EDINBURG, RGV – The next phase for development at The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley will expand Edinburg’s mall to a total one million square feet, according to the city’s Economic Development Corporation.
Edinburg officially kicked off the expansion with the announcement of three major businesses coming to the Shoppes, Bob’s Steak & Chop House, clothing retailer A’GACI and a Wyndham Garden hotel within the coming months.
The most recent development comprises Phase 2A of development at the Shoppes, which adds an initial 60,000 square feet of development, according to the Edinburg EDC executive director Gus Garcia.
The EDC did not give a firm date for the Shoppes’ Phase 2B, which will add another 150,000 square feet of retail space, but depends on commitment from potential junior retailers, Garcia said.
“I think we want to see the initial 60,000 square feet built up. We want to see the hotel done. But there are junior retailers, big box with about 45,000 to 50,000 square feet that we’re in discussion with,” Garcia said. “Those can get done next week, and then we would start right away. It’s all a function of when that commitment comes. A lot of these junior retailers want to see, they’re testing the waters.”
The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley, located at the corner of Trenton Road and I-69 Central, covers 120 acres and sees more than 99,000 vehicles per day, according to the city. Developed by First Hartford Realty, the 120-acre shopping center has already developed 450,000 square feet since the first tenants opened in 2008.
The proposed expansion brings the Shoppes closer in size to McAllen’s La Plaza Mall, which at 1,215,000 square feet is one of the highest-grossing malls in the nation for Simon Properties. Simon’s other mall, Rio Grande Valley Premium outlets in Mercedes currently stands at about 600,000 square feet.
Garcia, however, cautioned against any similarities between the mall in McAllen with the one in Edinburg. Comparing the two is like apples and oranges, he said. “It’s an outdoor venue versus an indoor mall,” Garcia said. “The trend has been in the retail industry that people are buying online, and retailers are getting really scared. What they have discovered is that you have to have a venue that not only does the shopping experience but also the recreational experience.
“So what do you do? You find hotels, businesses, parks and landscape areas, restaurants… it’s a different type of venue as opposed to La Plaza Mall,” he said. “It’s a good point, but you have to remember that our 120 acres is going to be utilized differently. La Plaza Mall is an anomaly in the industry. We have talked to several retailers and La Plaza doing $1,000 per square foot is phenomenal business. Most successful retail shopping centers are in the $500 to $600 range. If you have a mall like that, you’re doing great.”
Here are more details, issued by the City of Edinburg, about the three new additions to The Shoppes:
Bob’s Steak & Chop House
Established in 1993 in Dallas, Texas, Bob’s has locations in San Francisco, Tucson, Austin, San Antonio, Nashville, Plano and Grape Vine. Each location has its own distinctive personality but the goal remains the same – “A great steakhouse experience.” Bob’s is known for serving the best cuts of meat available. In fact each steak is hand selected from the top two percent of all beef. Bob’s famous pickles and warm loaves of bread are also among customer’s favorites. It is slated to open in late 2016 and will create 50 full-time new jobs for the area. The steakhouse will be owned and operated by The Robert Company, a licensee of Bob’s Steak & Chophouse.
Edinburg Mayor Richard H. Garcia said Edinburg is proud to “once again be leading the way” in the Rio Grande Valley by offering residents quality choices when it comes to eating and dining. “I congratulate the EEDC Staff for its staunch efforts in pursuing prime restaurants and businesses for our community. Our residents deserve nothing but the best.”
Mayor Garcia said Bob’s joins The Roadhouse and Ulta, the latest companies to open for business, at The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley at the corner of Trenton Road and I69 Central – one of the busiest corridors in Edinburg with more than 99,000 vehicles per day.
Wyndham Garden Hotel
The Wyndham Garden Hotel is to be built just northeast of Burlington Coat Factory at The Shoppes. The plan is to build a four-story facility complete with 120 rooms, a restaurant, bar service, catering and meeting space for private and public events.
Mayor Garcia said Wyndham Hotels gained popularity for its convenient and strategic locations in key business, airport and suburban areas as well as offering tasteful and comfortable hotel rooms, and cozy library lounges for reading and socializing. He said its arrival in Edinburg comes at a perfect time when more and more people are making their way to the for work, shopping and entertainment. “Thousands of sports fanatics will be visiting Edinburg within the next few months to attend soccer games at the soon to be finished soccer arena and The Bert Ogden Arena being built less than a mile away.”
The 115,799 sq. ft. Bert Ogden Arena is to sit on 40 acres of land on Alberta Road and I-69 Central. It will be home to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and will feature 8,500 seats and 2,400 parking spots for entertainment events such as major concerts. The soccer facility, on Raul Longoria Road, will be home to RGV Toros and is slated to be ready for play in late March featuring 10,000 outdoor stadium seats complete with a public park and an amphitheater.
The announcement about Wyndham comes less than two months after the news that Edinburg will be home to a new Marriott TownePlace Suites hotel. The Marriott TownePlace Suites will be east of the bustling Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley at the corner of Professional Drive and Trenton Road. It will also be a four-story hotel with 95 rooms and a full bar.
EDC Executive Director Garcia said one of the charges he was given by his board of directors was to increase the number of hotels in the city.
A’GACI is popular among young women for its stylish fashions. It will open a 12,500 sq. ft. store just west of the Academy Store at The Shoppes. A’GACI started in 1971 and today is known as one of fashion’s fastest growing brands featuring the A’GACI line for young women between the ages of 16-29 and the Boutique Five for young women ages 20-35. The clothing store also features shoes.
David Won with A’GACI said one of the reasons the company chose Edinburg is the presence of more than 22,000 students at UT-Rio Grande Valley. Another reason, he said, is because of the success of the region. “The entire region has been very kind to us. We are very optimistic about this location too.”
A’GACI has locations in Tennessee, Puerto Rico, New York, New Mexico, Minnesota, Maryland, Illinois, Florida and Arizona. Locally they have stores in Brownsville, McAllen, Rio Grande City and Laredo. Won said the store here will be very similar to the one in McAllen.
A’GACI will create between 32-50 new jobs for the area. Won said he hopes the store will be ready for business by mid-July just in time for back to school shopping.