PEÑITAS, Texas – The city of Peñitas, one of the oldest communities in the United States, is to get the newest retail complex.

Four or five commercial establishments will be announced at a groundbreaking ceremony on Aug. 4. The new development is located on the northeast corner of Expressway 83 and Liberty Boulevard. It will be known as Liberty Corners. 

“There are actually 16 new establishments coming in as part of this project and we will be announcing the first four or five on Aug. 4,” said Peñitas City Manager Humberto ‘Beto’ Garza, proudly. “We are super excited. It is a new day for Peñitas.”

St. Ives Realty and Bridge Realty Partners are developing the project, which is expected to include a hotel and several well-known franchises. St. Ives Realty is spearheading a major retail development currently underway in Rio Grande City. 

Asked if there would be any special guests at the Aug. 4 announcement, Garza said: “There will be a nice surprise.”

The population of Peñitas was 6,103 at the 2020 census, up from 1,167 at the 2000 census. The first settlement in the area dates back to 1520. 

“We have been bombarded with calls asking what is going on. People want to know which big companies are coming in. The future looks super bright for Peñitas. Our community is going to grow tremendously. This is only the first step,” Garza promised.

Asked why Peñitas is suddenly exploding into life, Garza said: “We have great leadership. The city council is extremely proud of our people. The city of Peñitas deserves what is coming. When the interstate opens up it is going to explode. We will be an important community for the Rio Grande Valley.”

Ramiro Loya is mayor pro tem of the City of Peñitas. He said the new retail development has been needed for a long time. 

“People have been asking when it is going to happen. Well, it is coming now. We are very happy about it. We are inviting the whole community to come out and the neighboring towns, also. Peñitas is moving forward. We as the council, and the former mayor, are all for this.”

Loya added: “We appreciate the companies choosing Peñitas. We will be on the map very soon. It is going to be very different.”

City Council member Felipe Quintanilla said he and his colleagues have been working hard to bring new business into the city.

“We are excited about the event on Aug. 4 and the businesses that are coming. We have been pushing to bring new business to our city. We are so glad they have chosen Peñitas. Everyone, the city, the economic development corporation, is working together.”

Newly-elected City Council member Jose Ramos predicted the new development will be a “big game changer” for Peñitas. He said:

“With the new (La Joya) bypass coming in we now have prime real estate in our city. You can see why these companies are interested,” Ramos said.

“You can feel the excitement in the community. We have got Denny’s and now everyone is excited to see what is coming next. We are looking forward to seeing what comes next.”

City Council member Jose “J.R.” Flores pointed out that Peñitas has one of the oldest recorded settlements in North America.

“These companies are coming to a good community. We are close to the border here but home is where you make it, right? We are very proud of our community. There are good people here. It is a good place to live and grow your family,” Flores said.

“The bypass is going to bring more growth to the city. The residents are looking for options, where to dine out, where to eat. Instead of going further east you can stay and eat here.”

The new retail project is slated to be complete by 2024. 

“It is an exciting time for the City of Penitas. These four or five businesses that will be announced on Aug. 4 are the first of many to come. We are giving more options to our citizens. This development will spur others to come here,” Flores predicted.

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