COMBES, Texas – Combes Mayor Marco Sanchez believes there is enough traffic being generated at the intersection of I-69 East and FM 508 to attract major development along the Expressway.

“I am pleased to say the traffic count numbers are now in and they’re right under 50,000. Forty-eight to 49,000 going north, east, south and west. We think we can capitalize on these numbers with more great development for Combes,” Sanchez said.

“Specifically, here on the east side of the I-69 East frontage, we have the newest development – Crosswind Landing, with 822 feet of expressway frontage and pad sites available for sale. With over 48,000 vehicles passing through daily, it’s our belief that any developer or investor is going to see the data and say, we need to set up shop here.”

Sanchez underlined the point. “Whoever ends up here is going to be very successful just because of the traffic count.”

In an exclusive interview with the Rio Grand Guardian International News Service, Mayor Sanchez explained that pad sites are available as part of a 26-acre development – Crosswind Landing. He said the project is being spearheaded by Hanna Development.

And on the northeast corner of the intersection Love’s Travel Stop is investing $10 million in a facility that Sanchez calls the centerpiece of Combes’ Unity Park Area project. Love’s is slated to open early next year.

“Everybody in Combes is just so excited that our little town is taking the steps necessary to attract some big development on the highway section of our city limits,” Sanchez said.

“We want to give passing motorists an opportunity stop by our little city and see what we have to offer.”

As he said this, Sanchez pointed to a walking trail being built around Unity Lake, which is situated within the Crosswind Landing Development.

“We’re creating a walking trail with a park. We’d like our community to enjoy the outdoors. It is all about improving the quality of life in Combes.”

Sanchez said the new development will mean more sales tax revenues for the City of Combes, which has a population of just under 3,000. But, as Sanchez pointed out, while Combes itself is small, there is a population of 56,852 within a 5 mile radius of the city.

“For every dollar people spend, the city makes a penny. Those pennies add up and so the revenue that these businesses on the highway can generate will help the city maintain and upgrade our city, number one, and maybe, number two, help us do other projects that add to the quality of life for our citizens,” Sanchez said.

“And so, I’m hoping and praying that everything goes as planned, and then our city can prosper a little better from more property taxes, and more sales tax revenues.”

Sanchez said he did not want to get ahead of himself but said there is another development in the works, to the north of the Love’s Travel Stop that will cover 71 acres.

“As well as being mayor I am also the economic development corporation director. Sometimes, I am told not to talk about things that will be happening in the future but I can talk about this. So, on the north side of 508 we’re planning another development. It’s a 71-acre tract of land that is going to be developed for mixed use. But I’m not at liberty to talk about which household names we might be looking to bring in there.”

Mark Hanna is president of Hanna Development. He said the Combes project will include completely new infrastructure, including drainage, sewer, water, and fiber optic broadband courtesy of VTX. 

“The only reason people did not stop in Combes before was because there was nothing to stop for. So, we we are working with the city administration, the mayor, the city council, to bring solid development,” Hanna said. 

“And the fact that Love’s Travel Stop is building here says everything. They are obviously a very successful corporation. They do their research and their arrival is further confirmation that there’s a lot of business to be done here.”

Hanna pointed out that the intersection of I-69 E and FM 508 is one of the connecting points for residents living in Lyford, Sebastian, Rio Hondo, Santa Rosa, and Primera. He said those residents can also enjoy the new development in Combes.

“There will be beautiful scenery as part of this development, with the palm trees on Wulff Drive, and Unity Lake here. These walking trails are being built and designed by the city. This is a beautiful place to be.”

The Guardian also asked Hanna about plans to build a wellness center on Templeton Avenue in Combes.

“Yes. So, go down Templeton and there’s the wellness center that we have planned. Hopefully, in the first quarter of 2023 we can take the next steps on that. It will be 38,000 square feet. We plan to build two basketball courts, with the option to build a third, meeting rooms, a snack bar. The purpose of this is to bring state-wide sport tourism. Statewide basketball tournaments, volleyball tournaments, karate. We believe that with through sports, there can be a positive economic impact. It’ll be good for the city. It’ll be good for the region and the development will will succeed.”

The project will also feature residential accommodation. “We have ten acres and we plan to build 94 homes that are going to be three bedroom, two bath homes,” Hanna said.

Editor’s Note: The above news story is the first in a two-part series on the latest commercial developments in Combes, Texas.

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