WESLACO, Texas – With its one industrial park almost full, Weslaco Economic Development Corporation is developing another 15 acres of land for manufacturing, warehousing and distribution. 

Around $9 million worth of Infrastructure improvements are being made on the land off of FM 1015 and Mile 9.

Steve Valdez, executive director of Weslaco EDC , recently gave an exclusive interview to the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service about the new developments. He said Weslaco did not suffer as big a downturn in the economy due to the coronavirus pandemic and is now rebounding well.

“Our existing industrial park is full. We have small spaces here and there, but for larger manufacturing companies, warehousing, distribution centers and the like, we just don’t have any more space,” Valdez said.

Valdez said he and his predecessor, Marie McDermott, have been looking for the right piece of property to develop as an industrial park for the past four or five years. 

“That right opportunity just showed up and presented itself – 150 acres right off of FM 1015 and Mile 9. So, we are only two miles off of the expressway. We are on a state highway so that highway is always going to be maintained by the state.”

Asked if he would have any trouble filling the new industrial park with manufacturing, warehousing and distribution companies, Valdez said: “It is one thing to be optimistic, it is another thing to have letters of intent in front of you saying, we are ready to break ground, how fast can you get it ready for us. That is just amazingly exciting for us.”

The new industrial park is only eight miles from Progreso International Bridge, with a direct connection along an overweight corridor, FM 1015. The bridge, which is privately owned, is currently being expanded also. This will help Weslaco, Valdez argued.

“By the end of this year they plan to open up four new lanes of commercial traffic at the bridge,” Valdez said. “We think Weslaco will benefit from this. Cold storage, warehousing, distribution centers. We are going to go after all them.”

Valdez said all the ingredients are present to help Weslaco become even more prosperous, including having South Texas College and UT-Rio Grande Valley in the city to train high-skilled workers.

“It is a blessing to have good leadership, it is a blessing to have good, smart residents in our community that want to continue growing. Our schools are amazing. We just have a nice formula of success that everyone partners in to make it what it is today.”

A recent news release from Weslaco EDC said the city is doing well, economically. “A business boom is unfolding in Weslaco,” the release stated.

Valdez said in the news release: “These are exciting times for the region of South Texas and Weslaco where we’ve seen growth on every scale.’’ 

Weslaco’s surge in industrial growth can be seen in five ongoing projects that represent $19 million in new investments for the city, the news release stated.

“Three private sector companies – ColiMex, Inc, Clean Label Foods, LLC and La Abuela Mexican Foods Inc. – are launching or expanding current operations in Weslaco. Two public sector entities, the Weslaco Economic Development Corporation’s expanded industrial park and the Mid Valley Airport, are busy improving and adding space to their current facilities,” the release stated. 

All of these projects will generate approximately 100 new jobs in Weslaco, Valdez said.

The WEDC news release says ColiMex is adding 35,000 square feet and 35 new jobs in Weslaco. “The company has laid the concrete foundation and erected steel beams at its second $5 million facility in the city. When completed, ColiMex will have 55,000 square feet of cold storage operations in Weslaco. The company has asked the Weslaco EDC to reserve another 10 acres in the city’s new industrial park for future growth,” the news release states.

Clean Label Foods is preparing the foundation for a new 25,000-square-foot building, the news release states. “The new facility will be used to process legume free, high protein, low sodium, low carbs, short based pasta. It’s the first phase of a three-part plan Clean Label Foods, LLC has for Weslaco. The company is investing just over $2 million for its new Weslaco building and the necessary equipment. Clean Label Foods is expected to bring 20 new jobs to Weslaco in its first year in the city.”

The news release says La Abuela Mexican Foods is adding 40 new jobs with a $1.1 million capital investment in adding 10,000 square feet to its operations in Weslaco. “The company currently makes two million tortillas per day. The added space and equipment will push that daily production to 5 million tortillas, with its largest account in Texas being H.E.B.”

Benita Valadez, President of the EDC of Weslaco, said: “Each of the companies expanding here have experienced a cost saving value and efficiency in being centrally located with close highway access. And that‘s one of the most predominant benefits of doing business in Weslaco.”

Meanwhile, Mid Valley Airport is moving ahead with plans to add six new hangar spaces to house Citation Jet 5’s. “The Weslaco airport is known for providing cost effective and convenient air travel for corporate executives, with its central location in the Rio Grande Valley being ideal for accessibility to the entire region,” the news release states.

“This type of growth is an example of the leadership and stability in Weslaco,’’ Valdez said, in the WEDC news release. “Our EDC board of directors introduces projects that make sense and foster a more balanced economy to the City Commission, and often work side-by-side in incentivizing companies to Weslaco.”

Editor’s Note: For more information on the above mentioned projects and availability of land at Weslaco’s new industrial park, contact the EDC of Weslaco at 956-969-0838 or send an email to [email protected].

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