New in Town: Storage Depot expected to be big draw for Mercedes

MERCEDES — The corner of Vermont and Expressway 83 is buzzing with new construction.

And it’s a big deal.

It is expected to generate $2.5 million in construction expenditures for the city of Mercedes.

The Drennan Companies, headquartered in Brownsville, is building incubator retail spaces, contractor center locations, and storage spaces to house “mom and pop” businesses as well as new start-up companies.

Mercedes leaders are calling the new Storage Depot and Retail Incubator facility an anchor project for the Queen City that will bring more business and more development to the city.

The Storage Depot and Incubator facility will be built in two phases. Phase one will contain 21 incubator retail spaces and six contractor center spaces. The first phase is expected to create 57 permanent jobs for the city.

Phase two will contain an additional 17 incubator retail spaces and eight additional contractor center spaces and is expected to create an additional 50 permanent jobs as well as create significant sales tax revenue.

And the project is expected to pull in new property tax revenue for the city, school district and Hidalgo County.

When both phases of the project are complete, there will be more than 200 storage units and approximately 38 retail and contractor center spaces.

Phase one will have its soft opening in April.

“It is the first commercial development in Mercedes since the outlets,” said Hernan Gonzalez, Mercedes Economic Development director. “The Vermont corner is very prominent.”

Gonzalez said city leaders noticed the success The Drennan Companies Depot had in other cities offering storefront retail and incubator space throughout the Valley.

“Small entrepreneurs have the opportunity to lease space in a brand new building,” Gonzalez said. “And it’s also a good opportunity for contractors to have spaces to store equipment.”

Gonzalez said having the Storage Depot and Incubator is a good thing for Mercedes.

“Our primary job is to make Mercedes attractive for new investment and new home buyers,” Gonzalez said.

Some of the kinds of businesses that have already committed to opening in April include a snack shop, car detail operation, mobile phone store, vapor store, barbershop and beauty salon.

Some businesses have rented two to three spaces, extending their floor plan.

“We have enough space and will cater to businesses who want to open with us,” said Raul Garcia, Storage Depot regional manager. “They can start small and grow as we grow.”

Garcia said there have been a variety of businesses that have opened up in the Storage Depot and Incubator locations across the Valley, ranging from law offices, bookkeepers, comic book stores, cake shops, restaurants and even Zumba dance sites.

“We won’t say no to anyone as long as we can accommodate their needs,” Garcia said.