WESLACO, Texas – Nine new retail projects are coming to Weslaco, with six of them on the frontage of I-2/US 83. 

Steve Valdez, executive director of the Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco, announced the projects in an exclusive Zoom/podcast with the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service

Steve Valdez

Valdez said the demand for more retail establishments in his city is great, with the number of visitors frequenting existing stores and restaurants greater than the average for the Rio Grand Valley as a whole.

“What I can talk about are developments and a certain amount of acreage that is going to be dedicated to retail. So, we have nine different properties in Weslaco that are being considered for commercial development to bring more retail to Weslaco,” Valdez said.

“Six of them are located along the expressway and three of them are either north or south of the expressway within a mile or two. And so, to be able to have nine projects, nine different companies, nine developers that are looking at Weslaco (is exciting).”

Valdez said the developers are calling the city’s permitting offices and doing their due diligence. 

“Some of them have actually turned in master plans to the city engineering department and city planning for review. And then some of them are at that phase where they are having conversations with planning to understand what the codes might be with regards to them bringing in this type of development.”

Valdez was not in a position to say what new retail stores and restaurants will be coming in. 

“Give me a year from now, Steve, and you will see at the very least those six locations along the expressway that have been sitting quietly for many years. One that I am allowed to talk about is right next to the (Valley Baptist) micro hospital and a smaller strip center there. Domain Development has purchased all of that land. I want to say there is probably about 12 to 15 acres within that space. And so he is in the process of recruiting companies.”

Valdez said he face of the expressway is going to continue to evolve as it has in Weslaco over the last 15 to 20, years. 

“We are going to continue to see that. At some point we are going to be like some of the other cities: there’s no more land along the frontage and we are going to have to grow north, we are going to have to grow south,” Valdez said.

Valdez said praise should go to Maria Cisneros, who handles retail development for the economic development corporation. 

He said that the EDC received good feedback at a recent trade show for retailers.

“What was exciting to us was the numbers they would give us back. They would tell us, your retail numbers in Weslaco are over the top,” Valdez said. “Ours are well above the average. Weslaco’s numbers are really, really impressive.”

In addition to commercial development, the Zoom/podcast also focused on a new industrial park for Weslaco, the importance of the Progreso International Bridge, the importance of Mid Valley Airport, higher education in the area, and Census 2020. 

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a two-part Zoom/podcast series with Steve Valdez and the Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco. Part Two, focusing the Mid Valley International Industrial Park, will air in our next broadcast. 

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