PHARR, Texas – Pharr Economic Development Corporation is planning to add another million square feet of warehousing space on industrial parks near the Pharr International Bridge.
Pharr EDC Executive Director Victor Perez spoke about the growth on the south side of town during a recent commercialization and investment tour hosted by the Rio Grande Valley Partnership. The tour attracted land developers, investors, realtors and title company executives.
“We have some big projects coming up on the south side of Pharr. We are talking about a million square feet of warehouse space. Not one, but maybe two or three,” Perez said, at the start of the tour.
“That is the impact Pharr is having in the world of manufacturing and produce. These projects take time but you will be seeing them pretty soon.”
RGVP has been hosting “tours” of various Valley cities since last November. However, this was the first one conducted “in-person.” Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those involving Rio Grande City, Edinburg, Harlingen, McAllen, San Juan and Hidalgo were “virtual.”
Pharr City Commissioner Dr. Ramiro Caballero welcomed those on the tour to his city at a breakfast event at the EDC’s offices.
“The city of Pharr has a lot to offer, from the retail and business side, to the commercial side to the residential side. Our south side is very strong right now. In 2023 we will be expanding our international bridge,” said Caballero, who is a member of the Pharr EDC board of directors.
Perez said Pharr is growing on all fronts: retail, residential, commercial, and, on the south side in particular, manufacturing and industrial. He said the EDC has been successful in part because of the partnerships it forges.
“We are about partnerships, we are about getting things done. How do you get things done? By partnering with people. Sometimes you cannot get it done by yourself. I have a great team and a great board. We have great leadership,” Perez said.
“There are lot more things coming to the city of Pharr. We cannot disclose them right now but you will see Pharr growing.”
Before the participants boarded a bus to tour Pharr, Perez ran through some of the new attractions coming to his city.
“There’s going to be nice sit-down restaurant that will compliment Top Golf. It will be a first-to-market restaurant. They are not in the Valley,” Perez said.
Indeed, Perez said Pharr is known for bringing first-to-market establishments to the Valley. By way of example he cited CarMax, Top Golf, Main Event, and Pappadeaux.
Perez said Pharr EDC is hopeful of bringing another Starbucks to the city. The next one, though, will be on the north side of town.
The EDC leader also highlighted the residential developments occurring on the north side of town. He said one developer has a project at Sugar Road and Minnesota that has added 180 rooftops. “The second phase will be 165, and the third phase, 135. By the time we get done it will close to 400 rooftops.”
Coldwell Banker Commercial-Rio Grande Valley has been a co-sponsor of the RGVP’s commercialization and investment tours since the start of the year. One of the principal brokers at the group, Daniel Galvan, said: “We love doing business in the city of Pharr. It is such a dynamic place to do business. These property tours are awesome. Thank you (RGVP) for putting them on, even through the pandemic.”
The City of Pharr encompasses 23.72 square miles of land within its city limits. However, it also contains planning capacity for an additional 27.86 square miles of land as part of its extra territorial jurisdiction, for a combined total of 51.5 square miles.
The current population of Pharr is 79,500. A flyer given to those on the tour said the city has a highly desirable demographic profile for businesses in a variety of industries. “The median age is 29 years and 85 percent of the workforce is bilingual. This population of young, educated individuals allows businesses to evaluate and select the best possible candidates,” the flyer stated.
The bus tour started with a look at some of the land available for development on the north side of Pharr. The second half of the tour focused on manufacturing and warehouse opportunities near the Pharr International Bridge. It included a stop off at Andres Zuniga’s Big Fresh cold storage warehouse.
Pharr EDC Assistant Director Tony Sandoval said all the lots within the city’s produce park, located close to the international bridge, have been sold.
“The produce park is 67 acres net, where they can build out. We have a total of 14 different owners that are building. Every lot has been sold. The last two are under contract,” Sandoval said.
Asked if Pharr EDC plans to build another produce park, Sandoval said: “That is part of the plan.” Sandoval had not been on a commercialization and investment tour before. “It was awesome. The level of interest is fantastic. The outlook for Pharr is great,” he said.
At the conclusion of the tour, the Rio Grande Guardian asked Pharr EDC’s executive director how it went.
“We are very pleased with the number of people that participated. Bankers, real estate agents, title companies, developers, you can see the interest is there. They got a taste of what is coming to Pharr. A lot of them made the comment, they did not know what we had here. We are very pleased.”
Asked for his wrap-up remarks about the tour, Sergio Contreras, president of RGVP, said: “It was outstanding, to have our first in-person tour since COVID kicked in is special. We had between 50 and 60 people on the tour. The bankers, the developers, the realtors will all be able to share what they learned.”
Contreras said the tour reaffirms what RGVP is seeing across the Valley. “Our region continues to grow. Municipalities are reporting record breaking numbers in the sense of new developments.”
Asked for a comment about Pharr specifically, Contreras said: “Pharr is aways at the forefront for innovation. Education, healthcare, broadband. It was great to learn of the multiple sectors that are expanding here, from international trade to healthcare, to housing. Pharr EDC showcased these sectors very well.”
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