Affordable housing planned near Laguna Heights

Seen is the plat for the Bahia Point subdivision, seen bordering Pennsylvania Avenue in Laguna Heights.








By Gaige Davila

Harlingen, Texas, based development company S.R. Campbell Properties is planning to build a large subdivision adjacent to Laguna Heights, extending existing streets and adding around 150 homes spread among 302 lots. 

At 84.50 acres, which starts beyond the fenceline bordering Pennsylvania Avenue, the Bahia Point subdivision will nearly double the size of the former colonia annexed by Port Isabel in 2018. The development will take, ideally, for Kevin Campbell, cofounder of S.R. Campbell Properties, five to seven years to complete, he said, but it depends how well the houses and lots sell. 

Though there are no renderings of the project yet, 80 to 90 percent of the homes will be one-story, single-family homes, with some two-story homes, priced between $120,000 and $150,000. Half of Bahia Point’s lots will remain empty for buyers interested in building their own homes, priced between $30,000 and $35,000. Campbell says the prices could change. The overall cost of the project, Campbell estimates, is $10,000,000. 

S.R. Campbell Properties was approached by the land’s broker sometime in 2015. Between 2017 and 2019, S.R. Campbell Properties designed Bahia Point’s plat and arranged their purchase between them and the owners.

S.R. Campbell Properties bought the land from the Garcia Family Trust, closing the deal at the end of December 2019, Campbell said. The deal was “in the millions,” he said, but declined to say how much his company bought the land for. Campbell said he paid more for the land than he has on any other property. 

The goal of the project, Campbell said, is to develop more affordable housing in the area. Campbell says some incentive is from former Port Isabel residents purchasing his Los Fresnos properties, because they couldn’t find affordable housing in Port Isabel. 

“There’s just been nothing (affordable) available for young families in Port Isabel,” he said. He said getting the chance to develop the property is “very rewarding.” 

S.R. Campbell Properties has a preliminary approval hearing on Monday, February 10 with the City of Port Isabel’s Planning & Zoning Commission, according to City Manager Jared Hockema. Ferris, Flinn & Medina, a Palm View, Texas, based engineering firm who designed the subdivisions layout, applied for a Planning & Zoning Commission meeting on January 22, according to a copy of their application acquired by the PRESS. 

If the Planning & Zoning commission grants preliminary approval to the project, S.R. Campbell Properties can start their first of four to five phases of building homes and lots. The first phase will include clearing out the thick brush that spreads throughout most of the property, draining water runoff and installing water and sewer lines for approximately 75 lots, taking between three and four months to complete. Subsequent phases will be developed as more lots and homes are sold, each with around 75 lots.  

Taylor, Adams, Washington and Buchanan Streets will be extended, with two new streets, Sabalo and Robalo Streets, added, along with three cul-de-sacs spread throughout the acreage. 

Campbell says S.R. Campbell Properties will be “aggressively building” homes to sell as the phases develop. 

The Port Isabel City Commission will vote on the Planning & Zoning Commission’s decision during their February 11 meeting. 

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