BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – If everything goes well with negotiations the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation is currently involved in with various potential tenants, there will only be one or two lots left at Brownsville North Industrial Park.
That is the message from Constanza Miner, interim executive director and CEO of GBIC. GBIC is a non-profit organization, Type-A Economic Development Corporation, effectively working as the City of Brownsville’s economic development arm.
“We own Brownsville North Industrial Park and we have 11 lots. The AMFCO Group is the second tenant we will have at the park. But, we have three other lots under option. So, we are hoping that all the feasibility studies go well and we find ourselves back here again for another groundbreaking. If all the negotiations go well we will only have one or two lots left.”
Miner made her comments in an interview with the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service following a groundbreaking ceremony for the AMFCO Group. AMFCO stands for American Forwarding Company. It specializes in freight forwarding, logistics, foreign exports.
Miner said there has been a lot of interest from potential tenants in the last couple of years. Fully expecting the Brownsville North Industrial Park to reach capacity soon, GBIC has started work on another industrial park.
“We also own 730 acres right off of I-169. That is in the feasibility study phase as well. We went out for an RFP (request for proposal) and we chose WTC Industrial of San Luis Potosí and they are working on the feasibility in order to master plan the development,” Miner explained.
“WTC Industrial owns the largest multi-modal industrial park in Mexico. They are very successful at what they do so we are really excited and really lucky to get someone with their stature and their experience to partner with us.”
Recently, GBIC hired Jerry Briones as its director of international business and industrial park development. Briones is working on the new industrial park, which will be located on the south side of the frontage of I-169 between Old Alice Road and Paredes Line Road. The planned park is less than two miles from I-69 and 7.2 miles from the Port of Brownsville.
“Jerry joined us about a month ago and he has hit the ground running. We are really happy to have him. His work experience and training make him a great asset to our team,” Miner said. “We look forward to the growth he will accomplish for the Brownsville community beginning with the development of GBIC’s 730-acre future industrial park on I-169.”
As for AMFCO Group’s upcoming move into the North Brownsville Industrial Park, Miner said: “We are really excited to see them coming to the Brownsville North Industrial Park, to consolidate their operations. The park started getting traction two years ago and we could not be more excited about where everything is headed.”
Asked why Brownsville’s industrial development is booming, Miner said:
“I think Brownsville has a lot of great things going for it that people were not zooming into before. Our city commission, as well as our board of directors and staff have done an amazing job in getting the word out about all the assets Brownsville has. With the impact of USMCA and the near-shoring that is happening, this is an amazing location for those who want to bring their operations closer to home. We have the ability to manufacture certain products in Mexico and assemble here. So, with our port, the international rail crossing, and the amazing connectivity we have with our highways, it just makes things easier and it makes sense for manufacturing companies to move to Brownsville.”
Miner added: “Brownsville is a great place to live, work and do business in. If anyone wants to learn more about what we have to offer they can call GBIC at 956-346-8160.”
Also at the AMFCO Group groundbreaking ceremony was Ankjaer Jensen, a board member of GBIC.
“I am so pleased with the direction GBIC is going. I think we have a fantastic board of directors, excellent staff, and we are moving ahead. In fact, we are moving at warp speed. This park is almost sold out. We have got letters of understanding for almost all of the remaining lots. It will happen. We are moving forward,” Jensen said.
Jensen said he agreed with remarks made from the podium at the AMFCO groundbreaking by Brownsville City Commissioner Roy De los Santos.
“I concur 100 percent with what Commissioner De los Santos said. Everybody says, we need stuff to come into Brownsville. My contention and his is that we need to make stuff here and send it out of Brownsville, generating an income for our area.”
Like De los Santos, Brownsville interim city manager Helen Ramirez spoke at the AMFCO Group groundbreaking ceremony. Ramirez said it was an “honor” for Brownsville to have the company build its headquarters at the North Brownsville Industrial Park.
“This park is a next generation park. We are going to beautify the entrance, and redesign connectivity for the (nature) trail. And we are looking at a future bus service,” Ramirez said.
“The fact that many of these lots have already been sold to companies, many of them small, existing companies that want to expand… it is not always about bringing companies from the outside. It is really growing and expanding our companies from within.”
Ramirez predicted that within one to three years, “this industrial park will have hundreds of employees here.” And she said that industrial development is what Brownsville has been missing in the past.
“We are very residential. We need commercial/industrial to make a more sustainable economy,” she said.
“So, thank you (AMFCO) for your investment and welcome to Brownsville as your headquarters.”
AMFCO Group is owned by two brothers, Luis and Cesar Rodriguez. Luis Rodriguez spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony.
“On behalf of myself, my family and our associates, I just want to thank GBIC for its hard work and giving us the opportunity to invest in Brownsville,” he said from the podium.
Interviewed afterwards, Luis Rodriguez said: “We have been in Brownsville for 35 years. We view this new facility as an expansion. We are having talks as to whether this will be a substitute facility or an expansion. I hate to cap growth so I think it is going to be an expansion.”
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