Featured: A frontal view of the 50,000 square-foot building that will feature a Trane dealer sales office and warehouse, which is set to open on October 1, 2016 at the Owassa Lakes Business Park in Edinburg.
Photograph By DANIEL J. GALVÁN, CCIM
Edinburg is joining San Antonio and Austin as the latest sites for Trane, a world leader in air conditioning systems, services and solutions, to open company-owned dealer sales office and warehouse complexes that locally will eventually create as many as 200 jobs at the Owassa Lakes Business Park, located near Interstate Highway 69C. The announcement, made by leaders with Trane, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, and Coldwell Banker Commercial, brings with it more positive news – the business park, which was first built in 2000, will now be at 100 percent occupancy, allowing CTC Distribution Ltd., which owns the complex, to begin planning for another 50,000 square-foot expansion. “‘Nothing stops a Trane’ is the famous slogan for this U.S.-based, global company, which sees Edinburg and deep South Texas as the place to be and in which to invest millions of dollars,” said Mayor Richard García. “Well, nothing stops Edinburg in protecting and promoting economic development in our city, from the Mom-and-Pop small businesses to the giants of industry, such as Trane, and many other Fortune1,000 businesses which have a strong and proud presence in our rapidly growing hometown.”
“Nothing stops a Trane” – or Edinburg – as worldwide firm to set up shop locally and create up to 200 jobs at Owassa Lakes Business Park
By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Edinburg is joining San Antonio and Austin as the latest sites for Trane, a world leader in air conditioning systems, services and solutions, to open company-owned dealer sales office and warehouse complexes that locally will eventually create as many as 200 jobs at the Owassa Lakes Business Park, located near Interstate Highway 69C.
The announcement, made by leaders with Trane, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, and Coldwell Banker Commercial, brings with it more positive news – the business park, which was first built in 2000, will now be at 100 percent occupancy, allowing CTC Distribution Ltd., which owns the complex, to begin planning for another 50,000-square-foot expansion.
“‘Nothing stops a Trane’ is the famous slogan for this U.S.-based, global company, which sees Edinburg and deep South Texas as the place to be and in which to invest millions of dollars,” said Mayor Richard García. “Well, nothing stops Edinburg in protecting and promoting economic development in our city, from the Mom-and-Pop small businesses to the giants of industry, such as Trane, and many Fortune1,000 businesses which have a strong and proud presence in our rapidly growing hometown.”
“The list is of the 1,000 largest American companies, ranked by revenues. Eligible companies are any which are incorporated or authorized to do business in the United States, and for which revenues are publicly available (this list has a larger universe than “public companies”, as the term is commonly understood, meaning “companies whose common stock trades on a stock market”). The list draws the attention of business readers seeking to learn the influential players in the American economy and prospective sales targets, as these companies tend to have large budgets and staff needs.”
García also serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.
The Edinburg City Council is made up of Mayor Richard García, Mayor Pro Tem Richard Molina, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr., Councilmember J.R. Betancourt, and Councilmember David Torres.
Also serving with the mayor on the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors are Elías Longoria, Jr., Harvey Rodríguez, Jr., Richard Rupert, and Dr. Peter Dabrowski.
Trane’s new sites in Edinburg, San Antonio and Austin will serve their respective region’s Trane residential dealers directly, according to Mark Wagner, Vice President of Sales for Trane Residential HVAC. It will offer residential and light commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) solutions and services, including Trane, Ameristar, and Nexia products.
“With the opening of these new company owned locations, Trane is able to better serve our dealers with local expertise and availability of equipment and parts with same day pick-up or next day shipping options,” said Wagner. “This in turn, allows our dealers to better serve homeowners and residential builders in South Texas with new heating and cooling equipment, service, and parts for regular maintenance.”
The new South Texas dealer sales office in Edinburg is one of 14 company owned distribution locations for Trane covering 16 states, Wagner added.
Currently, there are three separate buildings at the Owassa Lakes Business Park, with the first unit, a 135,000 square foot facility, constructed in 2000, and occupied by CTC Distributing, Ltd. and C.H. Robinson/Food Source,” said Bruce Goldman, a partner at CTC Distributing, Ltd. “In 2012, the 15,000-square-foot, Amara Hospice was built. With our newest facility, which measures 50,000 square feet, CTC Document Storage currently uses 12,500 square feet, while Trane will occupy 37,500 square feet.”
The upcoming 50,000-square foot expansion will be identical to the building that is housing Trane, Goldman added, so tenants will have options of 12,500 square feet and 25,000 square feet available for leasing.
The Owassa Lakes Business Park is a “unique piece of property consisting of 36 acres, and whose features include a six-acre pond/lake, from which it gets its name,” said Agustín García, Jr., the Executive Director for the Edinburg EDC. “In the case of Trane, they have signed a five-year lease, with renewal options, with the Owassa Lakes Business Park. Trane is scheduled to begin initial operations on October 1of this year. We are confident that Trane will reach its stated goal of almost 200 employees during this period.”
