NewsTalk Texas

Laredo

Laredo International Airport Sept. 2014 comings and goings 

(10/29/2014)

LAREDO - The enplanement and deplanement statistics and cargo report for Laredo International Airport have been released through September 2014.

Enplanements and Deplanements 2014
Month Enplaned Deplaned Change
2014 2013 2014 2013 Enplaned Deplaned
May 8,305 7,774 8,228 7,349 6.83% 11.96%
June 10,489 11,163 10,018 10,172 -6.04% -1.51%
July 12,846 12,771 12,697 12,456 0.59% 1.93%
Aug. 9,647 9,647 10,886 10,886 -1.28% 0.00%
Sept. 7,874 7,804 8,432 7,947 0.90% 6.10%
YTD Total 76,937 75,854 79,274 75,175 1.43% 5.45%

Cargo Report 2014
Month 2014 2013 Change
May 34,121,518 32,813,720 3.99%
June 34,725,682 29,998,979 15.76%
July 31,656,089 22,137,158 43.00%
Aug. 49,764,551 40,721,227 22.21%
Sept. 37,875,352 37,298,864 1.55%
YTD Total 325,497,711 253,890,678 28.20%


Source: Laredo International Airport

Laredo ProTrans logistics opens 231,000-SF warehouse 

(10/21/2014)

LAREDO - ProTrans International has opened its state-of-the-art distribution facility in North Laredo at 110 Consolidation Point Rd. The facility features over 221,000 sf of warehouse space and over 10,000 sf of office space.

About 2 million pounds of raw material flow through the facility daily and 10 million pounds of raw material head to manufacturing facilities in Mexico weekly, according to JC Zarate, the ProTrans Laredo facility manager.

Construction of the Laredo facility was completed in June 2014 and has been operating for about seven months. The facility features on-site customs brokers, warehouse management services and border processing services.

ProTrans International has locations in Eagle Pass, Brownsville, El Paso and McAllen; however, the Laredo facility is the largest and most up to date of all of the company’s other facilities.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times, ProTrans and World Trade.

Crude talks Eagle Ford Shale in Laredo area 

(10/3/2014 8:15:00 AM)

LAREDO AREA - The Center for Community and Business Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Institute for Economic Development has released its 2014 economic impact report of the Eagle Ford Shale.

Overall, the 21-county area studied in the report is expected to increase regional economic output by 61 percent by 2023.

Economic Output Over $1 Billion by County
County 2013* 2023*
Nueces $11,830,469,550 $24,313,461,300
Karnes $10,964,709,282 $16,752,660,184
La Salle $9,001,341,991 $13,574,778,927
Dimmit $8,552,982,031 $12,341,837,612
McMullen $8,276,163,149 $12,518,235,902
Gonzales $7,463,132,427 $11,369,005,382
Live Oak $6,954,129,494 $8,646,546,519
Webb $5,008,394,112 $7,051,104,091
DeWitt $4,947,708,860 $7,288,946,345
Atascosa $3,309,321,673 $5,888,831,097
Bexar $3,238,996,650 $4,400,871,930
Lavaca $1,607,274,019 $2,661,190,775
Wilson $1,444,745,649 $2,109,895,697
Total 21-county area** $85,362,339,892 $135,024,683,617

*Includes direct, indirect, and induced impacts.
**The summation of the individual counties impacts is smaller than when the impacts are taken for the group as a whole.
Bolded counties are in the Laredo Area.

Frio County's impact in 2013 was $685 million.

See the full report here. See section 7.5.11 for Webb County.

See Market Overview under Laredo Market Data Sources.

TAMIU ranking gains Laredo national recognition 

(9/29/2014 11:00:00 AM)

LAREDO - Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) was ranked No. 20 in Top Public Schools Regional Universities West, up from the 2013 ranking of 35, according to U.S. News and World Report.

TAMIU is sixth in the nation for lowest net price among public four-year universities, according to figures released by the College Affordability and Transparency Center.

For the second year in a row, The Chronicle of Higher Education named TAMIU among the nation’s fastest-growing public master’s institutions, ranking it No. 8 in its “Almanac of Higher Education 2014.”

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Accountability System indicated that TAMIU’s current student retention rate is almost 87 percent for students remaining in higher education, among the highest for The Texas A&M University System’s regional campuses.

Read more at Texas A&M International University News.

Laredo's logistics = $253 Billion trading on the edge 

(9/16/2014)

LAREDO - Laredo’s trade with the world grew 5.87 percent to reach a record $253.15 billion in 2013, which propelled it past Houston and Detroit to the number three ranking in the nation, according to the City of Laredo’s 2014 Trade Numbers Report.

Laredo’s 2013 total imports were a record-setting $140.74 billion, the fourth greatest total in the nation behind Los Angeles, New York and Chicago and narrowly ahead of New Orleans.

Laredo’s total exports were a record $112.42 billion in 2013, and the Customs district ranked fifth nationally, as it has since 2007.

Top Ten Laredo Export Commodities*
Commodity 2013
Value
2012
Value
Chg.
Motor vehicle parts $12,545,939,351 $12,197,689,721 2.86%
Gasoline, other fuels $3,033,693,527 $2,664,574,348 13.85%
Cellular, landline phones, parts $2,928,423,572 $2,891,664,847 1.27%
Motor vehicles for transporting people $2,528,810,820 $2,811,740,882 -10.06%
Internal combustion piston engines,
including aircraft
$2,071,471,663 $1,585,066,339 30.69%
Plastics $1,864,491,790 $1,656,771,265 12.54%
Electrical supplies, apparatus,
less than 1000V
$1,634,655,931 $1,351,284,801 20.97%
Engine parts $1,444,488,706 $1,327,926,373 8.78%
Insulated wire, cable $1,421,856,196 $1,262,495,760 12.62%
Computer chips $1,414,408,714 $1,149,099,629 23.09%
Total Exports $112,415,410,270 $105,254,071,432 6.80%


*ranked by 2013 commodity value

Top Five Exporting Ports in the Laredo Customs District*
Port Total 2013
Export
Value
City of Laredo $83,034,611,281
Hidalgo $10,819,541,956
Brownsville $9,237,421,810
Eagle Pass $7,107,687,282
Del Rio $1,869,366,581


*ranked by 2013 export dollar value

Source: The City of Laredo

See the full 2014 Trade Numbers Report.

Laredo opens $3.9M Aircraft Rescue and Fire Station 

(9/10/2014)

LAREDO - The Laredo International Airport and the City of Laredo have opened a new $3.9 million, 15,400-sf state-of-the-art Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Station situated on two acres.

The building is located immediately east of Taxiway J at the intersection with Taxiway D at the airport, and encompasses three tandem drive-through apparatus bays and one maintenance bay, supported by a room.

The private staff area has six shared sleeping rooms, a laundry room and exercise room. Operations spaces include two staff offices, watch/alarm and conference room, kitchen/dining room, with rooms for I.T., mechanical and electrical equipment.

A grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar secured a $4.1 million grant for the project, which required a 10 percent match by the City of Laredo.

“The new ARFF will help to elevate our airport to the leading facility in South Texas, able to provide not only the services for passenger and cargo travel, but also, be able to respond quickly and with the necessary equipment and support, should it be necessary,” said Carlos Villarreal, City Manager of Laredo.

Read more at the Laredo Sun.

Cotulla: 40,000-SF Valley Truck Center opens August 

(7/30/2014)

COTULLA, LA SALLE COUNTY - Mack Trucks announced a new dealership scheduled to open in late August. The new 40,000-sf Valley Truck Center is located off Exit 67 on I-35, midway between San Antonio and Laredo.

The facility features 22 service bays and offers both new and used vehicles, parts delivery and road service.

The facility also features the world’s largest Mack Trucks sign, measuring in at 17 feet 2 inches tall and 29 feet 6 inches wide. The sign was recently installed in preparation for the grand opening.

Read more at The Trucker.

Maverick triggers 50 jobs in Eagle Pass 

(7/2/2014)

EAGLE PASS, MAVERICK COUNTY - Maverick, a firearms company specializing in shotguns, will leverage public funds to create 50 new jobs and $3.4 million in capital investment into its Eagle Pass factory.

Maverick is a subsidiary of Mossberg Corp., which is the largest pump-action shotgun producer in the world and is the oldest family-owned firearm maker in America.

The Eagle Pass facility already assembles and distributes firearms for the Mossberg, Maverick and Mossberg International brands. Once the company expands its factory, Maverick will consolidate barrel production in Eagle Pass.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Laredo International Airport April 2014 stats 

(6/9/2014)

LAREDO - The enplanement and deplanement statistics and cargo report for Laredo International Airport have been released through April 2014.

