Anchor tenant announced for Weslaco's second industrial park

Published by: Rio Grande Guardian, Steve Taylor
Date: October 27, 2022

Headline: Anchor tenant announced for Weslaco's second industrial park

WESLACO, Texas – The anchor tenant for Weslaco’s eagerly-anticipated second industrial park has been announced.

Glazer’s Beer & Beverage (GBB) is a wholesale alcoholic beverage distribution company with seven locations in Texas, two in Arkansas, and one in Louisiana.

The  company formally announced plans to build a 250,000 sq. ft. temperature-controlled distribution center at the Mid Valley International Industrial Park. Nearly 200 jobs will be created. 

The company will have the largest footprint within the new industrial park, taking up 25 acres or roughly 20 percent of the entire development. GBB’s arrival in Weslaco will be the city’s largest expansion acquisition in over 15 years. 

The company’s announcement came at a groundbreaking ceremony for the new industrial park. The park is located on International Boulevard, just north of I-2. The industrial park cover 146 acres. However, once all the easements and roads are built, the actual buildable space is going to be about 122 acres.

Three of GBB’s staff members spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony. Here are their comments from the podium:

Matt Swilling, GBB’s vice president of sales/operations and business strategy

“Mr. Mayor, thank you both. I’ve got to know the mayor over the last year and I would definitely say he’s direct. Thank you for putting us on the spot today. Mr. Mayor. I’ve always appreciated your business environment and willingness to get a deal. While there is a little bit of work still left to do, that we have to get done, Glazer’s Beer & Beverage looks forward to making this home for years to come, in the new industrial park.

“While the work still has to be done, the buildings still have to be made, and work out some of the formalities and some of the paperwork, I don’t see any roadblocks that are going to prevent us from getting it done. So, congratulations to you (Mayor) and your team for all the hard work and dedication to get this deal done. 

“I want to really take a minute and thank the countless hours of work that was done by the EDC, the city the commissioners, the city council, Mayor, city hall, the county, staff, various judges, officials and staff. I’m sure I’m missing folks here. 

“But one of the things that we really talked about in order for us to make this work for us… Steve, Mr. Mayor, you probably remember this. I said, this has to be the right thing for our employees and this has to be the right thing for our customers. And, partnering with you guys, Weslaco has always felt like home. You guys have done a great job collaborating with us, working through details, providing solutions. I would say these folks, all those I have mentioned, are advocates for the city, the community and all of you as residents. So thank you all. Let’s give everyone a round of applause for that.

“Glazer’s Beer and Beverage is a company of strong values and culture. And when you when you think of Weslaco, that’s one of the things that comes to mind, the values and culture. You guys have made it great to collaborate with and we’re looking forward to bringing our new warehouse, 250,000 square feet, roughly 200 jobs, to your community. So if we had a beer we would do a toast right now. We’ll do that next time. But here’s to a new partnership, great collaboration and for our home for many years. Thank you.”

When Swilling was talking about the “Mayor” he was referring to Welsaco Mayor David Suarez, who introduced him at the ceremony. When Swilling was talking about “Steve” he was talking about Steve Valdez, executive director of the Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco (EDCW).

Will Herrin, GBB’s vice president of operations

“Thank you Matt. I think you have said it all and said it well.

“We turned 100 years old back in 2009 as a Texas business. We are very excited about the expansion into the city of Weslaco. It is a great city with great leadership and we really come to enjoy it here, meeting a lot of people. So, happy to be here in Weslaco.”

Adrian Leal, GBB’s vice president/general manager

“I did not think I would be talking much so I really prepare anything but I can tell you that I was born and raised here in the Valley. As a proud member of this community, I’m excited to be running our operations here in Weslaco. If we haven’t had a chance to meet these two great guys, they take care of all the all the important stuff, and I just worry about the business but either way, I want to thank you guys for accepting us as part of your community. Excited to be here, looking forward to our long term relationship. So thanks again. Thank you.”

Strategic location

EDCW Board President Benita R. Valadez spoke about the arrival of GBB in a news release. She said: “This is monumental for us. The opening of our new industrial park with Glazer’s as our anchor tenant is putting our city in the best possible position to compete in this global economy.”

