Texas Border Business
By Roberto Hugo González
On Wednesday, August 23, 2023, the Pharr Economic Development Corp. (PEDC), in collaboration with RGV Partnership, organized a noteworthy Industrial and Investment Tour. The event was hosted at the elegant Tierra del Sol Golf Course and was distinguished by the presence of industry stakeholders, local dignitaries, and other guests. It was a day filled with insightful presentations and visits to pioneering industries in Pharr, Texas.
Victor Pérez, the President and CEO of Pharr Economic Development Corp. (PEDC), was the first to address the assembly. The tone for the day was set by Pérez’s welcoming remarks that showcased Pharr’s emerging position as a hub of opportunity and industrial growth.
Inside the elegant Tierra del Sol Golf Course during Pharr’s Industrial and Investment Tour: industry leaders, local dignitaries, and stakeholders convene for a groundbreaking day of dialogue, presentations, and hands-on tours. A convergence of opportunity and innovation, setting the stage for Pharr’s future as a hub of industrial growth and global investment.
“I think we’re one of the first EDCs to do this type of event,” Pérez noted, referring to the longstanding collaboration with RGV Partnership. He took a moment to acknowledge the people who have been integral to Pharr’s exponential growth, including city officials and members of the PEDC board.
Following the welcome address, the stage was taken by Everardo Sustaita of Sustaita Logistics Center LP, and Adrian Gonzalez from Global Alliance, who shared intriguing insights on ‘Nearshoring’ and what it means for businesses in Pharr and beyond.
The theoretical presentations were balanced with practical exposure as attendees boarded buses to tour Pharr’s industrial parks. The first stop was Emerson Tool Company, where Norberto Gonzalez, Director of Operations, welcomed the delegation. The tour continued to Maquila Automotive Services & Logistics (MAS), guided by Hector Lopez Aguilar and Ing. Jose Roberto Garza, who detailed their warehouse operations.
Pérez returned to the stage to reflect on Pharr’s recent successful summit in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and announced future plans for expanding summits to Mexico City. “We have a lot to offer to our investors,” Pérez said, adding that other regions like Monterrey Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas are also keen on collaborations.
The remarks from Daniel Silva, President of the RGV Partnership, applauded the event’s success and reiterated the importance of collaboration between industries and local governance for a prosperous future.
The Industrial and Investment Tour did not just serve as a platform for sharing information but also as a promoter for future collaborations and investments. It highlighted the assortment of opportunities Pharr offers within Texas and globally, strengthening its position as a leader in industrial progress and investment potential.
Daniel Silva, the President and CEO of the Rio Grande Valley Partnership, outlined the partnership’s role, importance, and impact in the regions it serves—namely, Starr County, Willacy, Cameron, and Hidalgo County. He said that the Rio Grande Valley Partnership is a liaison that connects community organizations, focusing on various sectors like education, workforce development, healthcare, and infrastructure. This analysis highlights the key facets that make the Partnership an integral part of the Rio Grande Valley’s development.
So, Silva’s remarks underlined the Rio Grande Valley Partnership’s critical role in connecting and developing communities across various sectors. Through partnerships, legislative advocacy, and community engagement, the organization transcends city limits and county borders to affect meaningful change. As the newly appointed President and CEO, Silva emphasizes the continuity of the organization’s impact and its robust calendar of activities extending to mid-2024, highlighting its ongoing relevance and importance.
He recognized the work of Pérez and the Pharr EDC team, including the board, Mayor Dr. Hernandez, and the City Council, for their vision and firm decisions that are making Pharr Texas competitive in the commercial and industrial segments of South Texas.
With SAMES Engineering, Marie Garcia, Commercial Tour Coordinator and Executive Board Member of the Rio Grande Valley Partnership. Her role involves coordinating investment initiatives and emphasizing the unique selling points of various cities in the Rio Grande Valley region.
Garcia said the collaboration between Pharr Economic Development Corporations (EDCs) and the RGV Partnership showcases their unique attributes to potential investors and residents. Garcia said that the initiative, which has been running for four years, has evolved to adapt to changing circumstances, such as the pandemic when it shifted to a virtual format. She stated that she is grateful to Mr. Pérez and his team for their repeated hosting of the events; she also gives due credit to the various sponsors who financially backed the initiative, pointing out that the program is already booked until 2024—proof of its success and growing impact.
Garcia introduced Michael Pacheco, Vice President of Coldwell Banker Commercial Rio Grande Valley and a Pharr Economic Development Corporation board member and Pharr City commissioner, who expressed his enthusiasm for the ongoing RGV tours. Pacheco commended the efforts of Mr. Pérez and Karina at the EDC for organizing an outstanding event and for continuing to spearhead these valuable tours. Pacheco emphasized that these tours have been successful for the past three years. He also praised Daniel and Marie for their significant contributions to the RGV Partnership. With an air of anticipation, he stated, “The City of Pharr is on the brink of an industrial wave, making it an exciting time for industrial developers and others interested in witnessing this transformative phase.”
Kenny Gonzalez, representing VTX1 Internet—a fiber internet company based in Raymondville—expressed gratitude to the Pharr EDC for hosting the event and the RGV Partnership for organizing it. He emphasized that VTX1 is committed to supporting the City of Pharr’s community-building efforts and endorses the idea of “One Region, One Voice.” Gonzalez encouraged attendees to contact VTX1 for assistance, reaffirming the company’s dedication as a sponsor and community partner.
Following came an enlightening presentation by Adrian González, a U.S. Customs Broker, who dug into Nearshoring. He provided a comprehensive explanation, backed by data and graphs, to explain what Nearshoring entails and why it’s emerging as a significant phenomenon in South Texas. González emphasized that his expertise lies in trade, enriching the audience’s understanding of this growing trend.
Mr. Pérez invited Janie Cavazos, the Property and Business Development Manager and a member of the Pharr EDC team, to conclude the presentation before transitioning to the Pharr Industrial and Investment Tour. Cavazos discussed the recent surge in activity, particularly influenced by the Nearshoring trend, affecting the types of projects underway. She noted a shift in the demand for building sizes, explaining that the scope has moved beyond the previously typical 50,000 or 80,000 square feet. Instead, current inquiries are for much larger structures, ranging from 100,000 to as high as a million square feet, often intended for a single tenant. “Attendees soon will see some of these expansive construction sites and newly completed buildings,” she finalized.