BY STEVE CLARK
The Rio Grande Valley’s first Tesla electric vehicle service center/showroom is coming early next year and will be located on the southbound frontage road of I-69E just north of the Brownsville Sports Park.
The address is 7045 N. Expressway. Connie Miner, retail and redevelopment manager for the city of Brownsville, said the 14,234-square-foot facility will feature a 1,925-square-foot service area and 2,309-square-foot business area, including 1,425 square feet of showroom space. Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, which is building and testing rocket prototypes at the company’s Boca Chica site east of Brownsville, also co-founded Tesla and is the company’s CEO.
“ We’re super excited,” Miner said. “We are going to be the first in the (Rio Grande Valley), and it’s going to be a huge win for Brownsville to welcome them here first.”
The nearest Tesla location is in Corpus Christi.
Alejandro Garza, certified commercial real estate broker with Brownsville-based ICO Real Estate Advisors, co-brokered the deal with Tesla’s national broker, who first contacted Garza in September 2019.
“ We signed in September 2020,” Garza said. “It took a full year to come full circle.”
Tesla had been looking for a preexisting building on I-69E frontage road, but options were limited. Garza sent them five potential properties. At the time, construction was just getting started on the property Tesla ultimately chose, he said, adding that he expects the Tesla location to open in January or February.
Garza said he’s worked with clients on bigger deals, but never one with as much name recognition. Miner and Brownsville Deputy City Manager Helen Ramirez were instrumental in making sure the deal moved ahead in a timely manner, he said. Garza said he thinks the Tesla location is an early example of SpaceX’s domino effect on the economy.
“ They’re bringing in more investment, more jobs and more eyes on Brownsville,” he said.
Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez said he’s looking forward to seeing more Teslas on the road.
“ This is something that’s been in the works for quite some time, we just weren’t able to talk about it,” he said. “But it’s a very exciting project for us, and shows another example of the good synergy between Elon Musk and the city of Brownsville and the area. … Brownsville is the innovative capital of the RGV, no question, and I think we’re showing that every chance we get.”