HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A new housing development broke ground in Harlingen on Wednesday that will include hundreds of homes, an apartment complex and thousands of feet of shopping space.

Esperanza Homes is building the mixed-use Paso Real development at the intersection of Haine Drive and FM 509, also known as Paso Real, near the IDEA San Benito campus.

Nick Rhodes, the CEO of Rhodes Enterprises, says the $85,000,000 development will include 212 homes and more than 8,000 feet of commercial real estate.

“We’ll have homes from the $190s, which will enable the schoolteacher, cop, firefighter, nurse to be able to qualify for a mortgage and buy a home.”

The company says it will offer 12 different floor plans featuring homes that range in size from 1,395 square feet to more expensive homes with more than 3,000 square feet.

The homes will vary in size from three to five bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and one or two-car garages. 

Rhodes says the development will also include four acres of parks and green space, a basketball court, a covered pavilion entrance, plus hike and bike trails.

“We’re also going to have fiber to the home internet community to every house, as well as smart home enabled homes, and monitored security.”

Rhodes said they will start taking contracts for the homes later this summer. He said prospective homeowners can also register online with their mortgage company which will help them get preapprovals, credit checks, and anything else necessary to qualify for a home.

The eastside of Harlingen has seen significant growth in recent years with the 32,570 square foot, two-story Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine and the UTRGV Harlingen Collegiate High School.

Rhodes says those are some of the reasons Esperanza Homes decided to expand to Harlingen.

“This area of Harlingen has the 80-acre UTRGV medical facility right near the Valley Baptist hospital, the IDEA San Benito cattycorner, as well as close to the expressway and a lot of new energy and development on this side of town.”

Rhodes says the first homes should break ground in October and the first residents are expected to move in the first of next year. He anticipates the project will take five to six years to complete.