PHARR, RGV – Pharr city and economic development officials helped Evergreen Cold Storage break ground on a new fresh produce warehouse project on Hi Line Road, not far from the Pharr International Bridge.

Victor Perez, executive director of Pharr Economic Development Corporation, said the groundbreaking kick starts Evergreen’s plans to construct a total of 283,200 square feet of warehouse space in three phases on approximately 16.7 acres.

“The first phase is the construction of a 117,000 square feet warehouse to be completed by December 2018. The second phase includes a 95,600 square-foot warehouse and a 13,000 square-foot commercial area, to be completed by December 2021. The third phase will include the construction of a 57,600 square-foot warehouse to be completed by December 2022,” Perez told the Rio Grande Guardian.

“In total, the three phases will be a total investment of approximately $47 million and the project is estimated to create a total of 120 new jobs.”

Perez said Pharr EDC will soon have more groundbreaking ceremonies in the produce park.

“Of the 30 two-acre lots, we have about four left. It is a great accomplishment for us. We have signed contracts on some other projects so you will be hearing about more groundbreaking ceremonies very soon,” Perez said.

Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez said he was delighted to see Evergreen expanding operations.

“We are proud of Pharr’s economic development and growth, especially with projects such as these that will have a direct impact on our local economy, spur trade and commerce, and provide employment opportunities for our residents,” Hernandez said. “We welcome Evergreen Cold Storage to Pharr and look forward to the company’s continued investment in our city and a growing and sustainable partnership,” he continued.

Andres Zuniga, president of Evergreen Cold Storage, told the Rio Grande Guardian that the property he has purchased is 20 acres in size and that he plans to build a cold storage warehouse on ten acres.

“It is going to be 120,000 square-feet. This will be to consolidate our other three warehouses. We are not as efficient as we could be and we feel we are losing customers. By consolidating the warehouses, we will be able to provide a much better service,” Zuniga said.

“With Phase 1, we will create another 50 jobs, and we will continue ever two or three years, adding phase two and phase three and at the end we will end up with the creation of around 150 more jobs.”

Evergreen started in warehousing in 2006. However, the company has been in Pharr for 20 years. Asked what he thought about being based in Pharr, Zuniga said:

“Since we started 20 years ago with our customs brokerage company, we love Pharr. We are very happy with Pharr. With the new administration, it is even better. We are very, very, happy with their support. Of course, having the bridge helps a lot.”