PHARR, Texas – If 2022 was good, just watch what happens in 2023. This was the message Victor Perez, president of Pharr Economic Development Corporation, wished to get across in a “Happy New Year” message to the group’s clients.

“Thank you for the opportunity to give a shout out to our business community and our citizens of Pharr, to all our investors, all the ones that have invested with us in the past and are now investing in the future with us,” Perez said.

“I do want to say that a lot of things have happened these past years, especially in 2022. We had record breaking groundbreakings and investors coming into the city. But one thing that I can assure you is that in 2023, it’s going to be a lot better.”

As is usually the case when the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service meets up with Perez, there was a tip to “watch this space.”

Perez said: “We have a lot of projects, not only in south Pharr, in the produce park or the industrial park, but we also have some businesses coming in, retail stores and restaurants coming into north Pharr and so we have some big developments coming soon.”

A case in point, Perez, said, is the ribbon-cutting ceremony held recently for a new Starbucks on Nolana.

“We just did a ribbon cutting yesterday for our second Starbucks in the city of Pharr, on Nolana, and according to Starbucks representatives, they want to do another one, a third one, in Pharr. So that’s very exciting. That tells us a lot that we have what it takes for a business to come in and be successful.”

Looking ahead to 2023, Perez said: “There’s there’s a lot of things going on in Pharr and I’m very excited. And what I want to do is just invite everybody to keep in touch with us at the EDC, keep in touch through the Guardian, keep in touch through the Advance, and, of course, on our Facebook page and our EDC website.”

Perez predicted: “You’re going to be seeing a lot of great things coming but most of all, happy 2023 to all the citizens of this community, to our board and our city council that have made a lot of things happen along with the EDC and myself. We’re excited so keep tuned in because we’re going to be sharing several new projects for 2023.”

Later this month, Perez and his EDC staff will be attending a big trade show in Dallas in order to attract more retail development to the city of Pharr.

“This is a conference that we go to every year and we make contact with businesses that are from all over the state of Texas and, in some cases, the nation. This is how we attract businesses. Pharr has become known as the ‘first-to-market’ city in the (Rio Grande) Valley and that goes a long way for us,” Perez said.

“For example, we had a lady from El Paso come over and congratulate us and tell us that she was following us and that she knew what the City of Pharr and the Pharr EDC was doing over here in south Texas. She was very excited and we shared some notes and talked for a little bit. This is the kind of feedback we get from people all over the community, whether we’re in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, El Paso or Austin. People know what’s going on here and we’re very excited.”

Perez also noted that the City of Pharr recently won an award from the Texas Economic Council for its much talked about citywide fiber optic broadband project. The award ceremony was held in San Antonio.

“It is not just existing business that have joined We have new businesses and they’re all excited. I was in a cafe the other day for meeting with a client and the first thing they did was thank us for bringing blazing fast fiber internet to the city. I think other municipalities are going to be following us on this. Like I said earlier, it’s a ‘first-to-market’ initiative. The mayor and the city council and, of course, our EDC board were very visionary. We think outside the box. We know what we need and we’re thinking 15 to 20 years from now. It’s not about the next year or five years from now but, what is it we need and what is changing in the marketplace.”

Perez explained that everything related to technology is changing fast.

“We have got to be prepared. I think our fiber internet service is attracting new businesses to come to Pharr. I know we have been contacted by other school districts in the surrounding areas that want to to see if they can connect to us. So that’s something we’re going to be looking in the future, expanding our services.”

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