Harlingen’s Next Business Hub

0
401

The Harlingen Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) is set on transforming Harlingen into a prosperous economic area outfitted with industry. The HEDC is developing a new industrial park off Interstate 69, led by CEO Orlando Campos.

“The Industrial Park at Roosevelt is located on the west side, right along Interstate 69. So we saw this as an opportunity to grow that area by bringing in new industries and providing more options to potential investors and businesses that we work with,” said Campos.

Harlingen, situated at the center of Rio Grande Valley, is a prime location for businesses. It is strategically placed between McAllen and the Port of Brownsville, with easy access via I-2 and I-69. It is an ideal spot for economic activity and connectivity between regions.

“Harlingen represents that ideal location for companies that want to take advantage of everything the Rio Grande Valley has to offer,” Campos said.

The development of the park comes alongside the development of West Harlingen in recent years, boosting the region’s economic activity, bringing in outside industry, and providing employment for Harlingen’s growing population.

“We felt that there was a need for more businesses to help spur more growth and development on the west side of the community. I think that bringing jobs closer to where people live will definitely help enhance the quality of life for the residents that live there,” he said.

The industrial park has been under development since 2016, with various improvements made possible by federal funding.

“There was no infrastructure available there at the industrial park – no streets, no water, sewer lines, and we knew that it was going to be a costly endeavor to bring in those services. So, the economic development corporation applied for a grant from the Economic Development Administration, which is a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce. We had to wait and see if we would get approved, which we did last year. With that grant now approved, we have a maximum of three years to utilize those funds.”

Campos aims to complete the park in under two years and turn it into a thriving commercial hub within five years.

“It will be in development within the next two years. We hope to finish all of the infrastructure in less than that time. We’ll start marketing and attracting new businesses to the industrial park. I believe that maybe within the next five years, the park will be filled with new tenants and new companies that choose to locate there.”

The Industrial Park at Roosevelt is envisioned to attract industries that can take advantage of Harlingen’s strategic location.

“Given its location, I think that it makes it quite a bit appealing to companies in the service sector as well as transportation and logistics services simply because it is located just off the interstate. I think that trucking firms and warehousing distribution would be ideal,” said Campos.

The Industrial Park at Roosevelt is just the beginning of Harlingen’s path toward prosperity, urbanization, and community betterment through increased industrial presence and a strengthened economy.

“I think after this park is filled with companies, we will obviously be looking at other parts of the community and possibly build another industrial park to help attract more businesses and industries here to the community. I think that in terms of our vision of Harlingen in the future, we want to diversify our industrial base here in the community. We’re very strong in the medical sector, as well as back office operations, but we’ve got to focus on developing opportunities for all residents of the community and providing jobs in diverse fields, so that’s what our vision and focus will be in the future. That includes attracting more manufacturing companies to the community,” said Campos.

Rafael Mendoza-Farias Jr.