PHARR, Texas – Pharr Economic Development Corporation is planning to expand its produce district near the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.

Victor Perez, executive director of Pharr EDC, said all 31 lots on the 97-acre industrial park have now been acquired. Therefore, he said, it is time to expand.

“We did sell all our lots over at the produce park and now we are focusing on another 100 acres to do phase two of the park because of the demand. The companies at the park want to be close to our bridge and they want to be in Pharr.”

Perez made his comments in an exclusive interview with the Rio Grande Guardian. He said exciting things are happening in both south and north Pharr. He thanked the leadership of the city, led by Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez and the board of directors of Pharr EDC.

“People have seen all the growth that is happening but we are expecting more. We will be announcing some new projects very soon that will benefit the city and the surrounding communities,” Perez said.

“We are talking about more cold storage facilities and warehouses, which in turn helps the city’s property tax base and employment.”

Perez said it is a particularly exciting time for south Pharr.

“We are going be bringing a McDonald’s to south Pharr. The people of south Pharr want more places to go eat. There will be another car wash, another Valero and a Circle K. We want to focus on cold storage and manufacturing. Bissell came over from the Mission/McAllen and they have Phase 1, 100,000 square feet of warehouse and now they are going to do a second one, next year, another 100,000.”

Perez acknowledged that the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge is drawing logistics and warehousing operations to the area.

“The expansion of the bridge is a big, big part of this. We have a lot of land. We have a lot of investors. I have phone calls every week where people are requesting, 80, 90, 100 acres.”

Perez said the Pharr bridge is an economic generator for the entire Rio Grande Valley. “The things we do in Pharr do not just benefit the residents of Pharr. They benefit the surrounding communities also.”

As for the north side of Pharr, Perez said the EDC has “some good things coming up.”

He said: “Hopefully we will get another Starbucks. This one of the south side has been a huge success. I see the lines from 6 a.m. to midnight. We need one on the north side so hopefully that is coming along, along with a couple of other tenants.”

Another development on the north side of Pharr will be a retail project, the EDC chief explained.

“The corner of Sugar Road and Nolana is a high traffic area where we see a need for more retail. Further down we have a developer who just developed two phases of rooftops. One was close to 180 and another was over 100. By the time we get this done there will be almost 400 new rooftops. So, we need a place where people can go shop, food and retail. So, we are working on that.”

Perez predicts 2021 is going to be very successful for economic development in his city.

“Despite the pandemic, we never stopped. Commerce and trade continued. We kept getting the calls, people coming by looking for properties, looking for warehouse space. It never stopped and we never closed. It feels like we never went through COVID. As a result, I think 2021 is going to be huge for us. There are going to be a lot of things coming to Pharr. We are excited.”

Perez is also excited about the recently announced Pharr EDC Foundation. The foundation plans to raise funds to provide scholarships for Pharr students. Perez said the application process will soon be unveiled. “The Pharr EDC Foundation is all about developing the leaders of tomorrow. I am proud of the way the City of Pharr works with our local schools and universities.”

Perez added: “I will be sharing more projects with you as they come to light. You will be seeing a lot of business coming in, a lot of employment opportunities. A lot of employment coming up.”