WESLACO, Texas – If you have corporate jets flying in and out of your community it can only mean one thing: business deals.
That is the view of Weslaco Mayor David Suarez. Speaking at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for six new corporate jet hangars at Mid Valley Airport, he said: “The demand for these six new corporate jet hangars tells us that international trade is alive and well here in Weslaco.”
In an exclusive interview with the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service, Suarez said: “It means businessmen like Abraham Tanus and Joaquin Spamer are traveling to meet with suppliers and customers and potentially setting up new business deals. Time is money. These businessmen jet out early in the morning, do their deals and come back to be with their family at night. They are bringing back new business to our region.”
Abraham Tanus is the owner of Mountain Side Investment Group, LLC. His land abuts Mid Valley Airport. Joaquin Spamer is the owner of CIL, a logistics company with warehouses within the Mid Valley Industrial Park. Both attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new hangars.
Mayor Suarez noted that Mid Valley Airport extended its runway in 2018 to serve larger corporate and business aircrafts. He said a further extension is in the works. And he pointed out that MVA is the largest general aviation airport in the Rio Grande Valley, and serves as an international point of entry.
“Mid Valley Airport has a customs tower that clears flights from Mexico within two hours. You do not have to wait. Customs will send two agents ahead of time and they will clear you and then you are ready to go,” Suarez said.
Asked how things are going in Weslaco, Suarez said business is booming.
“I have been to a lot of ribbon cutting ceremonies in the last two months. I am proud to say we have five different different retail and leisure developments happening off the expressway as we speak. And the pads are going pretty fast. So, business is booming. To have five major developments going at the same time… I am eager to see the sales tax in about a year, or two quarters from now.”
Suarez said it is not just retail development that is growing in Weslaco.
“The need for more manufacturing and warehousing space is also great. Hence the need for our second industrial park, which is being developed just to the north of us. We are going to break ground soon. We are also in the process of expanding our runway. It will take five years but it will mean our runway gets expanded from 6,000 to 7,000 feet. It will allow us to bring in bigger corporate jets.”
Steve Valdez, executive director of Weslaco Economic Development Corporation, said the six new corporate jet hangars at Mid Valley Airport came about thanks to a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, with matching funds being appropriated by the EDC.
“I understand the hangars are already leased, which is great. This is a coordination between four different entities: the City of Weslaco, the EDA grant, the matching grant from the EDC, and the Airport’s board of directors.”
Like Mayor Suarez, Valdez said it is a good sign for Weslaco that demand for corporate jet space is increasing.
“Anytime you get corporate jets landing in and taking off from Weslaco, you get the opportunity to encourage these companies to invest in Weslaco also. If they are going to land their plane here there is a real good chance they are going to bring their business here and some of them already do,” Valdez said.
“You have Joaquin Spamer who owns over 700,000 square feet of warehouse space for his cotton storage. You have Abraham Tanus of Mountain Side Investments, who backs up into the airport. These two are just examples of what these six hangars are going to bring to our industry in Weslaco.”
Valdez said Weslaco’s central location in the Valley makes it an attractive place for business men and women to fly in and out of. “What benefits us is we are centrally located. You can land in Weslaco and go anywhere in the Valley.”
Asked about Weslaco’s eagerly anticipated second industrial park, Valdez said: “It is just under 150 acres and is located on the corner of FM 1015 and Mile 9. It sits in the north east corner. I can tell you we are finalizing and getting ready to go under contract with a new construction company to start the construction of the industrial park. So, we are hoping to have a groundbreaking ceremony in mid to late August.”
Asked why the need for a second industrial park, Valdez said: “We are building it because we have no more space in the Mid Valley Industrial Park. We are talking to two large, well-known, companies that are waiting for us to start the development so they can start. We will be simultaneously constructing our road and infrastructure as they are building. So, you will probably see two buildings going up at the same time.”
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