COMBES, Texas – A mixed use development spanning 26 acres adjacent to I-69 East will be unveiled within the next few weeks by the City of Combes, Hanna Development, and Silva Management Solutions, LLC.

The project, to be titled Crosswind Landing, will include a wellness center, 90 high-end apartments, a walking trail around a lake, two commercial retail centers, and, later, a hotel. The project is to be built on the southeast corner of I-69 E and Templeton Street, otherwise known as FM 107.

Combes Mayor Marco Sanchez wants the lake to be renamed Unity Lake and the surrounding trails to be renamed Unity Park because, he argues, Combes is the crossroads that unites Rio Hondo, Primera, Santa Rosa, Raymondville, Lyford, Sebastian, and Harlingen.

Sanchez said the city will be ready to break ground on key infrastructure improvements, such as water and sewer, within a matter of weeks. 

“I am real proud of our city staff. There has been a lot of work behind the scenes,” Sanchez recently told an audience of city officials and staff, the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service and Texas Border Business. 

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A preview of the announcement was held at Combes City Hall. Much of the discussion was led by Mark Hanna, of Hanna Development. Hanna said he was first approached about developing in Combes by Ernesto Silva, of Silva Management Solutions, LLC.

“Ernesto pointed out that the only way for Harlingen to grow is north (towards Combes),” Hanna said. “It (Combes) has got great expressway frontage. They have got friendly city management. They have got friendly city leadership. And they want to see the city grow.”

Hanna joked that when Silva mentioned Combes, he responded, “Where’s that?”

Hanna said the conversation continued with Silva stating that Hanna’s company can be the first to develop in Combes, whose population is just under 3,000. “I guarantee, you will be successful,” Hanna said Silva told him. One and half years later and the project is just about ready to start.

Hanna said that as the discussions over the project with Silva and Combes officials continued, a number of visits to the city were needed. He said he would sometimes take his wife with him and, because it was so rural, her facial expression would say, “Are you sure?”

“My wife was skeptical. I told her, look, you can’t look at what is, you have to look at what can be and what will be. Every big city in South Texas was once a small town. We are hoping to be the first of many developers. We want to be the anchor,” Hanna said.

The main investor in the project initially was Kai Wulff, Hanna explained. Wulff Drive, a new entrance to the land, will be named after him. “When you met him, energy flowed through his body. He was like a Tesla car, you just felt the electricity,” Hanna said of Wulff.

Wulff was known as a serial entrepreneur. He helped Google grow its presence in Africa. Sadly, though, Wulff, a Brownsville resident, died in an air crash over Bayview in December 2020. So, Wulff’s only son, Nils Wullff, stepped in to keep the Combes project on track. 

“I said to Nils, we can make this happen. We pushed through and after a year and a half we are here,” Hanna said. “This is a project I know Kai would be extremely proud of. He was always big on investing in communities, to help grow the people. He was more of a people person. He cared about human capital.” 

Hanna said he hopes that Crosswind Landing will be one of many projects he and Nils Wulff work in Combes and across South Texas. 

“He was a fantastic pilot as well, the best pilot in the Valley, you can ask anyone down here,” Nils Wulff said, referring to his father. “His favorite thing to do was crosswind landings in 20 knot winds, which is not really the funnest thing. You are supposed to do it at a maximum of 15 but he loved it.”

And that is why the Combes project has been titled Crosswind Landing. 

Hanna said that while the project will bring more jobs and sales tax revenues to Combes, it will also be significant for other reasons. “This is more than dirt and buildings. This is a legacy project,” he said. 

Hanna then provided more information about the project. “We are going to put Combes on the map. People aren’t going to ask, where’s Combes. And if they do it is because they are not connected to the internet,” he said. 

The location of the project is just five minutes from downtown Harlingen and nine minutes from Valley International Airport by car, Hanna noted. And is within the Harlingen CISD catchment area.

“Combes has a lot of expressway frontage. It has a lot of land, a lot of opportunity,” Hanna said. “Within a three mile radius there is a population of 100,000. The population of Combes is only 3,000, rounded up, but, when it comes to… can we get people to come in here and spend money, stay at hotels, restaurants, nails, haircuts, etc., we can.”

Hanna said cities across the country are focusing on wellness. He said the Combes Wellness Center would have space for aerobics, basketball training, volleyball practice, and cheerleading practice. He said it will have two basketball courts, a full-blown weight gym, snack stands and meeting rooms. 

“The whole point of this is sports tourism, facilities to host statewide basketball tournaments, volleyball, karate, chess, you name it.”

As for the hotel, which will come later, a 60-80 room facility is envisaged, Hanna said. He predicted that would be the anchor for other development in the city.

As for the apartments, Hanna said the project will be a multi-family subdivision, with 45 lots housing one duplex. A duplex consists of two apartments built together. He said the apartments would include a one car garage, three bedrooms, and two bathrooms. “It is a little more upscale,” he said, pointing out that those who purchase the apartments will have membership to wellness center. “You are starting to notice, this a quality of life project,” Hanna said.

As for the two retail pad sites, they will cover 38,000 square feet. Hanna said some of the tenants will be unveiled in the coming weeks. 

Overall, the completed project is going to bring over $30 million in investment dollar to the City of Combes, said Silva, of Silva Management Solutions. 

“It is a great project for the city,” Silva added. 

Editor’s Note: The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service will bring more details about Crosswind Landing as the project develops.


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