Enplanements and Deplanements 2014
Month Enplaned Deplaned Change
2014 2013 2014 2013 Enplaned Deplaned
Jan. 7,057 6,626 7,229 6,797 6.5% 6.4%
Feb. 6,445 5,766 6,500 5,565 11.8% 16.8%
Mar. 6,808 7,223 7,657 6,987 -5.8% 9.6%
Apr. 7,466 6,955 7,627 7,016 7.4% 8.7%

Cargo Report 2014
Month 2014 2013 Change
Jan. 24,187,770 22,675,494 6.7%
Feb. 25,767,048 24,265,674 6.2%
Mar. 53,815,391 31,541,302 70.6%
Apr. 33,584,310 25,041,493 34.1%


Source: Laredo International Airport

Laredo lands $5M Alamo Drafthouse 

(6/6/2014)

LAREDO - The City of Laredo has issued a building permit for a $5 million, eight-screen Alamo Drafthouse off Eastpoint Dr. and Loop 20.

Construction on the 33,781-sf cinema is expected to start in July and be complete by March 2015.

With close to 250,000 people, Laredo is the second most populous city along the border in Texas.

The project is a perfect fit with the other big box stores along Loop 20, which is also known as the Bob Bullock Loop.

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain started one with small theater in downtown Austin but now has 21 theaters in seven states, including 14 in Texas.

Read more at ValleyCentral and the City of Laredo. Listen to Podcast 218 for this Small Town, Big Deal story and three more!

Major Laredo employers 2014 

(5/6/2014)

LAREDO - The Laredo Development Foundation has released its new 2014 list of major employers. The top five public and private employers are shown below. The major employers list was compiled by the Laredo Development Foundation in February 2014.

Laredo has 29 major employers so be sure to see the link below to the entire list.

Laredo: Major Employers 2014
Private Sector:
Employer Employees
H.E.B. Grocery 1,752
McDonald's Restaurant 1,633
Laredo Medical Center 1,500
Walmart 1,108
Convergys 940
Public Sector:
Employer Employees
United Independent School District 6,140
Laredo Independent School District 4,163
City of Laredo 2,398
Laredo Sector Border Patrol 2,200
US CBP - Customs Field Officers 1,950


Source: Laredo Development Foundation

View the full Laredo Major Employers 2014 (PDF) under the Employment section of Laredo Market Data Sources.

Laredo transfers World Trade Bridge to feds 

(3/19/2014)

LAREDO - The World Trade Bridge has a new owner — the U.S. General Services Administration (USGA). Previously the property was leased by the USGSA from the City of Laredo. The port was legally transferred to the agency Feb. 27.

"Through federal ownership, USGSA is able to save the American taxpayer money and better serve our partner agency, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)," according to the USGSA. Federal ownership of World Trade Bridge allows the USGSA to begin several construction projects.

“By funding the initial construction of the federal inspection facilities to include at World Trade Bridge, the City of Laredo was able to secure its position as the nation’s number one inland port by having all of the necessary facilities on site…," said City Manager Carlos Villarreal.

Since its inception, the World Trade Bridge has become the busiest commercial port on the southwest border. It spans 77 acres with building improvements and crosses 4,300 trucks per day.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Laredo 1,900-bed center to generate $38M 

(3/3/2014)

LAREDO - The Rio Grande Detention Center has been expanded from 1,500 beds to 1,900 beds under a contract with the U.S. Marshals Service. The U.S. Marshals Service is expected to occupy up to 1,228 beds with the remaining 672 beds reserved for ICE.

The 1,900-bed center is expected to generate approximately $38 million in total annualized revenue.

Source: GEO Group Inc.

$125M Webb Pipeline underway near Laredo 

(2/19/2014)

ENCINAL, WEBB COUNTY - Construction has begun on a 24-inch, 94-mile long pipeline capable of transporting 300 million cubic feet daily. Called the Webb pipeline, the project will cost $125 million.

Dallas-based Southcross Energy Partners LP is developing the pipeline, which is expected to come online in fourth quarter 2014.

The pipeline will run rich gas from Webb County near Encinal to McMullen County near Tilden. At Tilden, the pipeline will connect to Southcross’ existing McMullen pipeline, where the company is building a five-mile extension. The endpoint will be Southcross’ processing and fractionation complex near Corpus Christi.

Read more Eagle Ford Texas and at Unconventional Oil & Gas Center.

Laredo International Airport activity report: year-end 2013 

(2/12/2014)

LAREDO - The enplanement and deplanement statistics for Laredo International Airport have been released for year-end 2013.

Enplanements and Deplanements Year-end 2013
  Enplaned Deplaned Change
2013 2012 2013 2012 Enplaned Deplaned
Year-end totals 103,035 96,377 102,218 94,425 6.91% 8.25%


Source: Laredo International Airport

Laredo ports of entry secure $61.6M investment  

(2/4/2014)

LAREDO - The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) will invest $61.6 million for construction in Laredo's Gateway to the Americas (near Convent Avenue) and Juarez-Lincoln Ports of Entry to ease traffic and to help the Department of Homeland Security continue its mission.

The funding will allow the GSA to create:

•  a bus inspection and passenger processing area;
•  pedestrian inspection lanes;
•  an inspection area including luggage x-ray;
•  a waiting area;
•  restrooms; and
•  a canopy for loading and unloading buses.

In 2012, the Juarez-Lincoln Port of Entry processed 38,368 buses, 989,205 bus passengers and 3,360,174 cars making it the busiest bus and the third busiest automobile port in the nation. Since 1995, bus traffic has increased 81 percent and bus passengers increased by 217 percent.

The Gateway to the Americas Port of Entry had 3,552,593 people pass through in 2013. In 2012, 3,206,372 people and 932,847 automobiles passed through making it the fifth busiest pedestrian port in the nation.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will have a dedicated area at the Juarez-Lincoln Port of Entry to perform required bus inspections on a more consistent basis. Additionally, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will have a permanent presence at both ports.

“With these funds, Laredo will be able to modernize the infrastructure and expand the facilities at our bridges. This means pedestrians will no longer have to wait in long lines in the heat and buses and cars will pass more quickly across the border,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar.

Read more at the Laredo Development Foundation and border crossings at Texas A&M University International.

Laredo EB-5: foreign investors to citizenship quicker 

(12/9/2013)

LAREDO - Foreign investors looking to move to Laredo will now be able to gain U.S. citizenship more quickly than the traditional process.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services recently granted the City of Laredo EB-5 status, a significant victory for foreign investors and their families.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has granted the City of Laredo EB-5 status, an economic development tool that utilizes foreign investors to fund public and private projects.

A standard EB-5 Visa program allows investors to directly invest into a single business or investment opportunity in order to gain United States resident status. In order to gain permanent citizenship, a foreign investor must invest $500,000 and create ten jobs in three years.

“This is a wonderful and very positive opportunity for the community,” said City Manager Carlos Villarreal. “The City of Laredo will continue to look into programs offered by USCIS in the future which could have an economic impact.”

Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as EB-5, in 1990 to stimulate the economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Cotulla $9M airport expansion magic line 

(11/25/2013)

COTULLA, LA SALLE COUNTY - The $9 million expansion project at the Cotulla-La Salle County Airport is underway. The project will help the airport expand its runway from 5,000 to 6,000 feet, build a parallel taxiway and double the amount of parking space.

Once the project is complete, a plane as large as a Gulfstream G550 will be able to take off and land in Cotulla, said E.T. Page, airport manager. The maximum takeoff weight of a G550 is 91,000 pounds, with a landing weight of 75,300 pounds.

“It doesn’t sound like much but it’s kind of a magic dividing line to get the bigger jets in here,” said Page. “They will be able to take on as much fuel as they need to get to their next stop. Right now, we’re just too short to take on heavier planes. Now with 6,000 feet, they’ll have plenty of room.”

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Laredo breaks ground on Cielito Lindo extension 

(11/15/2013)

LAREDO - The Cielito Lindo extension project is underway by the City of Laredo. The project will extend the roadway from Ejido Ave. to Bob Bullock Loop 20, providing an alternative north-south route and smoother traffic flow on both Ejido and Hwy. 83.

The extension should enhance traffic mobility in South Laredo.

An added benefit of the project, according to a city news release, will be the potential for further commercial and residential development along the roadway.

The cost for the project will total $1.9 million. Land for the road extension was donated by Rosendo Carranco of Cielito Lindo Ltd.; Gerardo G. Salinas of Village 83 South Ltd.; and Mike Link of Team Iron Angel Ltd.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

To see some benefits of the extension, see Laredo retail flourishes along Bob Bullock Loop.

Laredo veterans honored with new clinic  

(11/15/2013)

LAREDO - The new 18,500-sf Laredo VA Outpatient Clinic has opened its doors at 4602 N. Bartlett Ave to expand crucial medical services to local veterans.

The new clinic, which is double the size of the existing one, will offer services such as primary care, mental health, women’s health, telemedicine and podiatry.

While Laredo does have an existing VA clinic, many services were not available, which forced veterans to seek care hours away in San Antonio.

Land donated to the UT Health Sciences Center San Antonio by the City of Laredo and the Laredo International Airport made the clinic possible.

Laredo is part of the Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System, a VA network with hospitals and clinics in Laredo, Corpus Christi, Harlingen and McAllen.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Laredo retail flourishes along Bob Bullock Loop 

(11/13/2013)

LAREDO - During the past several years, Laredo’s retail sector has experienced tremendous growth, according to Rolando Ortiz of Killam Development. Retail stores and restaurants are finding the Bob Bullock Loop (Loop 20) that connects I-35 to South Laredo to be an attractive alternative to the existing I-35 corridor.

