A Thriving City With A Bigger Heart
Putting the desires of its cherished residents first, Palmview, Texas welcomes continued expansion
When referring to the beautiful and dynamic city of Palmview, one word springs to mind; growth.
The City of Palmview, Texas, was founded in 1972 and is situated in the southwestern corner of Hidalgo County. Palmview is just north of the Rio Grande River (the Mexican Border) and 30 miles west of Rio Grande City.
The city has grown enormously over the last ten years, ballooning from 4,500 inhabitants to over 15,800. The median income for citizens within the city is between $45,000 to $50,000 annually.
The attraction of Palmview
Palmview boasts an eclectic mix of vibrant cultures, from Canada to Mexico and everything in between.
Close to the city are numerous attractions, such as the World Birding Center and the National Butterfly Centeras well as the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park. All these attractions bring in tourists from across the globe year round.
Within the city limits, Palmview has a number of parks and recreation centers. These establishments have been gaining more funding and notoriety due to the success of the local baseball and softball leagues. Four teams made it into the World Series just last year.
The city is also proud that they are taking their first steps in opening a new library, which has been a long-time dream for city leadership. “Our first ever municipal library is aimed to provide a holistic library experience with multiple resources available to our community, including computer and internet access, rooms for training and community classrooms.”, says Mayor Pro-Tem Alexandra Flores.
“We want the kids to be healthy physically and mentally but also have access to computers and the other elements technology offers. We want to open the doors to all community members,” says Mayor Villarreal.
Creating A Main Street From Scratch
The city of Palmview is currently involved in creating a Main Street project* (*unofficial name). Funding comes from the Palmview Municipal Development District (PMDD) board, whose role is to support the city in significant infrastructure projects and attract new business developments.
Currently, the city has platted the land. There is an urgent care center in the development process, and a new family oriented restaurant is coming to Main Street.
“There are no healthcare facilities in the western part of Hidalgo County, which is a high-need area. We have high rates of elderly citizens and diabetes. Growing up in the area 45 years ago, we never had any healthcare options. It’s just a dream, being able to work together and make it happen,” says Mayor Villarreal.
At the moment, seven spots have been identified for development along the Interstate Two corridor expressway. These sites tie into another project being funded by the PMDD which is the expansion of Veterans Blvd (SH 495), a two-and-a-half-mile road stretching across the city from east to west. Palmview has contributed over $3 million and has partnered with Hidalgo County, who contributed over close to $2.5 million. Together, those funds were leveraged with the Rio Grande Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization to secure another $20 million from the Texas Department of Transportation for a total of approximately $26 million. The project to develop the old highway, and connect the city corridors, is set to start in 2024 and is essential for the city’s growth as it is the first step in establishing a downtown shopping area.
“We’re creating another commercial area for the downtown area, where businesses will be on both sides of the street. It will provide a place where locals can eat, shop and stay, maybe even for some nightlife and entertainment. We’ve been investing and planning this for seven years,” says Michael Leo, City Manager of the City of Palmview.
The city has invested over $2M on new street paving and drainage projects, as well as bringing new streetlights to poorly lit neighborhoods that were previously in unincorporated areas. They were just awarded over $1 million for additional drainage projects from the Texas General Land Office. Coupled with the $25 million for the Veterans expansion and the support from Agua Sud with $20 million in wastewater infrastructure, Palmview knows first hand that infrastructure is key to economic development and growth.
Buying Into The Palmview Dream
The city has already seen some fruits of its labor with major retailers buying property and investing, including Buffalo Wings & Rings, Circle K, Wendy’s, Blue Wave Car Wash, and PJs Coffee of New Orleans, all in the last year alone. Together, they join other brand names such as Walgreens, HEB, Autozone, and Peter Piper Pizza just to name a few.
All these retail outlets are helping to establish a thoroughfare through the city, creating pedestrian-friendly zones as well as a healthy business environment. The city’s management is currently in talks with two large retailers who have expressed interest in setting up shop within the city.
While the city is encouraging more growth by inviting national brands, they are aware of the need to maintain a small-town feel. Many retail outlets are operated and owned by the locals, such as the three building materials and supply stores, , one of whom is Materiales El Valle Co. They are still the backbone of the community, along with the countless small mom-and-pop shops, restaurants, and daycare centers.
“They’re a part of the fabric that keeps the city moving forward, and they matter. It’s these individuals who kept the tax rate going and brought in jobs and revenues for the city and citizens, so we don’t want to break away from them,” says Mayor Villarreal.
The city has conducted a leakage report centered around industries that are underserved or “over served”, which produced data regarding building materials and supply stores. The data revealed that a Home Depot or Lowes moving into the city, While they’d do great business for the city, management has decided it could cannibalize from local establishments like Materiales El Valle Co, so they focus on other retail industries.
Reconfirming their support for local establishment, Leo states, “ we’ve always been known to be a small town with a big heart, but we’re actually not that small town anymore. We welcome that mentality around localness, but we’re also welcoming larger companies alongside local ones.”
Palmview Is Growing Fast!
According to the most recent census data from 2022, Palmview is the fourth fastest-growing city in the state, recording a 213.9% growth rate. The city estimates that 100 to 120 homes have been built annually for the last five to six years.
The new residents are, according to the city, more affluent than previous generations and are family to older citizens that reside in Palmview. This means the homes being built are more significant, ranging in price from $250,000 to $400,000.
“These residents are more established than those who moved here 30 to 40 years ago due to their age and having access to education,” says Mayor Villarreal.
The new homes are mixed-use, with some being apartments and complexes. A few years ago, an investment of $8.5 million was put into a 104 unit complex capitalizing on new market tax credits, which allows them to be rented at an affordable rate.
Recently, two contractors have contacted the city, looking to develop upscale apartments and complexes. One of the contractors wants to invest $4 million into a half-acre plot.
Palmview management has brought together local and state politicians to help the city and its citizens. Now that everyone is on the same page, the infrastructure is being laid down the same corridor as where the newer businesses are lining up. . Through these partnerships $40 million was secured to complete the Palmview sewer project, which is now in its last stages, also allowing Palmview to repave many of the original streets and bring in new infrastructure.
No city can successfully accomplish its goals in isolation, and they are glad to have valued partners that help mold the city’s future. Working collaboratively is the key, city officials believe and this is reflected in the group effort that is prioritized from the city perspective.
The Future Of A Growing City With A Big Heart
In the next few years, the city wants to keep the positive momentum moving forward. With large-scale projects like Main Street, new developers, and retailers will be knocking on the door to be invited in. This combined with one of the only Fire Departments in the area that also provides ambulance services, the quality of life and other amenities make Palmview an attractive place to set up business. With ten national brands either currently in progress or moving forward to construction with increased new interest, which is in the early planning stages, the growth won’t stop.
Palmview’s sales tax has increased between 12 to 15 percent annually over the last four years and the trend will continue. Using mobile data analytics over 183,000 visitors make an estimated 1.76M trips to the Palmview HEB to shop, from areas all around and outside the city.
As our commercial development continues, this trend will continue and grow as we offer additional services and retail providers. Sales tax increased 69% from 2017 to 2022.
And with the growing communities, which are often multi-generational, the suburbs are bound to develop into model areas that everyone would love to call home.
But all-in-all, it’s a place that has a big heart for all who want to call Palmview, Texas home.
AT A GLANCE
What: Palmview, Texas, is a city with a big heart growing at an astronomical rate.
Where: Situated just north of the Rio Grande River, it is a community located on the border of Mexico.