The $12 million Harbor entertainment development Mercedes officials said was going to be a hole in one now looks more like it’s buried in a sand trap.
The development deadline for the proposed project to receive its building permits expired May 8.
City officials were expected to discuss the future of the project at the last city meeting scheduled for earlier this month.
The meeting was canceled due to a lawsuit filed by City Manager Ricardo Garcia against the city and three individuals, including the mayor. And The Harbor entertainment development project is not an item on today’s city meeting agenda.
The $12 million entertainment development project — expected to bring BigShots Golf, a state-of-the-art driving range, go-karts, zip-lining, trampolining and a man-made lake to offer paddle boating to draw people from around the Valley — has yet to break ground.
Mercedes officials would not confirm or deny if The Harbor was a done deal for the city.
“We are still negotiating the scope of the project,” said Hernan Gonzalez, Mercedes Economic Development Corporation director. “It is still under discussion.”
Kamel Salomon Investments, a McAllen-based development company, and the city originally announced the city project last August. A groundbreaking was expected in September.
But that didn’t happen.
Signs announcing the project at the proposed site have yet to go up.
The developers originally projected to have phase one of The Harbor consisting of BigShots Golf and the central lake completed by the fall of 2017.
Phase two of The Harbor was projected to be complete by the summer of 2018 with the go-kart race track, zip-line system and other dining and entertainment concepts.
“We have been working on some new designs and planning on some new features we want to discuss with the city council,” Miguel Kamel, The Harbor Developer, said over the phone earlier this month. “It’s a beautiful project and we want to design it the right way for the Valley.”
The site is one mile from the Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets, which receives more than 6 million visitors per year.
Kamel said the project had been stalled because planning was still not complete and he was finalizing other development projects in McAllen.
He said he was very satisfied with the incentives the city of Mercedes offered his development company, which includes the trade for the 17-acre tract of land located on Mile 3 near the Hidalgo and Cameron county line for the promise of the completion the Harbor project.
“My understanding is they are working on that process,” said Juan Molina, Mercedes city attorney.
Molina said it would be up to the City Commission to extend the developer more time to obtain the building permits.
Mayor Henry Hinojosa also confirmed the agreement with the developer expired on May 8, but it was possible a new agreement would be made.
According to city officials, no meetings with The Harbor developer and city leaders have taken place to find out the status and the future of the project.
“We have given them so much time,” Hinojosa said. “We will see what he (Miguel Kamel) has to say.”
The Harbor is a one-of-a-kind entertainment recreation complex McAllen-based developers announced last August would be built in Mercedes and serve millions of people.
* BigShots Golf range
* Go-kart racing
* Zip-line system over lake
* Trampoline park
* Man-made lake
* Paddle boating
* High end sports bar