The major retail corridor in Laredo has been I-35, which serves the Mexican shoppers as they visit Laredo from Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey. However, since the development of Loop 20, a shift in retail clusters along the loop has brought in local shoppers and growing number of Mexican shoppers.

The City of Laredo recently sold 79 acres across from Laredo International Airport off Loop 20 to Laredo Town Center LP. The property will be developed into a shopping center.

The City of Laredo and the Horizon Group Inc. partnership will also bring in an outlet center. Plans are to redevelop the old River Drive Mall, which was built back in the 1970s along the banks of the Rio Grande. The first phase will total 350,000 sf and add 1,200 permanent jobs and 1,600 seasonal jobs.

Killam Development Ltd. recently completed construction of the 70,000-sf first phase of their projected 350,000-sf Paseo Casa Blanca Shopping Center located off Loop 20.

Conns Home Plus will anchor this first phase of Paseo Casa Blanca with a 40,000-sf store scheduled to open in mid-November this year.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Laredo industrial permit values Jan.-Aug. 2013 

(10/1/2013)

LAREDO - The City of Laredo released its Jan.-Aug. 2013 industrial permit valuation data.

Laredo Warehouse/Industrial Permit Valuations
  2012 Permits 2013 Permits
Jan. $0 0 $7,397,898 4
Feb. $450,000 1 $2,521,339 1
Mar. $1,560,000 2 $738,000 2
Apr. $11,084,992 5 $10,284,800 5
May $2,838,825 1 $5,396,260 4
June $122,400 1 $4,533,640 1
July $0 0 $3,798,110 4
Aug. $0 0 $19,038,611 7
Total $16,056,217 10 $53,708658 28


Source: City of Laredo

See more news at Laredo NewsTalk Texas.

Laredo single-family permits build up: Jan.-Aug. 2013 

(9/30/2013)

LAREDO - The City of Laredo has released August 2013 single-family housing permit valuation data.

Laredo Single-Family Housing Permit Valuations
  2012 Units 2013 Units
Jan. $8,508,614 60 $8,303,158 53
Feb. $9,514,523 63 $9,582,910 67
Mar. $9,849,036 69 $11,286,406 74
Apr. $9,769,238 65 $11,614,995 77
May $6,762,737 43 $9,849,014 73
June $11,203,242 70 $9,255,818 66
July $8,007,144 53 $10,116,073 67
Aug. $8,489,685 67 $8,603,380 53
Total YTD $72,104,219 490 $78,917,786 533


Source: City of Laredo

Laredo multifamily permits August 2013 

(9/23/2013)

LAREDO - The City of Laredo has released its August 2013 multifamily permit valuation data.

Laredo Multifamily Permit Valuations/Units
  2012 Units 2013 Units
Jan. $18,625,474 296 $1,601,026 28
Feb. $12,500,000 224 $0 0
Mar. $393,522 8 $800,992 14
Apr. $816,672 16 $5,416,576 108
May $0 0 $10,458,660 136
June $2,105,299 42 $5,384,425 46
July $1,169,059 20 $92,000 4
Aug. $0 0 $225,058 10
Total YTD $35,610,026 626 $23,978,737 346


Source: City of Laredo

Laredo International Airport activity report: July 2013 

(9/9/2013)

LAREDO - The enplanement and deplanement statistics for Laredo International Airport have been released through July 2013.

Enplanements and Deplanements 2013
Month Enplaned Deplaned Change
2013 2012 2013 2012 Enplaned Deplaned
Jan. 6,914 7,037 7,057 7,218 -1.75% -2.23%
Feb. 6,126 6,687 5,903 6,507 -8.39% -9.28%
Mar. 7,864 8,590 7,754 7,929 -8.45% -2.21%
April 7,503 6,909 7,517 7,030 8.60% 6.93%
May 8,236 7,580 7,864 7,172 8.65% 9.65%
June 11,755 10,358 10,732 9,428 13.49% 13.83%
July 13,427 11,693 13,138 11,711 14.83% 12.19%
Total 61,825 58,854 59,965 56,995 5.05% 5.21%


Source: Laredo International Airport

Laredo industrial snapshot: 1Q 2013 

(9/3/2013 8:01:00 AM)

LAREDO - South Texas Commercial Real Estate has compiled an overview of Laredo's industrial market for first quarter 2013. Here's a taste of what you will find in the full report at Laredo Market Data Sources.

Laredo Industrial Market Overview
Statistics Industrial
Total SF 35,267,224 SF
Vacancy rate 3.43%
Under construction* 255,000 SF
Standard Class A/B rent rate** $0.32 to $0.38/SF/Month
Standard Class C rent rate** $0.20 to $0.30/SF/Month
Net absorption 18,532 SF
Gross absorption 258,232 SF

*Includes speculative construction, owner occupied construction, and build to suit for lease construction
**Average Lease Rate (NNN Lease) will vary based on size and quality of building, location of building, lease term, financial strength of tenant, and improvements required by tenant

Source: South Texas Commercial Real Estate

For the full 1Q 2013 report, see industrial under Laredo Market Data Sources!

Independence Plaza sold in Laredo to ... 

(7/12/2013 10:00:00 AM)

LAREDO - Independence Plaza, a 324,000-sf grocery-anchored power center, has been acquired by Weingarten Realty Investors. Independence Plaza is 96 percent leased.

The grocery anchor is a 147,324-sf H-E-B Plus. Other major tenants include T.J. Maxx, Hobby Lobby, Ross, Ulta, Petco, Wells Fargo and Chili’s.

Built by the seller in phases between 2007 and 2013 on 39.6 acres, the property is located at 1911 Bob Bullock Loop just off Interstate 35.

The Laredo MSA has the largest job growth forecast in the nation over the next ten years. The region benefits from jobs created by natural gas exploration in the Eagle Ford Shale Formation and the Port of Laredo which is the nation's largest inland port and handles 60 percent of all U.S. trade with Mexico.

Source: Business Wire

Laredo invests $70M in fine arts, Nixon revamp 

(5/9/2013)

LAREDO - Laredo ISD broke ground on a $70 million construction project to revamp Nixon High School and build a new Vidal M. Treviño School of Communications and Fine Arts.

The $45 million Nixon redesign project will give the nearly 50-year-old, 211,150-sf campus a facelift, mostly consolidating its sprawled out buildings into one U-shaped complex centered on a courtyard.

Across the street, the Vidal M. Treviño school, often called simply VMT, will move from its 820 Main St. location downtown to neighbor the district’s largest high school. The $24 million, 164,413-sf VMT new campus should receive students in fall 2015.

Total campus square footage of the projects is 369,563 sf.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Listen to Podcast 171 for this story...and more!

Laredo International Airport activity falls 

(4/15/2013)

LAREDO - The Laredo International Airport recorded a passenger decrease during the first two months of operation in 2013.

During the months of January and February, the airport recorded departures of 13,040 passengers compared with 13,724 passengers in the first two months of 2012, a 4.9 percent reduction. The airport recorded arrivals of 12,960 compared with 13,725 in 2012, a 5.5 percent reduction.

In January this year there were 6,914 users compared to the 7,037 of the previous year a decrease of 1.75 percent, while in February there were 6,126 users compared to the 6,687 of the previous year an 8.3 percent reduction.

In arrivals there were 7,057 passengers in January against the 7,218 in 2012 a decrease of 2.2 percent. In February, there were 5,903 customers compared with 6,687 in February 2012 a decrease of 9.2 percent.

Read more at The Laredo Sun.

HOLT CAT purrs in Laredo 

(3/28/2013)

LAREDO - HOLT CAT, the Caterpillar Equipment and Engine dealer for South, Central, North and North East Texas, has opened a new 24,000-sf LEED gold certified facility. Value of construction only was $5 million.

The new facility is located in the Las Lomas Industrial Park on State Highway 359.

In addition, the Laredo Community College received a grant check for $4,000 from HOLT CAT and the Caterpillar Dealer Excellence Fund for professional and technical skills training.

Read more at Construction Equipment Guide.

Listen to Podcast 165 for this story...and more!

Eagle Ford Shale creates $61 billion impact 

(3/28/2013)

WEBB COUNTY - The University of Texas at San Antonio’s(UTSA) latest study on the economic impact of the Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas play shows a 20-county area, including Webb, generated about $61 billion in economic impact in 2012 and about 116,000 jobs.

In 2011, the economic impact was about $25.5 billion. At that time, 88 active oil and gas wells were in Webb County. In total, county governments impacted by the lucrative fracking industry earned about $1 billion from the oil and gas industry last year.

The study estimates continued growth, with the industry’s economic impact increasing from about $61 billion to almost $90 billion by 2022.

UTSA’s Institute for Economic Development more closely examined the 14 most active counties: Atascosa, Bee, DeWitt, Dimmit, Frio, Gonzalez, Karnes, La Salle, Live Oak, Maverick, McMullen, Webb, Wilson and Zavala.

Other industries are also expected to flourish there in ten years’ time.

