Robstown City officials and members of the Robstown Housing Finance Corporation gathered May 4 at the corner of West Main Avenue and Bosquez Street to break ground on the future site of 30 new single-family units.

RSL Development Company, LLC is undertaking construction of the project, which should be completed in the next five months.

"After the real estate crisis of the past years, few builders are brave enough to start new construction-at the very time the need for such homes is so overwhelming," Robstown Mayor Rodrigo Ramon Jr. said. "I am very proud that we were able to find a way to attract this construction and proud that it will improve the lives of so many of our neighbors."

The West Star subdivision will be constructed on West Main Ave. and Avenue A, between Sara Street and Bosquez Street. The average home construction costs will be $80,000 to $90,000 each, for a total of $2.7 million for the project. That will be paid by RSL Development, city officials said.

Robstown City Secretary Paula Wakefield said construction on 14 units would begin immediately, while the city constructs a small through street to Bosquez Street that will be called Central Ave.

At that point, RSL will then be able to proceed with the remaining 16 homes. The new section of street will be constructed using left over bond funds, Wakefield said.

The developed units will be for sale, lease and rent, through the RHFC, a non-profit corporation. The main developers of RSL, Rolando Gonzalez, Ricardo Gonzalez and Sergio Izquierdo, were on hand during the event, and participated in the groundbreaking ceremony.

"We came together more than three years ago, looking for manufacturing opportunities. We were impressed with Robstown's speed of response and interest in the project," Rolando Gonzalez said.

"After some discussions back and forth, we decided four months ago, 'Let's do it,'" he added.

Recently, RSL completed 350 single-family dwellings for a project in Brownsville. They have also been involved in the development of commercial properties in the valley area, as well as subdivisions on a larger scale than the Robstown project, such as 150 and 180 units, for housing projects in Mission and Harlingen.

Gonzalez said RSL should have no difficulty meeting their deadlines, as long as the street is constructed on time to accommodate the homes.

He, along with other city officials, stressed that these will not be "cookie-cutter" homes.

Ramon said this undertaking is the largest home development project the City of Robstown has seen in more than 20 years.