Five commercial sites being developed along Expressway 83 in Weslaco

Published by: Rio Grande Guardian, Luis Montoya
Date: June 1, 2022

Headline: Five commercial sites being developed along Expressway 83 in Weslaco

WESLACO, Texas – Five commercial sites are currently being developed along Expressway 83 in Weslaco, the city’s development corporation has announced.

One of the projects, just off Expressway 83 on Bill Summers International Boulevard, sees the development of 8.5 acres of land that previously housed the famous Palm Aire Hotel.

Weslaco EDC Executive Director Steven Valdez said earth moving machinery can be seen at each of five locations, with land being cleared and leveled. Digging is underway in order to install underground utilities, with foundations being laid, soon to be followed by new buildings.

“Progress is hard to miss in Weslaco, even for commuters passing through on Expressway 83,” Valdez said.

Valdez ran through some of the projects. 

He said that if traveling east to west motorists can see the demolition of the Palm Aire Hotel. What used to be a 175-room hotel, fitness center, dance hall, swimming pool and tennis courts will be demolished, Valdez explained, and replaced with an anchor restaurant, strip mall and 120 room, four story hotel and event center.

Further west on the corner of Bridge Avenue and Expressway 83 is the future 10-acre site of the commercial development called “The Shops at North Bridge.”  A groundbreaking ceremony for this development is slated for June 9, 2022, where franchise names will be announced. Valdez said this developer is aggressively lining up lease contracts for four anchor, stand-alone sites facing the expressway and another four strip centers towards the back of the property. 

Near the corner of Texas Blvd. and Expressway 83 is the 15.5-acre redevelopment site of the Palm Plaza Shopping Center built originally in the late 1970’s. Valdez said the new owners decided to raze two structures comprised of 80,000 sq. ft. of obsolete buildings to clear the land for concepts not yet present in Weslaco.

Continuing west is the construction site of South Point II Plaza where, Valdez said, the developer is building a second commercial property in Weslaco. The site is immediately adjacent to the Valley Baptist Micro Hospital. Valdez said a combination of retail and professional service providers will be housed there. 

Within a stone’s throw from South Point II Plaza is the new Ojos Locos construction site. Valdez said building plans include a 6,500 square foot indoor restaurant and bar with another 900 square feet set aside for an outdoor patio.

“Combining all five commercial development projects equals improvements to over 50 acres of prime highway frontage property and an estimated $30 million in investment,” Weslaco EDC said, in a news release.

“Each of these properties will be attracting retail companies that will contribute a high volume of sales and property taxes that support Weslaco’s economy.”

Valdez said his EDC, working with the commercial developers, is actively and aggressively pursuing national brand franchises and services while at the same time providing affordable spaces for locally owned businesses that believe in Weslaco’s growing economy.

“Each of the developers say they have taken notice of Weslaco’s residential growth by studying the recorded subdivision permits lining the shelves at City Hall. Staff in the permitting office say that at last count, permits for over 1,500 lots have been approved and many are already under construction,” the Weslaco EDC news release states.

“Residential developers say they can’t build subdivisions fast enough and often times sell out lots before the subdivision is complete.”

Weslaco EDC Board Secretary Jerry Gonzalez, a vice president of Texas National Bank, says he is impressed. He said he can see, first-hand, how Weslaco’s growth and development is consistent, balanced and happening at a fast pace, despite the rising cost of construction.

“Progress is spread out evenly in Weslaco,” Gonzalez said. “Global delays in the supply chain, raising costs of materials, high cost of fuel and labor aren’t keeping developers from moving forward in Weslaco. Concerns that prices could keep going higher may suggest that it’s better to build now.”

Editor’s Note: For more information on these and other projects featured by the EDC of Weslaco, contact the EDC office at 956-969-0838 or follow the group on Facebook at Weslaco EDC.