An estimated 6,000 workers will provide repair and construction for structures needed to support the industry at that time, the study modestly predicts. The fifth largest industry in those counties is expected to be the food service industry, employing about 4,000 people.

The study also notes Webb County maintained a constant 75 percent occupancy rate at hotels in 2012. Laredo Convention and Visitors Bureau data shows the more dramatic surge in hotel occupancy rates began in about 2009 after a sharp decline.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Laredo single-family & multifamily permit report: Jan. 2013 

(2/22/2013)

LAREDO - The Laredo Development Foundation has released building permit data for Jan.-Dec. 2012.

Single-family and Multifamily Permit Valuations
  Single-Family
and Two-Family
Multifamily
2012 2012
  Units Value Units Value
Jan. 60 $8,508,614 296 $18,625,474
Feb. 62 $9,311,088 224 $12,500,000
March 69 $9,849,036 8 $393,522
April 65 $9,769,238 22 $816,672
May 43 $6,762,737 - $0
June 70 $11,203,242 42 $2,105,299
July 53 $8,007,144 20 $1,169,059
Aug. 67 $8,489,685 - $0
Sep. 71 $9,719,594 36 $1,672,561
Oct. 61 $9,583,643 - $2,980,504
Nov. 47 $6,523,894 - $0
Dec. 42 $6,269,387 4 $215,222
Total 710 $103,997,302 632 $40,478,313


Source: City of Laredo

Laredo commercial retail permit report: Jan. 2013 

(2/21/2013)

LAREDO - The Laredo Development Foundation has released building permit data for January 2013.

Commercial Retail
Permit Valuation
  2012 2013
Jan. $2,196,400 $4,461,984
Feb. $1,082,000 -
March $4,730,200 -
April $150,000 -
May $5,904,281 -
June $975,258 -
July $750,000 -
Aug. $22,876,771 -
Sep. $206,149    -
Oct. $516,519    -
Nov. $920,235    -
Dec. $1,902,045 -
Total $42,209,858 $4,461,984


Source: Laredo Development Foundation

Laredo International Airport stats: Dec. 2012 

(2/21/2013)

LAREDO - The cargo report for Laredo International Airport has been released through December 2012.

Cargo Report
Month 2012 2011 Change
Jan. 31,020,658 33,187,632 -6.53%
Feb. 33,464,874 34,571,850 -3.20%
Mar. 41,321,649 47,140,632 -12.34%
April 40,303,975 40,588,666 -0.70%
May 42,462,361 32,326,302 31.36%
June 45,548,311 40,635,300 12.09%
July 28,578,744 33,079,870 -13.61%
Aug. 46,431,879 46,669,719 -0.51%
Sept. 35,851,681 45,251,786 -20.77%
Oct. 42,663,494 35,027,218 21.80%
Nov. 41,430,957 30,516,223 35.77%
Dec. 33,971,540 39,968,438 -15.00%


Source: Laredo International Airport

Laredo International Airport cargo report: Dec. 2012 

(2/21/2013)

LAREDO - The enplanement and deplanement statistics for Laredo International Airport have been released through December 2012.

Enplanements and Deplanements 2012
Month Enplaned Deplaned Change
2012 2011 2012 2011 Enplaned Deplaned
Jan. 7,037 8,348 7,218 9,040 -15.70% -20.15%
Feb. 6,687 6,276 6,507  6,243 6.55% 4.23%
Mar. 8,590 7,772 7,929 7,761 10.52% 2.16%
April 6,909 7,696 7,030 7,133 -10.23% -1.44%
May 7,580 7,955 7,172 7,674 -4.71% -6.54%
June 10,358 9,921 9,428 8,821 4.40% 6.88%
July 11,693 11,520 11,711 11,088 1.50% 5.62%
Aug. 9,076 9,073 9,800 10,153 0.03% -3.48%
Sept. 6,824 8,776 6,914 8,450 -22.24% -18.18%
Oct. 6,588 7,340 6,302 7,224 -10.25% -12.76%
Nov. 7,193 7,377 6,974 7,339 -2.49% -4.97%
Dec. 7,988  7,839 7,559 7,287 1.90% 3.73%
Total 96,523 99,893 94,544 98,213 -3.37% -3.74%


Source: Laredo International Airport

What's fostering growth in Laredo? 

(2/14/2013 7:00:00 AM)

LAREDO - With Laredo's prime location on the U.S./Mexico border, access to Interstate 35, and both Union Pacific and Kansas City Southern rail lines, international trade is the city's major industry.

The City of Laredo’s economic conditions support growth, according to Timothy Franciscus-Timm, marketing manager for the City of Laredo.

With all of the trade comes a need for warehousing on the U.S. side and manufacturing facilities on the Mexican side. The industrial vacancy rate is 2.5 percent, with a market size of 35 million sf, according to Carlo Molano of Best/White Real Estate.

With the city’s proximity to the Eagle Ford Shale Play, the City of Laredo built 200 residential lots in 2012, and will build 200 to 300 more in 2013, according to Pat Murphy, vice president of San Isidro Management.

In 2010, the apartment occupancy rate was 96.2 percent. In 2011, apartment occupancy still held strong at 96 percent, even with a 3.5 percent increase in average rent.

Read more at REBusinessOnline.com.

Listen to Podcast 160 for this story...and more!

TAMIU down to business online in Laredo 

(1/6/2013)

LAREDO - Texas A&M International University’s A.R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business is staking its claim on the future by supplementing its degree programs with online programs with wide appeal for both local and global graduate students.

The school will offer online MBA programs with an International Business concentration in English and Spanish, according to Stephen Sears, the business school’s dean.

The online Spanish MBA will take the place of the current on-site program, which will be phased out after spring 2013. The online English MBA supplements the on-site English MBA program, which continues.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Select Energy spurs Laredo jobs 

(12/6/2012)

LAREDO - The City of Laredo has entered into an economic development grant agreement, which includes about $90,000 in tax incentives, with Select Energy Services who in turn pledged to the city a $6 million capital investment as they expand to a new site on Mines Rd.

The agreement will bring more than 100 middle-class jobs to the city. Select’s contract with the city stipulates it must retain within the city at least 149 jobs until 2018.

Most of the new positions will not require a college degree or vocational training and boast an average salary of $40,000 plus benefits, according to Barry Gilpin, Select Southwest Texas regional operations manager.

The Select expansion will provide oilfield services to sites in Webb, Zapata, La Salle, Dimmit, Maverick and Frio.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Laredo unemployment reaches new lows 

(11/29/2012)

LAREDO - The October 2012 unemployment rate for Laredo fell to 6.3 percent from 6.4 percent in September, one of the lowest figures in 2012, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

In 30 days, 300 jobs were created registering 100 fewer unemployed persons in the city.

The Eagle Ford Shale industry is generating more jobs in this area, which helps to lower unemployment, according to Raul Salinas, the city’s mayor.

For more on workforce data, see the Texas Workforce Commission.

Read more at the Laredo Sun.

Border Patrol to bring center to Laredo 

(11/28/2012)

LAREDO - The U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be expanding the Centers of Excellence and Expertise, which will create six new centers in 2013, including one in Laredo.

The virtual centers will provide one-stop processing to lower the trade’s cost of business, provide greater consistency and predictability and enhance CBP enforcement efforts.

The centers are for the agriculture and prepared products; apparel, footwear and textiles; base metals; consumer products and mass merchandising; industrial and manufacturing materials and machinery industries.

The center to be established in Laredo will be for machinery industries.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Con Way transports new office, jobs to Laredo 

(11/26/2012)

LAREDO - Con Way — a leading transport company in the domestic and international markets — will sign an agreement with the city to build offices in Laredo and create 50 new jobs in exchange for tax incentives.

The company will locate in a large building in the area of Mines Rd. The project should be completed in two years and will create 50 new jobs.

Con Way agreed to invest approximately $4.4 million in the construction of its new operating offices in Laredo and in return will receive nearly $33,000 in reimbursement for various municipal permits.

They will receive a waiver of $30,755 in property taxes over a period of five years when they comply with the commitments made, especially the creation of 50 full-time jobs.

Read more at the The Laredo Sun.

Millionaire expansion for US 83 in Laredo 

(11/15/2012)

LAREDO - Construction has begun on expanding US 83 north. The $14.8 million project will cover US 83 north from I-35 to the town of Asherton.

In total, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will build nine passing lanes, known as super lanes 2, six of which will be within the territory of Webb and Dimmit County, two more will be south of Catarina and one of the structures will be between Catarina and Asherton, which will help alleviate traffic in both directions.

The project is expected to be complete by March 2014, according to the TxDOT.

Read more at the Laredo Sun.

Laredo educational attainment 2012-2017 

(11/8/2012)

LAREDO - Educational attainment data for 2012 and a projection for 2017 are available for Laredo at Texas Site Search.