Valadez spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony. So did EDCW Vice President Juan J. “J.J.” Serrano.

“Weslaco is now being noticed as a strategic location to offer services and/or distribute product in our Region,” Serrano said. “We have amazing organizations already here in Weslaco such as the Border Patrol, Texas DPS, Texas National Guard, CiL, Kapal, Johnson Controls, Image First, CASTICO, Clever Foods, several cold storage companies like ColiMex and Robinson Fresh, the H-E-B Distribution Center, and many others that have made Weslaco their home. The Mid Valley International Industrial Park will allow many others to do the same.  We aren’t just creating jobs here…we’re creating careers.”

Valdez, the executive director of EDCW, said of GBB’s decision to move to Weslaco: “If this were about catching a big fish, we just landed a whale!” 

International distribution company

In her remarks from the podium, Valadez teased that a well-known international distribution company would also have a presence at the new industrial park. She said she was not at liberty to mention them just yet.

The company is expected to bring 140 jobs and invest over $10 million in site improvements. “The EDCW is not at liberty to announce the name of the company yet,” EDCW said, in a news release. “But the brand is globally recognized.” 

Valdez’s perspective

After the groundbreaking ceremony, The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service interviewed Valdez, the EDCW executive director.

“We’re calling it the Mid Valley international Industrial Park and the reason we put ‘International’ in there is because we’re on International Boulevard. We’re also an international corridor to the bridges in Progreso and Donna, and so it just seemed to fit,” Valdez said in the interview.

Asked about Glazer’s decision to move operations to Weslaco, Valdez said: “Glazer’s Beer and Beverage ended up being landlocked in the city of McAllen. There was really not room for them to grow. And so when we first talked to them about this lot, they picked the furthest in the back and the largest of the lots all in one piece, so we’re just elated. You have no idea, no idea how excited we are.”

Asked about the timeframe for the new industrial park, Valdez said: “L&G is our general contractor for all utilities and the road. They’re giving us a timeline of about nine months.”

Asked if Weslaco’s first industrial park was now full, Valdez said: “There are small lots that might be available, but nothing that can handle a large company like Glazer’s.”

In the interview, Valdez spoke about the second distribution company coming to the new industrial park – the company that cannot yet be named. He said this company will be taking up ten acres in the new industrial park. “So just right away, we have probably 35 percent of the total just with those two companies. So we really do think that this is going to go fast. These type of companies would not have been able to fit in our existing industrial park.”

Asked why there is so much interest in companies moving to Weslaco, Valdez said: 

“I think the first thing is regional growth. We’re seeing it everywhere you turn, McAllen, Edinburg, Mission, Harlingen, Brownsville. Everybody’s growing together. And I think because of our proximity to the true central location in the Valley, when you talk about Rio Grande City and Roma all the way to Brownsville, you can be in Weslaco and drive an equal distance and get to each end. And that means a lot to these companies that want to have less wasted miles. They want to have accessibility to their customers faster. And so the proximity, being located in the middle of the Valley, really means a lot more now.”

Asked if the recent announcements of expansion at both the Progreso and Donna international bridges is going to help Weslaco, Valdez said:

“For sure, especially when they start allowing commercial traffic. The additional three lanes that we are going to see at the Progreso Bridge is really going to magnify the kind of traffic that we already see. We see a lot (of truck traffic) coming from them (Donna and Progreso bridges) now, but I can just imagine it doubling. And so we’re hoping to talk to companies that are willing to do some cold storage, willing to do some fruits and vegetable packing here, and distribution.”

Asked if there was anything else he would like to add, Valdez said: “We’re not experts in being landlords. But, we’ve managed to align ourselves with many that are. Then, on top of that, the fact that we have the relationship with our city, our mayor, our commission… we are able to make decisions together. It is the best. It is a cohesive, orderly amount of work that’s done between both the EDC and the City that really does allow us to be here today.”

Editor’s Note: At the recent groundbreaking ceremony for the new Mid Valley International Industrial Park, the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service conducted video interviews with Weslaco Mayor David Suarez and Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco executive director Steve Valdez. Click here to watch the interviews.