Killam Development of Laredo broke ground recently on a 175-acre business park at Anzalduas International Bridge that is part of a 3,400-acre project south of Mission.
Cliffe Killam, the president of the development company, was among the dignitaries and community leaders at a May 2 groundbreaking. It marked the official beginning of an industrial park that hopes to attract manufacturing, logistics, cold storage and distribution facilities to the Sharyland Business Park. The project was made possible by a $3-million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, which funded infrastructure improvements on the property.
The business park is part of an over 3,000-acre project. Ultimately, this project will also include new housing, commercial and retail development, green space, and hike-and-bike trails.
“Early in our process, we reached out to the community and invited them in to participate in our strategic planning sessions,” Killam said. “We heard the desire to create a live, work and play community, which is our basis for creating a mixed-use development.”
A Community Effort
Killam cited the city of Mission, the Mission Economic Development Corporation and the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone as partners in making the project possible. Killam reached out to the community in receiving feedback in setting out design ideas and top priorities. Among the recommendations were increasing access to nature and building parks, development that will provide something different, and connecting to existing communities and recognizing the Rio Grande Valley’s unique identity.
A takeaway from the meetings, Killam said, is that “our residents want to live near their place of work.”
“We had these workshops over the span of one full week, where we had our design team along with the development team listen to the community and stakeholders,” Killam said of the master planned mixed-use development. “We have plans to coordinate efforts with our educational community and other private sector commercial industries to set stake in our commercial, industrial and technical parks.”
A shifting in supply chains will bring new opportunities for the new business park, Killam said. “Nearshoring” was a term used at the recent groundbreaking. Nearshoring is the outsourcing of business processes, especially information technology, to companies in a nearby country that shares a border with the target country.
“The pandemic and geopolitical uncertainty have put a stronger spotlight on the need for a strong supply chain that is nearby and closely integrated,” Killam said. “We believe that our strong trading partnership with both Mexico and Canada will build on the ability to supply the necessary products all three countries need.”