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Last week, big development news was announced in Mission.
Killam Development, a private family-owned business, announced the purchase of over 3,400 acres in the Mission and McAllen areas. The property will be developed to include residences, entertainment and education.
“We are so thankful to all of you for welcoming us, for your professionalism, your support, the ease of doing business here and for helping us understand the economic tools available,” Cliffe Killam, a partner with Killam Development, said during a press conference held at the Mission Center for Education and Economic Development on Fri. Dec. 6. “This is a critical part of the decision to further invest in the city of Mission and McAllen and the county of Hidalgo, and make a long-term commitment.”
According to a press release from Killam Development, “the next phases of Sharyland merit meticulous planning.” Most of the acreage acquired by Killam Development, which is part of the Killam Companies based in Laredo, includes the farmland near the Anzalduas International Bridge and moves north to the Sharyland community, encompassing property to the east and west sides.
“[Killam Companies] has been proudly serving South Texas for more than 100 years,” Killam said. “We specialize in real estate development and in building communities. We also have a long, successful history in the oil and gas industry.”
Killam said the company understands the border area and culture of the Rio Grande Valley.
“Over the years we have been welcomed and inspired by the enormous opportunity you see here, to work together and grow the community,” Killam said.
The land was purchased from the Hunt family, who owned it since the 1970s. Vice President of Hunt Valley Development Paul Curtin spoke about the company’s decision to sell.
“Selling land is a complicated thing for our company, and you have to find the right buyer,” Curtain said. “We spent a lot of time, and we believe we found the right buyer in the Killam family.”
Killam noted that input from residents is the key to the success of development.
“We intend to work with the residents, businesses and community leaders in Mission, McAllen and the county of Hidalgo to bring out the best and highest use of these areas to create spaces for people to live, work and play,” Killam said. “We want to create something here, with your help, that you’ll be proud of and excited about.”
Killam has partnered with two design firms (Able City and Dover, Kohl & Partners), and will work with the community during planned workshops to determine the best routes for the development to take.
“We are inviting the public to participate in public workshops that will be collaborative and transparent,” Killam said. “The citizens can help plan the community of their dreams. We have a team of experienced planners and experts who will facilitate these workshops, and help us work through citizen-inspired ideas in transforming their vision into a reality.”
The workshops will be held from Jan. 13 through 17, and will accept input on every community aspect residents would like to touch on. CEO of the Mission Economic Development Corporation Daniel Silva, along with the Board of Directors of the Mission Redevelopment Authority are excited to see the area grow industrially, particularly because of its proximity to the Anzalduas Bridge.
Mission Mayor Armando O’caña said the city was excited to see this land developed for several reasons.
“It means progress and future growth,” O’caña said. “[The acquirement] may be the opportunity for us to stabilize our tax rate now that this project is coming into the city of Mission.”
O’caña also added that the land acquired by Killam is in need of development.
“Right now, it’s being used as farmland,” O’caña said. “The mindset needs to change in that they’re going from a farmland situation into industrial.”
Construction is expected to begin early in 2020, with home sales in residential areas anticipated in the fall. Homes in this area
“This is a large property with many potential uses,” Killam said. “We will be inclusive with our community partners, listen to them, offer feedback and be quick to be back with them so we can capture opportunities that grow the tax base, create jobs, bring quality of life and offer a first-class, master-planned community.”
This article originally appeared in the Friday Dec. 13, 2019 issue of the Progress Times.