Economic Engine: City seeks, finds commercial growth projects

City Manager Manuel De La Rosa speaks at a July 23 reception held for Eddie Lucio, Jr. and Eddie Lucio III for their help in passing economic legislation.
(Photo by Ivan Estrada)


With a hotel, convention center, sports complex, and additional retail stores and restaurants, the City of San Benito is expecting massive growth to take place over the coming years. The recent passing of House Bills 4347 and 2199 in the 86th legislative session and the currently under-construction Resaca Village show projected growth to the Resaca City.

“We started working on becoming a destination city,” said San Benito City Manager Manuel De La Rosa. “We looked at it from the view of arts and entertainment. If we can attract visitors not only from around the United States and Texas, but also from across the border, we’ve become an international destination. What will draw those people in?”

Every developer the city has talked to in regards to the hotel-convention and sports facility is looking along the expressway for the location, though the details are still too early to pinpoint.

“You gotta drive down that expressway to get to Matamoros, to get to Brownsville, to South Padre Island,” said De La Rosa, further commenting that San Benito’s central location makes it highly appealing to developers who say consumers driving by will be attracted to San Benito.

“We entered into a non-bonding letter of intent with a developer we’ve been working with for a while. However, this was a ‘city-driven initiative’ not a ‘developer-driven initiative.” In other words, we didn’t allow developers to spend a single dollar on this.”

Meanwhile, the “Resaca Village” is already under construction across from the Heavin Resaca Trail on Business 77. Designed to be a boardwalk, the project is set to feature 20 new tenants as well as a number of professional offices, suites, and potentially a new financial services company, according to Carlos E. Varela, partner of Varco Real Estate. The project is estimated to be completed within three years or less.

“During the daytime people are at the office and using that parking lot, in the evening people come out and they have the beverages there. We want to create that night life,” said De La Rosa.

At the time of its announcement in November of 2018, Mayor Ben Gomez called the Resaca Village’s constructions the beginning of great things to come. Now with the passing of HB 4347 and 2199, the city’s growth is foreseen.

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