Laredo Educational Attainment
  2012 2017 (Projection)
  Total % Total %
Population age 25 + 133,706 - 149,222 -
< Grade 9 30,089 22.5 33,674 22.57
Grade 9-12 19,038 14.24 21,372 14.32
High school 28,503 21.32 31,964 21.42
Some college 24,998 18.7 27,854 18.67
Associate degree 8,431 6.31 9,375 6.28
Bachelor degree 16,730 12.51 18,455 12.37
Graduate degree 5,918 4.43 6,529 4.38


For more, go to Texas Site Search and click on Community Profiles.

Laredo housing numbers 2012-2017 

(11/6/2012)

LAREDO - Total number of housing data for 2012 and projections for 2017 are available for Laredo at Texas Site Search. In addition, community details are available as shown below.

Laredo Number of Housing
  2012 2017 (Projection)
  Total % Total %
Owner-occupied 42,505 63.70 46,834 63.62
Renter-occupied 24,222 36.30 26,786 36.38
Housing units occupied 66,727 93.29 73,620 95.06
Total dwellings 71,527 - 77,447 -

 

2012 Laredo Community Details
Population 245,563
Labor force 109,560
Job growth rate 61.84%
Unemployment
rate
6.77%
Median age 27.21


For demographics, spending and more see Texas Site Search and click on Community Profiles.

Laredo household income 2012-2017 

(11/5/2012)

LAREDO - Household income distribution data for 2012 and a projection for 2017 are available for Laredo at Texas Site Search.

Laredo Household Income Distribution
  2012 2017 (Projection)
  Total % Total %
<$10 K 7,123 10.67 7,253 9.85
$10-$20K 11,029 16.53 11,121 15.11
$20-$30K 8,341 12.5 8,683 11.79
$30-$40K 8,172 12.25 8,258 11.22
$40-$50K 6,380 9.56 6,679 9.07
$50-$60K 5,014 7.51 5,130 6.97
$60-$75K 5,760 8.63 6,643 9.02
$75-$100K 6,603 9.9 7,913 10.75
> $100K 8,305 12.45 11,941 16.22


Source: Texas Site Search

Gates swing open to new Laredo community 

(10/31/2012)

LAREDO - La Terraza, an affordable housing community located in South Laredo, officially opened its gates. The complex features 128 one-to-four-bedroom units, a clubhouse, a resort-style pool and a classroom for after-school programs. The complex has already reached 98 percent prelease capacity.

The $17 million project was completed in under a year and is the fruit of a partnership among the city’s Laredo Public Facilities Corporation, Ejido Holdings and NRP Group. The city used federal grant money to fund the project while NRP secured $16 million in private investments.

NRP group has partnered with local organizations to provide after-school programs where students are assisted with homework.

See 'New units filling up fast in South Laredo' from NewsTalk Texas.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Laredo International Airport Sept. stats 

(10/19/2012)

LAREDO - The enplanement and deplanement statistics and cargo report for Laredo International Airport have been released through September 2012.

Enplanements and Deplanements 2012
Month Enplaned Deplaned Change
2012 2011 2012 2011 Enplaned Deplaned
Mar. 8,590 7,772 7,929 7,761 10.52% 2.16%
April 6,909 7,696 7,030 7,133 -10.23% -1.44%
May 7,580 7,955 7,172 7,674 -4.71% -6.54%
June 10,358 9,921 9,428 8,821 4.40% 6.88%
July 11,693 11,520 11,711 11,088 1.50% 5.62%
Aug. 9,076 9,073 9,800 10,153 0.03% -3.48%
Sept. 6,824 8,776 6,914 8,450 -22.24% -18.18%

Cargo Report
Month 2012 2011 Change
Mar. 38,751,149 47,140,632 -17.80%
April 39,156,475 40,588,666 -3.53%
May 41,686,861 32,326,302 28.96%
June 42,369,311 40,635,300 4.27%
July 28,578,744 33,079,870 -13.61%
Aug. 46,431,879 46,669,719 -0.51%
Sept. 34,723,546 45,251,786 -23.27%


Source: Laredo International Airport

National ranking: TAMIU in top 10 percent 

(10/18/2012)

LAREDO - Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) has been ranked in the top 10 percent nationally of Master’s Universities, according to Washington Monthly Magazine for its 2012 College Rankings.

TAMIU’s ranking (41 out of 682 institutions) is based on the university’s contribution in three broad categories: Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students); Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs); and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).

Read more at the Laredo Sun.

DHL delivers 250,000 SF to Laredo 

(10/16/2012)

LAREDO - Exel — a wholly owned subsidiary of logistics company Deutsche Post DHL — opened its new 250,000-sf distribution center on October 12 to support cross-border trade between the United States and Mexico. The $10.4 million facility is located at 7802 W. Bob Bullock Loop.

The company hired nearly 100 people to provide international supply-chain management services for the technology, automotive, engineering and manufacturing industries.

The new site, which averages 3,600 outbound loads per month, offers comprehensive managed transportation services, cross-docking, U.S. and Mexico customs brokerage, Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), and value-added services such as classification.

The facility includes sustainability design elements such as energy efficient lighting, sky lights, low-flow plumbing, a white roof system, storm water runoff containment, and a recycling program. The company has applied for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the site.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal and Exel. Want more Laredo news? See NewsTalk Texas.

17,000-SF crime lab heads to Laredo 

(10/9/2012)

LAREDO - Construction is underway on the $6.1 million Laredo crime lab. The 17,143-sf facility is expected to be complete in September 2013. The initial staffing level is to be ten lab employees with room to increase to 15 employees.

Services offered in the Laredo lab will be controlled substance analysis, firearms/tool mark examinations and serology/DNA analysis; all provided at no cost to law enforcement agencies.

Law enforcement officers served by the Laredo crime lab will no longer have to submit evidence for these services to existing labs located 100-150 miles from Laredo.

Read more at the Laredo Sun.

New units filling up fast in South Laredo  

(10/4/2012)

LAREDO - With construction still underway on the $17.3 million La Terraza in Lomas del Sur, 50 percent of the complex has been rented. The 128-unit, eight-building apartment complex — located at 3201 S. Ejido Ave. — offers one, two, three and four bedrooms.

The 130,000-sf complex was developed by City of Laredo and the NRP Group.

To qualify for the Lomas del Sur housing project, applicants must have a steady job as a primary requirement.

Read more at the Laredo Sun.

Listen to Podcast 145 for this story...and more!

Laredo International Airport Aug. stats 

(9/27/2012)

LAREDO - The enplanement and deplanement statistics and cargo report for Laredo International Airport have been released through August 2012.

Enplanements and Deplanements 2012
Month Enplaned Deplaned Change
2012 2011 2012 2011 Enplaned Deplaned
Mar. 8,590 7,772 7,929 7,761 10.52% 2.16%
April 6,909 7,696 7,030 7,133 -10.23% -1.44%
May 7,580 7,955 7,172 7,674 -4.71% -6.54%
June 10,358 9,921 9,428 8,821 4.40% 6.88%
July 11,693 11,520 11,711 11,088 1.50% 5.62%
Aug. 9,076 9,073 9,800 10,153 0.03% -3.48%

Cargo Report
Month 2012 2011 Change
Mar. 38,751,149 47,140,632 -17.80%
April 39,156,475 40,588,666 -3.53%
May 41,686,861 32,326,302 28.96%
June 42,369,311 40,635,300 4.27%
July 28,578,744 33,079,870 -13.61%
Aug. 46,431,879 46,669,719 -0.51%


Source: Laredo International Airport

Traffic increases across border in Laredo 

(9/20/2012)

LAREDO - Around 11,000 vehicles with import and export commercial loads use the World Trade International Bridge on a daily basis.

During 2012, there has been an increase on the regular load for the "Fast and Express" lane, according to Alfredo Espinoza Elizondo, director of the World Trade International Bridge Trust in Nuevo Laredo.

Currently, up to 6,000 exportation vehicles can travel across the bridge, but once three new lanes become active in October 2012 that number could increase to 8,000. The Mexican side of the bridge has nine entry lanes and soon will have seven exit lanes.

The new lanes will boost capacity to last at least another ten more years, according to Elizondo.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Lowest unemployment rate for Laredo 

(9/18/2012)

LAREDO - In July 2012, Laredo had an unemployment rate of 7.8 percent, other border cities recorded double digits with unemployment rates above 10 percent, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

El Paso recorded an unemployment rate of 10.1 percent for July and 10.2 percent for June 2012.

The combination of Brownsville and Harlingen recorded 11.6 percent unemployment for July, while a month earlier their rate was 11.5, to remain among the highest in the state.

The triple combination of McAllen, Edinburg and Mission had an unemployment rate of 12.3 percent in July and 12 percent in June to be the highest in the entire state of Texas just below Brownsville.

In July 2012, the state of Texas had an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent while Laredo had 7.6 percent in June, very close to the state average. The United States registered an unemployment rate of 8.6 percent.

Read more at the Laredo Sun.

ASE certification revs up Laredo CC 

(9/13/2012)

LAREDO - Laredo Community College (LCC) and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) have joined forces to give local automotive technicians a more convenient way to become ASE-certified professionals.

The Assessment Center at the LCC South Campus is now an official Prometric Testing Center for ASE certifications. Anyone with at least two years of experience in the automotive repair field can get ASE certified in any of the more than 40 areas of expertise offered.

