PHARR, Texas – The City of Pharr and the Greater Pharr Chamber of Commerce spotlighted growth at the Pharr Bridge Business Park with two concurrent ceremonies on Thursday.

The first was a ribbon-cutting ceremony for PBBP2, a new distribution center, followed by a groundbreaking ceremony for PBBP3, an additional depot.

Trancasa USA., Inc., together with partners Platinum Cargo Logistics and TCA Logistics, will occupy the 100,000-square-foot facility at PBBP2. Carlos A. Canales Melhem, the owner of the 30-acre Pharr Bridge Business Park and president of Trancasa USA Inc., explained that the businesses will work in tandem to bring raw materials and finished products to and from Mexico.

Platinum Cargo Logistics begins the supply chain by importing international freight into the U.S. Trancasa USA Inc. then runs the transportation leg between the two countries, exporting the raw goods to maquilas principally in Reynosa and importing the final products via its truck fleet and warehouses. TCA Logistics heads the administrative side, taking charge of the processing and responsibility for the shipments throughout their journey.

As a multitude of products result from these exchanges, including automotive and medical supplies, Canales Melhem says these services are vital to the Rio Grande Valley.

“The transportation business is the center of everything that people need in this area,” said Canales Melhem.

Business is going so well at the industrial park that PBBP1 and PBBP2, the first two construction phases, are already at full-lease capacity. PBBP3, another 100,000-square foot facility, officially broke ground immediately after the ribbon-cutting. As of the ceremony, it already stands at 70 percent occupancy. Canales Melhem says he foresees the need for two additional buildings in the near future as trade through the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge continues to boom.

“This bridge is the best bridge in the area,” said Canales Melhem.  “I’m crossing by Matamoros; I’m crossing by Laredo; I’m crossing by El Paso, … and this is the more (sic) faster bridge and more safe.”

Rebecca Arizmendi, president of the Greater Pharr Chamber of Commerce, attributes Pharr’s success to coordination between city departments.

“When you have a city and a bridge that work so well together, it’s really easy to make this place grow,” said Arizmendi.

Laura Warren, the architect of the Pharr Bridge Business Park, has seen the city’s transformation in the last five years. She says a “new era” of focused regional partnerships is spurring the exponential growth, not only in Pharr, but across the Valley.

“What we’re experiencing right now is that more and more we have business-orientated leaders being elected for office, and with that type of mentality comes good things,” said Warren.

“We start running the cities to be attractive to other business owners and provide all the ground and all the services and the support, [so] we see things like this happening. … They’re paying attention to what the markets are, what the needs are, and what our community needs in order to thrive.”

Despite the bad rap the area might have received in the past, Arizmendi encourages people to witness for themselves all the great things happening in their own backyard.

“I think it’s up to us to get that message out there and to tell people that sometimes that negative light – it’s not always accurate, and there’s so much more that we have to offer.”