news/s...h-texas/nTPJm/

Quote:
Posted: 11:35 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012
(UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYSTEM)
UT proposes new university in South Texas

By Ralph K.M. Haurwitz
American-Statesman Staff

University of Texas System regents voted unanimously Thursday to pursue a merger of two South Texas universities into a new institution that would be eligible to receive roughly $100 million a year from a state higher education endowment.

The plan, which also calls for a proposed medical school in the region to be part of the new university, is intended to expand educational opportunities, health care and economic development in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, a part of the state that is both fast-growing and poor.

“It’s a historic day for South Texas,” said Gene Powell, chairman of the Board of Regents, who grew up in Weslaco, in the heart of the region
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Old December 27th, 2012, 12:24 AM   #35
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A lot of stuff happening down in the Rio Valley. Also in the news Hildago County hits over 800,000 in population and putting the south Texas region at 1.3 million which is aquvalant to the size of OKC.
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Old July 12th, 2013, 06:00 PM   #36
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Laguna Galleria









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Location - South Padre Island, Texas

Access to the site is made convenient for all travelers, those commuting via automobile have ample parking in the garages along with a shuttle station. The marina accomodates the seafaring guest as well. The site is the central location for pedestrians, providing a place to store away the vehicles and enjoy the island via the boardwalk and pedestrian pathways.

The Laguna Galleria proposal for the South Padre Island intends to establish a central gathering point for the island. Utilizing Whiting St. and Amberjack to connect to the beach front, the galleria will act as the node from which pedestrians will travel through to experience the island amenities.

Through the addition of much needed parking, the inclusion of a hotel and condos, shopping and dining, the master plan weaves together the bayside and beachside of the island by creating parking, a boardwalk, street level shopping and an overall pedestrian friendly atmosphere.
BREED| Architecture
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Old July 12th, 2013, 06:07 PM   #37
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Location - South Padre Island, Texas

Proposed for the bayside of the island, the orientation of the building takes advantage of prevailing winds and panoramic views with covered balconies for each condo. Developed using BIM software, Breed is able to provide cost analysis, materials take-offs and design a more cost-effective and energy efficient building.
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Old July 12th, 2013, 06:11 PM   #38
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Will we ever any tall buildings outside the SPI area?
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Old July 12th, 2013, 06:12 PM   #39
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Another round of developments in South Padre!
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Old October 17th, 2013, 11:14 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by jonathaninATX View Post
A lot of stuff happening down in the Rio Valley. Also in the news Hildago County hits over 800,000 in population and putting the south Texas region at 1.3 million which is aquvalant to the size of OKC.
Yeah the population of the Rio Grande Valley is 1,305,744. When Brownsville and McAllen officially combine as a CSA in 2023, by then there will be nearly 1.6 million people.

This area of Texas is rapidly becoming Texas' version of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area.

South Padre itself is filling in like Miami Beach. The climate is the closest anywhere in the lower 48's come to matching South Florida too.

I have no doubt that in my lifetime this area of Texas will have 4 million plus people.

Time to open this area up to immigration from all of Latin America, not just Mexico.
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