Students who have graduated with a two-year degree from the LCC Transportation Technology program are allowed to waiver one year of working experience from the certification criteria.

Read more at the Laredo Sun.

Enrollment up at TAMIU 

(9/12/2012 9:00:00 AM)

LAREDO - Enrollment has increased 4.7 percent with an unofficial enrollment of 7,367, up from 7,037 in fall 2011, according to Ray Keck, president of Texas A&M International University (TAMIU).

TAMIU has been heralded for its low cost by both CNN and The New York Times and was named the state’s leading producer of degrees for Latino students by the Texas Higher Education Journal.

This semester, the school attracted over 2,300 first-time students, according to Keck.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

TAMIU nursing degree now online 

(9/4/2012 8:00:00 AM)

LAREDO - Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) now offers an online bachelors of science in nursing, a program designed to take 18 months to complete as well as meet rising industry demands by producing more qualified nurses.

Texas A&M International University’s degree plan enables registered nurses who hold either an associate’s degree in nursing or a nursing diploma to earn bachelor’s degrees.

Both the Texas Nurses Association and the American Nurses Association are calling for associate’s degree-holding nurses and diploma-holding nurses to earn a bachelor’s of science in nursing, according to a TAMIU press release.

As activity in the Eagle Ford Shale ticks up, TAMIU officials expect the need for qualified nurses in towns such as Cotulla to rise.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Hard to find home rentals in Laredo 

(8/16/2012 9:15:00 AM)

LAREDO - The home rental market is going strong, thanks to an influx of contracted government employees who prefer to rent. Laredo home sales increased 4.46 percent and the median price increased 8 percent in second quarter 2012, according to the Texas Quarterly Housing Report by the Texas Association of Realtors.

Local realtors say rental homes are flying off the market, a trend that has been seen elsewhere in Texas. Inventory has almost quadrupled between homes leased between July 2010 to July 2011 and July 2011 to July 2012.

A year ago, a three-bedroom, two-bath house on the Northside leased for an average price of $1,293 per month, according to Lizbeth Uribe, president of the Laredo Association of Realtors.

Today, the same type of house leases for about $1,509 per month. In Central/South Laredo, a similar home, from July 2011 to July 2012, leased for around $999 a month.

Howard Moreno, an owner of The Dorel Apartments, which started going up three years ago in Laredo at 302 Bob Bullock Loop, said the city apartment occupancy rate is at 97 to 98 percent.

Moreno said another 400 to 450 units will be brought into the market over the next year, but there will still be a shortage.

In the year following that, another 300 to 350 units are expected to go up.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Listen to Podcast 139 for this story...and more! Read more Laredo news at NewsTalk Texas.

Laredo firefighters premiere new building 

(7/19/2012)

LAREDO - The Laredo Fire Department has opened its new 40,000-sf building at 616 E. Del Mar.

The $8.5 million administrative building, located in the northern part of the city, is now occupied but the formal opening ceremony will not be held until September 11. Construction began in early 2011.

All department administrative functions will be consolidated into this location, which will also house training facilities.

Read more at the Laredo Sun.

Laredo community center, library news 

(7/5/2012)

LAREDO - Construction on the $6.5 million Northwest community center and $4.6 million South Laredo Public Library could begin under a new contractor by August and be completed by the end of the year or first part of 2013.

The community center will encompass 47,000 sf at 15201 Cerralvo Dr.

The two-story public library will be located at US 83 and Palo Blanco St.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Lewis Energy expands in Encinal  

(6/28/2012)

ENCINAL, LA SALLE COUNTY - The Lewis Energy Operations Center serves as the base in South Texas for drilling, pipe fabrication, hydraulic fracturing, vehicle maintenance and administration, with an expanded operations center at 655 Encinal Blvd.

The center has gone from 200 employees to 1,200 in a two-year period. More than 60 percent are from Laredo and earning an average of $16 per hour.

The area is experiencing a housing shortage while permanent housing developments are being created. An average of $8 million a month is paid out to about 1,000 vendors, ranging from trailer owners and truckers to suppliers and caterers.

Shale gas is projected to drive a 50 percent increase in natural gas production in the U.S.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

More Dorel coming with 224 units in Laredo 

(6/19/2012)

LAREDO - The $18 million third phase of The Dorel Apartments is underway at 302 Bob Bullock. The 224 units will consist of one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 652 sf to 1,183 sf.

Amenities include on-site child care and a fitness center. Delivery of the first units of the ten-building complex will start in September with the last apartment building set for May 2013.

The Dorel Apartments is a $58 million, 584-unit community situated on approximately 42 acres at the center of the Laredo metropolitan area. The development entity for this property is Dorel Laredo Holdings LLC which is headquartered in Farmingdale, NY.

Phase 4 (the remaining 160 units) is slated to start construction in early 2013 and be completed in early 2014. When finished in 2014 the property will include the leasing office and 29 three-story buildings.

Rents range from $725 per month for a one-bedroom unit; $925 for two-bedroom units; and $1,075 for three-bedroom units. Rents for Phase 3 will be higher.

Source: The Dorel

$3.3M funds Laredo airport work 

(6/4/2012)

LAREDO - The City of Laredo has received about $3.3 million in federal aid to fund improvements at Laredo International Airport.

The funds will be used to support an ongoing project to rehabilitate the airport’s apron and will help reimburse the City of Laredo for costs expended on the airport, including the construction of a new airport rescue and firefighting station.

An apron is the surface on which airplanes park to undergo service and pick up passengers and cargo. The new aprons will require less maintenance, increase safety, and allow the airport to handle 737 and 757 aircraft.

The airport recently completed a renovation of runways and taxiways. Since 2009, the airport has received more than $50 million in federal funds.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Life in the fast lane: three booths set to open in Laredo 

(6/1/2012)

LAREDO - The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection is set to open three new crossing booths at the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge, bringing the total to 15 open booths.

The booths are expected to be open in late June, when visitors from Mexico increase. Since February 2011, the bridge has seen a 9 percent increase in vehicles and people crossing into the United States. There has also been an increase in the number of permits for tourists.

In addition to the three booths at Juarez-Lincoln, four booths will open at the Gateway to the Americas International Bridge and four more at the Colombia Solidarity International Bridge.

Read more at the Laredo Sun.

Laredo International Airport April stats 

(5/20/2012)

LAREDO - The enplanement and deplanement statistics and cargo report for Laredo International Airport have been released through April 2012.

Enplanements and Deplanements 2012
Month Enplaned Deplaned Change
2012 2011 2012 2011 Enplaned Deplaned
Jan. 7,037 8,348 7,218 9,040 -15.70% -20.15%
Feb. 6,687 6,276 6,507 6,243 6.55% 4.23%
Mar. 8,590 7,772 7,929 7,761 10.52% 2.16%
Apr. 6,875 7,696 7,030 7,133 -10.67% -1.44%

Cargo Report
Month 2012 2011 Change
Jan. 31,020,658 33,187,632 -6.53%
Feb. 33,464,874 34,555,850 -3.16%
Mar. 41,214,097 47,076,632 -12.45%
April 40,015,708 40,588,666 -1.41%


Source: Laredo International Airport

Whitetail electrifies Webb County 

(5/16/2012)

WEBB COUNTY - Whitetail Wind Energy has approval to build a $120 million wind farm project consisting of 57 turbines north of Oilton.

The construction phase of the project will employ 125 workers, according to Dan King, Whitetail’s project development manager. Three out of five jobs will be hired locally and the project would create five permanent positions.

Whitetail agreed to a 25-year purchase agreement with Austin Energy for the wind farm, which will produce 92 megawatts of wind energy annually. However, most of the site’s energy production will serve Laredo and the surrounding grid.

The company will contribute $600,000 toward infrastructure and water projects in Oilton, Bruni and Mirando City and also agreed to provide $300,000 for a new county building. Local landowners will receive royalty payments.

Whitetail plans to begin construction in second half 2012.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Laredo: lowest unemployment in the border 

(5/7/2012)

LAREDO - For the first time in over two years, the unemployment rate in Laredo fell below 7 percent, the lowest in the Texas-Mexico border. The report of the Workforce Commission of Texas indicated that in March 2012, Laredo had an available workforce of 102,600 of which 500 were employed and 7,100 were unemployed for a 6.9 percent of unemployment.

In February, the city recorded 102,700 people in the civilian labor force, with 95,300 who were employed, 7,400 were unemployed for a 7.2 percent of unemployment.

Read more at The Laredo Sun.

Laredo population: July 2011 

(4/10/2012)

LAREDO - The U.S. Census Bureau has released population estimates for July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011 by Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and by county.

Population Estimates by MSA
  2010 2011 % Change
Laredo MSA 251,527 256,496 2.0
County:
Webb 251,527 256,496 2.0


Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Care for veterans in Laredo 

(4/4/2012)

LAREDO - A new 18,500-sf Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic underway at Bartlett Ave. and Pappas St., will expand primary care services to include mental health, nutrition, women’s health, podiatry, dental and other services.

