MCALLEN, RGV – City of McAllen officials, together with representatives from La Plaza Mall, held a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the opening of the new Dillard’s parking deck expansion.

The three-level parking structure will add 1,260 more spaces for shoppers just in time for the holiday season. Combined with the Macy’s two-level parking deck, the number of new parking spaces at La Plaza Mall totals 2,000, marking the end of a $20 million project that launched in the spring of 2016.

“We are proud that Dillard’s and Simon’s property (sic) have been partners with this beautiful La Plaza [Mall] in McAllen since November of 1976 when this mall first opened,” said Dillard’s store manager Kevin P. Lyon. “Looking back those 41 years, I don’t think any of us would have guessed that we’d be dedicating a Dillard’s two-level (sic) parking deck. La Plaza and Dillard’s have gone through some major changes throughout the years, and this parking deck continues to add and enhance our overall customer experience … We invite each and every one of you to come in and experience those changes at La Plaza and Dillard’s McAllen.”

In agreement with Lyon, McAllen City Manager Roy Rodriguez said that the construction of the Dillard’s parking deck is complementary to the long-awaited mall expansion that opened on November 1. With the recent decline in Mexican shoppers, McAllen officials hope that the expansion, with the relief provided by the parking decks, will attract more customers.

“We’ve had a little downturn in the retail economy in the last couple of years and … we’ve looked at November of 2017 for about two years,” said Rodriguez. “ … In order to be able to get some more people to the mall, we needed parking, and to add what is now the biggest parking garage in South Texas is pretty exciting. We’re very, very happy about today’s grand opening.”

McAllen Mayor Jim Darling was equally enthused.

“This is just kind of the icing on the cake for what’s done inside,” said Darling “ … I’ve been to a lot of malls around the state, and there’s nothing better than this. We think this is tops.”

Like Rodriguez, Darling also acknowledged the drop in retail sales, but is confident that the investment in additional parking will see a positive return.

“We’ll get over it. We’re not just shoppers; we’re friends, investors, family. And so it’ll come back,” said Darling “ … They know McAllen and our commitment to Mexico. So, we’re still here, and we’re still friends, and we’ll get over it.”