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Exclusive: McAllen Developers See Opportunity In Clinical Trials

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495 Commerce Center becomes a Research and Technology Park for the Scientific Community

By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez

South Texas is experiencing a positive atmosphere for business. The announcement of the university merger and the medical school are at the top of what is coming and already transforming South Texas, but these are not the only events. Duke Energy Renewables will construct a major Wind Farm in Starr County that will consist of two phases, with a total of 200 wind turbines generating 400 megawatts of electricity, with hiring beginning in December 2013. The second project would likely begin construction during 2015 and be operational during 2016, according to Duke Energy Renewables. Willacy County has already benefitted from Duke’s earlier Wind Farm projects along the coast.

On the natural gas front, both Edinburg and Harlingen have announced their communities will see the construction of natural gas power generation plants in 2014-2016, subsidiaries and partners of Bechtel will be managing and partnering on these major projects.

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Coronado Power Ventures and Bechtel announced plans to construct a $650 million power plant in the Harlingen Industrial Park, planning to employ over 600 people during the construction phase and hiring will start towards the end of 2013.

In Edinburg, a $650 million natural gas-fueled electricity generation plant will be built, creating around 500 construction jobs during the 3-year construction phase and 30 full time employee jobs once it is operational.

On top of that, on July 30, 2013, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance (DHR) announced what could be one of the most important projects benefiting South Texans.

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In a press conference, Dr. Carlos Cardenas in conjunction with Gary Puckrein, Ph.D., president and CEO of the National Minority Quality Forum, and Salvatore Alesci, M.D., Ph.D., vice president of Scientific Affairs for PhRMA, both entities based in Washington DC, announced that they were in discussions with the National Clinical Trial Network to bring research opportunities to South Texas.

They announced that through a potential partnership with the National Clinical Trials Network, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance would work with leading corporations and organization such as the Microsoft Corporation and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America to bring cutting-edge clinical trial research to South Texas patients.

The goal, and this according to Dr. Cardenas, of bringing clinical research to the Rio Grande Valley is to provide patients with access to new, innovative, and life-saving therapeutic treatment options. Presently, South Texans are extremely limited in their ability to access innovative treatments due to limited access to leading research centers.

Israel Rocha, Government, Corporate Public Affairs Officer for DHR told Texas Border Business that the partnership with the National Clinical Trial Network was scheduled for signature this November 2013 however this has been moved to February 2014 with a big announcement and press conference.

“Because of the clinical trails announcement, Charles Mueller and Jim Collins, two among the most important developers of the area, are dedicating their 495 Commerce Center for companies that want to do scientific clinical research,” said by Michael J. Blum, managing partner of NAI Rio Grande Valley, a global real estate company and the exclusive advisor for the sale and/or lease of the 495 Commerce Center, a 110 acre, master-planned, mixed-use park in McAllen.

The three businessmen clearly understand that with the start of clinical research in this area, South Texans would gain access to life-saving trial programs. As such the developers are working to partner with institutions of higher education in order to attract high quality jobs to McAllen and the region.

Mueller told Texas Border Business that 495 Research and Technology Park is a Green property.  “We capture and filter storm water to fill the lake, which is then used to irrigate the 120 oak trees and the green space that helps to define the development.”

What is 495 Commerce Center?

495 Commerce Center is a master-planned, mixed-use business park in McAllen, Texas.  The development is already home to nine (9) Class A buildings with one (1) more in the planning stages.

The development was conceived in 1997, and today the developers have embarked on a new focus… 495 Commerce Center Research and Technology Park (CCRTP) aims at attracting public, private and institutional investments within the scientific community.

495 Commerce Center Research Park is strategically located between McColl and Jackson Road on 495 (Pecan), a prominent thoroughfare that offers high visibility and easy access to major transportation arteries.

The New Veterans Administration Clinic is under construction and is adjacent to the site. 495 Commerce Center Research and Technology Park puts the professional in close proximity and quick access to the State or Federal Courthouse, regional medical facilities in Edinburg, McAllen, Mission, and McAllen Miller International airport.

Mueller emphasized that the property has deep buried fiber and said, “What we have is the most robust fiber available in the Valley.  In addition, there is a SONET ring for redundancy and 3 other Internet providers within the park.”

Blum explained that the SONET ring is an intelligent system that provides advanced network management and a standard optical interface.

“Having a network that can withstand disasters and disruptions is important. So is having a network that can expand to meet new business demands,” Blum said.

Fiber-based SONET ring service is a good choice for enterprises that need failure-resistant networks and move a high volume of voice/VoIP, video and data traffic between branch offices, data centers and other locations. Its duplex architecture can help restore your critical business applications within milliseconds of a disruption. It can also scale easily, so your network can grow as bandwidth requirements increase.

Blum pointed out that it is important to mention that a limited supply of large tracts of contiguous land is available. Of the 110 acres, there are 52 acres left of high visibility with close proximity to all major transportation arteries.  The park is respected for the attention to detail that has preserved and protected property values while enticing the entrepreneurial, creative spirit of developers.

495 Commerce Center Research Park is thoughtfully designed and contains the appropriate fiber and other infrastructure essentials to support scientific and technology innovation, aside from being a short distance to all the acute care and specialty health care facilities in McAllen, Edinburg, and Mission. A one-acre man-made lake with walking trails is the centerpiece of the development.

For more information call Mike Blum at 956-994-8900 or visit with him at NAI RGV McAllen Office, 1400 North McColl, Suite 104B-McAllen, TX 78501 you call also talk to the developer Charles Mueller at (970) 209-3452.

2013-11 TBB NOVEMBER 25

495 Commerce Center Research Park is a 110-acre, master-planned, mixed-use business park comprised of office/retail/flex buildings, jogging trails and central water feature focal point.  The property is located on 495 (Pecan) between McColl and Jackson, a prominent thoroughfare that offers high visibility and easy access to major transportation arteries.  An Owner’s Association & Common Area Maintenance program promotes property values while the Architectural & Development Standards control building types, uses, mix, as well as, the quality of construction, parking, landscaping and the architectural character of the business park.

It is located about 1.1 miles north of Expressway 83 (I-2) and 1.2 miles from Expressway 281 (I-69C) on 495 (Pecan Blvd.) in McAllen, Texas.


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