The new facility will replace the existing 10,000-sf VA clinic, located on Star Court off Calle Del Norte Rd. The contract for the project was awarded to U.S. Fed Properties Inc. which specializes in developing single-tenant buildings leased by the federal government.

The builder-funded project will entail $896,000 annual rent for ten years and another option for an additional ten years. The clinic is expected to open in early 2013.

Read more at Laredo Morning Times.

La Terraza at Lomas del Sur groundbreaking in Laredo 

(3/28/2012)

LAREDO - The 128-unit La Terraza at Lomas del Sur, 3201 S. Ejido Ave., has broken ground on an income-based affordable housing development. The $17.3 million development offers one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom units ranging from 712 sf to 1,561 sf, according to Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

The 9.5-acre site includes eight buildings totaling 133,160 sf. Amenities include a clubhouse, fitness center, and programs, such as their “Homework First” program that offers safe, educational after school activities.

Source: La Terraza at Lomas del Sur

Exel excels with $10M Laredo warehouse 

(3/27/2012)

LAREDO – The $10.4 million Exel Inc. warehouse distribution center is well underway at 7802 W. Bob Bullock Loop. The 252,000-sf Embarcadero Commerce Center Building 7 is expected to be completed in July 2012.

Exel, an Ohio-based company, already employs 29 workers at an existing Laredo location. The 100 jobs the company plans to add will have an average salary of $11.33 per hour.

The new Laredo warehouse will primarily serve the technology, automotive, engineering and manufacturing sectors. The warehouse in West Laredo is being built for LEED certification, a sustainable building designation.

Source: Exel

$50M in housing for Carrizo Springs 

(3/27/2012)

CARRIZO SPRINGS, DIMMIT COUNTY - Target Logistics has completed work on the $50 million first phase of its Carrizo Springs Lodge. Located at 3718 US 277, the property will help to address the housing shortage in the Eagle Ford shale play, according to a company press release.

The Carrizo Springs Lodge — which currently employs 30 people — includes the following features:

  • 300 private rooms;
  • 24-hour dining service;
  • game and recreation room; and
  • free self-service laundry.


Target has been in the remote housing business for ten years and works with Houston clients such as Halliburton Co., Schlumberger Ltd., Superior Energy Services Inc. and Marathon Oil Corp.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Shoot the hoop as Laredo $14M Haynes center opens 

(3/23/2012 9:00:00 AM)

LAREDO - The 54,000-sf James and Maria Luisa Haynes Health and Wellness Center has opened at 2102 Clark Crossing. The center was built by Modern Construction Inc. at a cost of a little less than $14 million.

The facility includes a gym featuring a full basketball court and two half courts, a dance and aerobics room, a weight room, an indoor track and a snack bar. Outside, users will find a pool with three Olympic-size lanes, four tennis courts and racquetball courts, and an outdoor track.

The center also includes a dedicated weight room accessible to people who use wheelchairs as well as a pool outside that was built to zero depth so wheelchair users can lower themselves into the water.

Large skylights and a retractable glass in the gym is one component of the first major City of Laredo building constructed to meet green building standards.

Other sustainable features of the building include two water tanks installed to collect rainwater and recycle it to feed the lawn on the eight-acre property, a “roof garden” with natural vegetation to absorb heat.

Read more at Laredo Morning Times.

Passenger report Feb. Laredo International Airport 

(3/23/2012)

LAREDO - The Laredo International Airport has released the 2011 and 2012 enplanement and deplanement report for all scheduled airlines.

Laredo Enplanement and Deplanement Report
All Scheduled Airlines
Month Enplaned Deplaned Percent Change
2012 2011 2012 2011 Enplaned Deplaned
Jan. 7,037 8,348 7,218 9,040 -15.70% -20.15%
Feb. 6,687 6,276 6,507 6,243 6.55% 4.23%
Total 13,724 14,624 13,725 15,283 -6.15% -10.19%

 

Source: Laredo International Airport.

HOLT CAT digs underway in Laredo 

(3/21/2012 8:00:00 AM)

LAREDO - A new HOLT CAT store is underway at Las Lomas Industrial Park on Texas 359. Located just east of the City of Laredo landfill, the new 24,000-sf facility will occupy about seven acres and will replace the company’s Mines Rd. location.

The company has about 20 employees locally and provides sales, rentals and services for Caterpillar heavy equipment machines, engines and generators. The new facility is expected to double the number of employees, cost $5 million and be completed in January.

The project plans to adhere to gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design guidelines, established by the U.S. Green Building Council, according to Joe Carreon, HOLT marketing manager.

Read more at Laredo Morning Times.

Laredo veterans to receive financial assistance 

(3/21/2012)

LAREDO - Veterans of the greater Laredo area who served their nation through military service will receive financial assistance for a range of everyday needs thanks to a donation by Just Energy.

The Laredo Veterans Coalition will receive a $10,000 donation that will be used to provide financial support to local veterans for needs such as rent and utility assistance, transportation, health care services and more. All the money will go directly to benefit veterans and will not be used for administrative purposes.

Read more at PRNewswire.

$18M first pitch scheduled for Laredo Lemurs 

(3/13/2012 9:00:00 AM)

LAREDO - Construction is nearing completion on the new $18 million multipurpose facility that will be home to Laredo’s professional baseball team, The Laredo Lemurs.

The stadium sits on ten acres with a 20,000-sf kid zone. While the facility has a seating capacity of 6,000, 3,940 seats are fixed with seat backs, arm rests and cup holders.

Grass berms hug the edge of the field, providing accommodations for an additional 2,000 spectators. Between the grass berms is a permanent 90-foot by 40-foot concert stage above the center field wall, bringing stadium capacity to more than 16,000 for non-baseball events.

In addition to hosting both professional and amateur baseball games, about 100 other events, including festivals and concerts, are expected to be held at the stadium, said Mark Schuster, Ventura Sports Group managing partner.

Located behind the Laredo Energy Arena, off of Polaris Dr., the stadium offers separate parking designed to alleviate traffic congestion should events be occurring simultaneously at both the arena and stadium.

First pitch is scheduled for May 17.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Laredo multifamily units rise 2,300 percent 

(2/1/2012 3:00:00 PM)

LAREDO - The U.S. Census Bureau has released December year-to-date multifamily data for Laredo revealing a huge increase in development in 2011 after several down years. Five or more units are listed below. The numbers are prelimiinary and will change.

Laredo 5 + Multifamily Units
Year Units % Change Average Value % Change in
Value
2005 217 - $48,926 -
2006 319 47% $44,840 -8%
2007 250 -22% $59,332 32%
2008 347 39% $57,718 -3%
2009 28 -92% $51,600 -11%
2010 12 -57% $94,700 84%
2011 293 2,342% $70,303 -26%


Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Listen to Podcast 114 for this story...and more!

Mall del Norte in Laredo set for renovation 

(1/25/2012)

LAREDO - CBL & Associates has announced upcoming multimillion-dollar renovations to Mall del Norte at I-35, Mann Rd. and Hillside Rd.

Mall del Norte is a regional shopping destination for south Texas and citizens of Mexico with its closest competition more than 143 miles away.

Located in Webb County, Laredo lies on the Mexican border pulling from a population base of 5.2 million residents of the Mexican cities of Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Saltillo.

Renovations are expected to be completed by the end of 2012.

Read more at CBL & Associates.

$22M expansion, 54 jobs for Laredo Medical Center 

(1/17/2012)

LAREDO – The Laredo Medical Center has unveiled a new intensive care and step-down unit in the latest phase of a $22.5 million expansion project.

The introduction of the 20,000-sf facility, that includes 20 new beds, will both convenience local patients and stimulate job growth.

The intensive care and step-down unit will help better serve a population at disproportionately high risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to hospital officials.

Hospital officials also believe that in addition to being a potential boon to local economic growth, the new unit will fill a void in its health care service. The hospital hopes to add to that staff, with a planned 54 new positions.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Ice cream, gas boom arrive at Las Lomas in Laredo 

(1/10/2012)

LAREDO - Phase II of development at Las Lomas Industrial Park is underway, and project organizers predict South Texas’s gas boom will help bring more companies to the park.

“Laredo seems to be in a prime geographic location to service these oil and gas providers,” said Joseph Mendiola, of the Laredo Development Foundation.

However, that is not to say that all the businesses moving in are oilfield service providers.

Blue Bell Creameries set up a distribution center in the industrial park to better serve the Laredo community. The nearest facility had been more than 300 miles away in Brenham.

Other companies to purchase lots in the park include Guardian Wellhead Protection, HOLT CAT and Pioneer Wireline Services. The park is 450 acres.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

South Texas boom offers opportunities in housing 

(1/2/2012)

SOUTH TEXAS - Many small South Texas communities, where oil and gas drilling is booming, housing — of any sort, be it RVs or single-family homes — can't be added quickly enough.

Then there's the commercial space — or, more accurately, the lack of space for lease or purchase.

Rick Montelongo of San Antonio-based Montelongo Homes and Remodeling, recently organized a seminar for members of the Greater San Antonio Builders Association (GSABA), encouraging local builders to ply their trade in the Eagle Ford Shale counties where boom times are in full swing.

