May 17, 2018
McAllen, TX is a Texas border town of approximately 142,212, according to the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. The community’s main economic driver was primarily agricultural at least, until NAFTA. These days, McAllen is doing well, economically, because of its healthcare and trade sectors. Another thing the town is known for is a very robust retail sector.
According to the city’s Retail and Business Development Director Rebecca M. Olaguibel, the city grosses approximately $3 billion in annual retail sales tax revenue for the state of Texas. One huge driver of the retail bonanza is Simon Property Group’s massive La Plaza Mall, which clocks in at approximately 1.2 million square feet. That square footage includes a $50-milllion, 245,000-square-foot expansion that was completed in 2017. “This is the only place where Simon actually expanded its retail footprint,” Olaguibel said.
Many of the retail customers are tourists, both national and international (McAllen is also known for attracting bird-watchers from around the world). The local population shops, as well. To continue facilitating retail growth (not to mention overall business growth), Olaguibel said the focus is on both quality of life and amenities. Representations of this can range from a newer, larger Sprouts Farmers Market that opened in 2016 on North 10th Street, or the Dave & Busters that welcomed customers at the Shops at 29 in 2017. “As long as it’s contributing to the quality of life,” Olaguibel said, “we’re interested in making it happen.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, experience retail is also essential, something that developers are focusing on. “We’re seeing the family entertainment component, with amazing experiences attached to it,” Olaguibel said. “Anything consumers can’t get online is what we’re seeing our developers do.”
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