MERCEDES - A new entertainment complex for the Valley is in the works in the Queen City.
The Harbor has a projected price tag of $12 million to develop.
Kamel Salomon Investments, a McAllen-based · development company, announced over the weekend it will be building the project in Mercedes. Plans include go-karts, a state-of-the art driving range, zip lines and a trampoline park.
The Harbor is planned to be built on a track of land the city purchased in the 1990's at Mile 3 and the frontage road.
"The incentive the Mercedes Industrial Foundation is providing is the land," Mercedes City Manager Richard Garcia said.
"If he does what he said he's going to do, then the land becomes the incentive."
The proposed site is one mile from Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets, which receives more than six million visitors per year.
"We want to draw people from around the Valley," said Miguel Kamel, project investor. Kamel said The Harbor will feature a beautiful man-made lake and offer paddle boating.
"This project is going to happen," said Armando Lopez, Mercedes mayor pro-tern. "It's going to create jobs and its going to be a big asset to the community."
But that is far from all, according to the developer. The Harbor will be anchored by BigShots Golf, a cutting-edge golf entertainment center driving range.
Kamel said he had been looking for land to bring the golf franchise to the Valley for a longtime.
Kamel said BigShots Golf will feature immersive golf games with a high-end sports bar environment to deliver a fun and unique "dine and play" entertainment experience.
"We signed a franchise agreement," Kamel said. "It's a very fun game, and it's been very successful in big cities."
Kamel said he has other entertainment concepts planned for The Harbor, including a high-speed go-kart racing track, a zip line over the lake, a trampoline park and casual dining concepts to serve the millions of people who visit the city of Mercedes."
Mercedes will be a destination both for shopping and entertainment that is one-of-a-kind," said Hernan Gonzalez, Mercedes Economic Development Corporation director. "It provides another destination to complement the outlet mall."
Kamel said The Harbor will be developed in two phases. Phase I will consist of BigShots Golf and the central lake and is expected to break ground in September of this year. Final completion of Phase I is expected for fall of 2017. Phase II will consist of the development of the go-kart race track, zip line. system and all other dining and entertainment concepts.
Final completion of the project is expected for summer of 2018.
"You can see the growth in McAllen all the way through Welsaco, and it's spilling over into Mercedes," /I Lopez said. "We're open for business."