Is There an Economic Boom in San Angelo's Future?

 

SAN ANGELO, TX — The City of San Angelo Development Corporation projects are managed by the City’s Economic Development Director Guy Andrews. Andrews said Wednesday this area is in the lull before an economic development storm that will drive the economy here for decades. San Angelo, Andrews maintained, sits in the center of a burgeoning transportation and logistics crossroads.

As plans for I-27 have ramped up, primarily to provide relief to the U.S.-Mexico trade corridor from Laredo to Minneapolis, producers in Mexico of produce and auto parts in particular, are looking west for ways to get their goods to market quicker.

According to Andrews, produce in trucks waiting long durations to cross into the U.S. are seeing high spoilage rates in Laredo. It could be faster to ship the goods in trucks across the border at Eagle Pass or Del Rio, then truck the goods north through San Angelo on what is becoming more and more each year a true Ports-to-Plains corridor from Eagle Pass through here to Colorado and all places north. A secondary route to and from Mexico is the Texas Pacifico railroad that crosses the border near Presidio where it connects via rail to big interior cities in Mexico, like Chihuahua. Both the rail line and Ports-to-Plains highway (and its promised I-27 designation) traverse through the Concho Valley in west Texas.

Andrews said he has been told there is a 30 percent spoilage rate for produce onboard trucks awaiting crossing in Laredo.

Andrews foresees San Angelo, and more specifically, San Angelo’s Business and Industrial Center, a City of San Angelo commercial development on the northeast side of the city, with Phase 2 complete, as strategically located and available to capture this coming boom.

Just a little over a mile from the industrial park, South Plains Lamesa Railroad is building a rail port that will connect with the Texas Pacifico line. This is a facility that allows the transfer of freight from trucks to rail extremely efficiently. For Andrews, he imagines a company may import a product like parts for vehicles for further assembly here from Mexico, or vis versa, and San Angelo becomes a location for light manufacturing with transshipment facilities. Texas Pacifico is undergoing a $14 million upgrade to its rail to allow more capacity from the Presidio crossing and northeastward into Texas.

Rail freight through here is already happening. Texas Pacifico trains right now are supplying the pipe for the oil pipeline projects. At the industrial park already is Allens Transport, a Canadian-owned oilfield company. This company transports chemicals to the oil rigs. In addition, Allens has the capability to provide rail yard translating. FritoLay, the popular potato chip company, has a facility there as well. Principle LED, a commercial sign and lighting manufacturer, has found its home at the park, too.

The industrial park has 757 acres, of which about 600 acres are developable, and its lots are zoned either light (primarily) or heavy industrial. It was certified as an “AEP-Quality Site” and this month McCallum-Sweeney Consultants labeled it a “Super Park” because it meets “stringent requirements and has due diligence complete.”

San Angelo's Business & Industrial Park

AEP said the park area has 12.5 KV in an electricity trunk that businesses can tap. AEP also has its regional facilities located at the park. The City of San Angelo Water Utilities Department stated it can deliver 2.2 million gallons of water per day to the park.

With infrastructure additions, the AEP certification along with McCallum-Sweeney Consultants’ Super Park designation, a majority of the park, specifically the 118 acres just developed during Phase II, is “shovel-ready,” Andrews explained.

The San Angelo Business and Industrial Park sits on the east side of Loop 306, a four-lane divided highway. The roadway there is anticipated to become the north-south I-27 once the interstate is designated. Already, the Texas Department of Transportation is upgrading the roadway just north of the park right before U.S. 67 cuts northeast towards Fort Worth to meet interstate standards.

San Angelo’s prospects rise and fall with the national economy. But if there is a post-pandemic boom, Andrews maintains that easy access to markets from here along the shovel-ready properties available within the tax-friendly Texas economy now position San Angelo to be a stiff competitor for attracting industry more than ever before.

For more information on locating a business to the San Angelo Business and Industrial Park, contact Guy Andrews at [email protected] or (325) 653-7197. Also, at the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce, parties interested can contact VP of Economic Development Micheal Looney at [email protected] or (325) 234-3376. Here is more about efforts in San Angelo, Texas for economic development.

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