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Portland community leaders gather to celebrate start of town center construction

A 45-acre development featuring restaurants, retail and residential units, the Portland Town Center represents a $100-million investment in the city.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — City and community leaders gathered in Portland Tuesday to celebrate the beginning of what they expect to be the next level of economic development for the city.

Work is now set to start on the Portland Town Center -- also known as the home of a new Target retail store. 

It's another step in positioning Portland to be a major player, not just in San Patricio County, but throughout the region. 

Over the last decade, the Gem City by the Gulf has grown in some significant ways. Not only has the population increased from about 15,000 to 22,000, but hotels, restaurants and retail outlets now sit where untamed fields once flourished.

The latest expansion will take root at the corner of Highway 181 and Broadway Boulevard.

A 45-acre development featuring restaurants, retail and residential units, the Portland Town Center represents a $100 million investment in the city.

Despite the jump in land and construction prices from the initial stages of the project to now, developers Michael and Meredith McLeod-Cobb said they were attracted to the area by the kind of growth rarely seen.

"Really, it's the economic growth. There's $45 billion worth of industrial development within five or eight miles of here, and that type of growth is unheard of nationally," he said.

They expect to have some stores open by the end of next year, followed by Target in the summer of 2024.

When asked about whether the city will be able to stay ahead of the increase in the number of people visiting and moving to Portland, Mayor Cathy Skurow told 3NEWS that it is a concern they are already addressing.

"Portland has always had a tradition of staying on top of that," she said. "As a matter of fact, we are planning for 2040 at this very moment in our growth plan. We just had a meeting last week with Planning & Zoning and City Council jointly."

The new Target serving as the anchor for the development is one of 30 new locations the company is planning nationally. At more than 128,000 square-feet, the store will be part of their reimagined design and layout.

Project leaders are banking on Target's coattails being long enough to attract other retailers. 

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