Cameron County’s unique culture, geography and recreational opportunities create an exceptionally high quality of life.
The county is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts with ample opportunities for fresh and saltwater fishing, hunting, birdwatching, hiking, biking and all kinds of water sports. In Brownsville, families enjoy visiting the Gladys Porter Zoo and the Children’s Museum of Brownsville. A short drive across the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway leads to San Padre Island, a tropical oasis on the Laguna Madre Bay and the Gulf of Mexico offer year-round beach-vacation vibes.
With the region’s population expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, thanks to investments in the aerospace and liquid natural gas industries, several master-planned community developments are being established in the county. For example, Madeira, a 1,350-acre master-planned community in Brownsville, is in the first stages of breaking ground. The development’s 250 residential lots will be ready for sale in 2022. The master site will include 3,000 single-family lots and several multi-family developments throughout the development’s park-like setting.
Madeira will have over 13 miles of hiking and biking trails snaking through the development’s neighborhoods. Additionally, the community’s six miles of highway frontage will create ample opportunity for future commercial development. The site selection process for a university, hotel district, and civil amenities are already underway.
Noah DeSmith, who is behind the development of a 1,350-acre master-planned community in the county called Madeira, explained the Madeira site was chosen as it is equidistant from the county’s three largest markets — Brownsville, Harlingen and South Padre Island.
“Madeira’s proximity to both Brownsville and Harlingen’s international airports is ideal, especially with direct flights arriving from Monterrey, Mexico,” he said. “It is located at the main intersection leading to South Padre Island, meaning all southbound traffic passes by at least three miles of Madeira’s highway frontage. In addition, the area has gained recent notoriety from the influx of SpaceX and liquid natural gas industry employees who are flooding the market, creating a shortage of housing and a demand for commercial and retail amenities.”
The region’s large population and its demand for retail space also caught the attention of LandGrant President Sam Marasco. Marasco is spearheading a unique riverfront boardwalk development called Via Americas in Brownsville.
“The throughput of people in this region is huge on an international level,” explained Marasco. “Our market area is 100 miles inland from the Gulf Coast and 100 miles on either side of the Rio Grande and that represents a population of 25 million people. That’s the regional market, and our market analytics reveal that the region is not only undersupplied in terms of retail, it has the fastest population growth in the nation.”
The urban renewal project is located on the Rio Grande Riverfront in Downtown Brownsville overlooking the River and Tourist Zone in Downtown Matamoros.
This profile was prepared under the auspices of Cameron County Economic Development and Community Affairs. For more information contact Mark Yates, 956-544-0828 or
Savannah King is managing editor of custom content for Conway Inc. She is an award-winning journalist and previously wrote for The Times in Gainesville, Ga. She graduated from the University of West Florida with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and lives near Atlanta.