"San Antonio is still not really popping yet," said Montelongo, a former GSABA president. But South Texas is.

Montelongo recently optioned lots in a neighborhood in Pleasanton.

Hotel rooms, apartments, rental homes and boarding houses are full across the constellation of South Texas towns where oil companies have descended to draw gas and oil from the Eagle Ford Shale formation, which sweeps from the border across the state to East Texas.

The Houston-based Remote Logistics International, which offers housing and gourmet dining for oil company workers in far-flung locations across the world, is working to open a site near Carrizo Springs.

It already has an oil field camp in Three Rivers. The new camp will be at the Double C Ranch, known for its hunting, and will have 256 beds in its first phase. Ultimately, the company plans to have 1,000 beds.

Abrego Development Co. is developing 166 acres in Kenedy for 260 homesites and 240 apartment units.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Laredo unemployment down in October 

(11/22/2011)

LAREDO - Laredo’s unemployment rate dropped by half a percentage point to 7.7 percent in October, according to figures from the Texas Workforce Commission.

The Laredo jobless figures are also better than those at the same time in 2010, when the jobless rate was 8.1 percent.

The job growth could likely be attributed to Mexican shoppers fueling the retail sector and the development of the oil and gas-rich Eagle Ford Shale, according to Miguel Conchas, president of the Laredo Chamber of Commerce.

The city was one of only ten metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) to post improved unemployment numbers in October over the same time last year.

All 27 Texas MSAs had lower unemployment from September, however.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Fall registration stagnant at LCC 

(11/2/2011)

LAREDO - After booming during the past several years, fall enrollment at Laredo Community College grew by only 30 students from 10,041 to 10,071.

Those numbers are significantly smaller than 2008 to 2010, when the increase in fall semester enrollment ranged from 5 percent to more than 14 percent.

However, the number of semester credit hours taken by students increased by 1.7 percent compared to last fall, from about 89,620 to 91,120, according to the Vice President for Student Services.

Across Texas, enrollment in public two-year community colleges increased about 6.35 percent compared to last fall.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Laredo's new $13.8M wastewater treatment plant 

(10/28/2011)

LAREDO - A new $13.8 million wastewater treatment plant has opened on Shiloh Rd.

The new plant was built to a capacity of 2.9 million gallons per day but is handling about 1.2 million gallons per day, according to Laredo Utilities Director Tomas Rodriguez.

The new plant is the first in the city to use tertiary filtration, which cleans effluent before it is discharged into the environment.

The new plant replaces a previous plant from 1978, which has ceased operations. The previous plant was operating near capacity before it was closed.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

$13M complex ‘fit’ for Laredo 

(10/25/2011)

LAREDO - A new $13 million, 44,000-sf sports community, the James and Maria Luisa Haynes Health and Wellness Center, is scheduled to be completed by the end of November.

The new Health and Wellness Center is located in Clark Crossings, near Clark Blvd. in southeast Laredo.

The center will include a double gymnasium with a full court basketball court and indoor track and pool. The center will also have an area of physical activity for cardio, a weight room and an aerobics area, according to the Department of Parks and Recreation of Laredo.

There will also be a computer room, meeting room, game area, juice bar and lockers. The outside will feature a soccer field, a top-level pool, a playground for children with disabilities and four tennis courts.

Read more at the Laredo Sun.

Laredo to get $4.5M in HUD funding 

(10/14/2011)

LAREDO - Laredo will receive more than $4.5 million to support community development and produce more affordable housing, according to U.S. Housing and Urban Development.

The money will help individuals and families living on the streets, as well as provide permanent housing for people living with HIV/AIDS.

In all, $114,161,661 is being distributed to 33 cities and counties in Texas.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Home buys 'steady' in Laredo 

(10/10/2011)

LAREDO - Real Estate agents are reporting lowering 30-year mortgage rates and steady home buys across the Laredo area.

The area has also seen a swell of renters. “There are places that used to rent for $1,100 that now rent for $1,400,” according to Tara Quenga, real estate agent.

Among the trends Quenga notices in Laredo are continuing homebuying and building along Bob Bullock Loop and long-time Laredoans looking to move into larger domains.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

 

Laredo airport noise reduction 

(10/3/2011)

LAREDO - The Laredo International Airport will receive a $3 million federal grant to help with noise reduction efforts.

The funds are being made available from the Federal Aviation Administration through its Airport Improvement Program.

The grant money is expected to impact approximately 588 residents who live in areas adjacent to the airport.

The City of Laredo is in the process of contracting professional services to update the airport’s noise contours and evaluate the airport’s noise impact on residential properties, according to City Manager Carlos Villarreal.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Laredo International Airport Aug. stats 

(9/21/2011)

LAREDO - The enplanement and deplanement statistics and the cargo report for Laredo International Airport have been released through August 2011.

Enplanements & Deplanements 2011
Month Enplaned Deplaned % Change
2011 2010 2011 2010 Enplaned Deplaned
Feb. 6,276 6,976 6,243 7,619 -10.03% -18.06%
Mar. 7,772 9,823 7,761 9,651 -20.88% -19.58%
Apr. 7,696 8,741 7,133 9,236 -11.96% -22.77%
May 7,955 9,169 7,674 9,297 -13.24% -17.46%
June 9,921 9,984 8,821 10,045 -0.63% -12.19%
July 11,520 11,617 11,088 11,530 -0.83% -3.83%
Aug. 9,073 10,030 10,153 11,286 -9.54% -10.04%

Cargo Report
Month 2011 2010 % Change
Feb. 35,715,850 25,962,706 37.57%
Mar. 48,026,632 25,779,131 86.30%
April 42,118,666 25,834,179 63.03%
May 33,848,302 29,605,355 14.33%
June 39,427,800 46,681,641 -15.54%
July 28,500,370 46,688,760 -38.96%
Aug. 46,430,319 36,152,201 28.43%


Source: Laredo International Airport

High-rolling logistics in Laredo 

(9/20/2011)

LAREDO - Exel, together with DHL Supply Chain, has broken ground on a 250,000-sf build-to-suit distribution center at Loop 20 and Riverbank Dr. in West Laredo.

Exel Inc., a subsidiary of Deutsche Post, pledged to make an investment of at least $10 million in their warehouse and promised to add 100 full-time jobs over two years. The company already employs 29 workers at an existing Laredo location who will be transferred to the new location in late June.

The facility will serve the technology, automotive, engineering and manufacturing industries and be the international company’s first on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Slated for completion in July 2012, the facility will also serve as a hub for the company’s Logistics Without Borders supply chain solution.

Read more at the Exel Media Center, the Laredo Development Foundation, and the Laredo Morning Times.

Laredo building permits: August 2011 

(9/19/2011)

LAREDO - The City of Laredo Building Development Services has issued building permit totals for August 2011.

August 2011 Building Permit Totals*
  Permits Valuation
August 2011 278 $33,611,382
August 2010 199 $22,463,018
Increase 79 $11,148,364
Jan. to Aug. 2011 1,964 $188,338,546
Jan. to Aug. 2010 1,715 $171,045,549
Increase 249 $17,292,997


*Chart includes all building types.

Read more at the City of Laredo Building Development Services Department.

TAMIU unveils $3.2M food court expansion 

(9/2/2011)

LAREDO - Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) has unveiled a $3.2 million expansion to its food court and Dusty’s Diner.

The Student Center, which houses the food court, was built when the college enrolled about 2,500 students. Close to 7,000 are now enrolled.

In fall 2009, they passed a student referendum approving a proposed $3 per semester credit hour increase, from $3 to $6, in the Student Center fee.

Money generated by the increase was used for the food service area expansion and remodel.

Before the expansion, the food court had a Subway and a grill. Now, the court also has a convenience store, a pizza-and-pasta station, wireless Internet and a “home zone,” which features “home-styled” meals and a salad bar.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

NAC expands Laredo flights 

(8/29/2011 2:00:00 PM)

LAREDO - Northern Air Cargo (NAC) and the City of Laredo have announced that NAC will begin operating flights between Laredo, Ypsilanti, Mich. (Detroit area) and El Paso.

In 2009, the Port of Laredo became the nation’s number one import gateway for automotive parts, passing Detroit, Mich.

In exports, Laredo is second only to Detroit.

The figures speak to the importance of automotive cargo through the Port of Laredo and the importance of the Laredo International Airport for just-in-time shipments.

The company will commence the new service on September 12.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Kickapoo's adding hotel, expanding casino 

(8/24/2011)

EAGLE PASS - The Kickapoo Indians are planning a new 250-room hotel and an expanded casino that will occupy the site of the current concrete dome that was built for concerts and boxing matches.

The Lucky Eagle casino offers the state’s only casino gambling on the small Kickapoo reservation by the Rio Grande.

Beyond the gaming complex, the development project includes a new government center, a justice center, a medical clinic, 40 houses for tribal members and improvements to water and sewer infrastructure.

"We’re doing a $90 million improvement project, of which we’ll borrow about $50 million, with the rest coming from the tribe,” said tribal administrator Don Spaulding.

The hotel and casino have a projected completion of mid-2013.

Read more at the San Antonio Express-News.

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