By HEATHER CATHLEEN COX
Special to the NEWS
It’s an exciting time for the illustrious City of San Benito, with talk of possible ResacaWalk groundbreaking to occur as soon as early 2015.
The EDC, with the help of San Benito city officials, has been long-planning the erection of a promenade, anticipated to incorporate a boardwalk along the recently acquired property along the resaca– thus ResacaWalk – where retail businesses, family restaurants, public events and cultural structures could coexist and perhaps spur economic growth in the area.
The EDC purchased the waterfront land previously owned by First National Bank, on the resaca located off Business 77, for approximately $990,000. The purchase was funded by a $1.2 million federal grant awarded by the Economic Development Administration to the EDC.
It is the hope of the EDC and city officials that the ResacaWalk will soon be home to retail business, restaurants, an event center and lawn, and even the Museums of San Benito—including exhibits for the Freddy Fender Museum, the San Benito Historical Museum, and the Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
EDC Executive Director, Salomon Torres, explained that, “We are working with…a few prospects. We are studying the site” to decide which businesses might be best suited to establish themselves along the ResacaWalk.
“Most are restaurants,” said Torres. He added, “We hope to make (a more official) announcement of the businesses in the early part of next year. As of now, we are unable to disclose names.”
Mayor Celeste Z. Sanchez sounded pleased as she expressed, “ The community has been anxious to see what is going to occur there, and as soon as we get firm commitments on contracts with potential businesses we will immediately make (the announcement) to the community. They will be very pleased with the prospects.”
Alongside the implied enrichment to life in San Benito, Sanchez said she expects to see economic growth. “This will mean (the creation of) job openings, as well as entertainment. We hope the community comes out and supports those businesses,” said Sanchez.
Regarding the precise layout of the ResacaWalk, Torres said, “We hired architects for the site layout, but everything hinges on which prospect(s) we decide to go with. Once we agree with (said prospect) on a timeline, that is when we will announce a date for groundbreaking.”
Torres said the announcement for such groundbreaking might occur as early as January 2015.