Mayor Richard García and Agustín García, Jr. are not related.
A business park is an area generally defined as a location where company offices and light industrial premises are built.
The prospect of almost 200 employees being hired was made possible by an investment of $4 million by CTC Distributing, Ltd. to build and retrofit the 50,000-square foot facility that will include housing Trane.
The recent and planned expansions at Owassa Lakes Business Park have been helped by the Edinburg EDC, which in January 2013, with the approval of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors, authorized up to $300,000 in site development improvements at that location. Those payments to the Owassa Lakes Business Park are made on a reimbursement basis by the Edinburg EDC, after proof of the work done is provided and confirmed.
As part of its 2013 agreement with the Edinburg EDC, Owassa Lakes Business Park pledged to build 146,000 square feet of warehouse development, such as the 50,000-square foot facility to house Trane.
In order to qualify for all of the $300,000 reimbursement incentives set by the Edinburg EDC, Owassa Lakes Business Park will also have to generate about $9 million in development, and create an estimated 350 permanent full-time jobs, including Trane’s plan to hire almost 200 employees.
Daniel J. Galván, CCIM, with Coldwell Banker Commercial in McAllen, has been a key in the successes of the Owassa Lakes Business Park.
“On a preliminary basis, I was responsible for the brokerage, promotion and marketing of the Owassa Lakes Business Park facilities, including the C.H. Robinson lease,” said Galván. “I will also be responsible for the brokerage and marketing of the upcoming 50,000-square foot expansion.”
Regarding the arrival of Trane, which is owned by Ingersoll Rand (IRCO), a world leader in creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments, Galván negotiated and administered the lease document and lease terms with IRCO, as well as helped provide Trane information that helped lead to their decision to come to Edinburg.”
One of the many selling points for Trane to come to Edinburg is the highway system that serves Edinburg, Galván added, noting the Owassa Lakes Business Park’s “proximity to Interstate 69-C (also known as U.S. Expressway 281) allows easy access to the U.S. – Mexico border, as well as to San Antonio, Corpus Christi and other major cities.”
Trane brings to Edinburg a 121-year history of performance that has made it a major force in industry, now with more than 29,000 employees worldwide, 400 locations in more than 100 countries, 29 manufacturing locations in Brazil, China, Egypt, England, France, Malaysia, Mexico, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States.
“Trane joins dozens of other Fortune 1,000 companies for the year 2016, from Walmart, which is ranked the number 1 business on this prestigious list, to Cinemark Holdings (762), who have made Edinburg their home because of who we are, the strength of our economy, and the high quality of our people,” added Mayor Richard García.
The Fortune 1,000 companies are available online at:
LARGE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GRANT WILL PURCHASE CUTTING-EDGE EQUIPMENT FOR RESEARCH AT UT RIO GRANDE VALLEY
In a separate event, but related to economic development in Edinburg and the deep South Texas, the U.S. Department of Defense has awarded almost half a million dollars to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley to help STEM students and faculty go with the flow.
STEM is an acronym for the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Discussion of STEM-related programs has become a presidential priority because too few college students are pursuing degrees in these fields. The U.S. Department of Labor expects that there will be 1.2 million job openings in STEM related fields by 2018, but there won’t be enough qualified graduates to fill them.
The Edinburg EDC and its Board of Directors, along with the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, regularly lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents for funding and other resources on behalf of UTRGV.
The $499,519, one-year grant will provide for state-of-the-art equipment and instrumentation, called a Tomographic Particle Image Velocimetry (Tomo-PIV) system, which allows for more precise 3-D measurement of the flow structure and turbulences of fluids, including liquids and gases, like air, particularly valuable in numerous engineering applications like aerodynamics and propulsion.
The equipment will be a shared resource among UTRGV’s mechanical engineering, civil engineering, physics and geology departments, and the School of Medicine.
The equipment, to be located on the Edinburg Campus, is expected to be operable within the 2016-17 academic year.
The co-principal investigators on the grant are Dr. Isaac M. Choutapalli, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Robert Freeman, Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
“This acquisition is important to UTRGV because of the ability of the instrument to study propulsion systems,” Choutapalli said. “With SpaceX setting up shop in Brownsville, this will be an excellent opportunity to work alongside the SpaceX propulsion division.”
The grant is part of $28 million allocated under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, under the authority of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, to go toward assisting Minority Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities to enhance their capacity to participate broadly in defense research programs and activities and to increase the number of graduates, including underrepresented minorities, in fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Choutapalli oversees the Aerodynamics and Propulsion Laboratory, one of many labs at UTRGV where faculty and student research is conducted. In aerodynamics, his research addresses drag and noise reduction and increasing fuel efficiency. In his propulsion research, he studies ways to enhance thrust and reduce jet noise.
The Tomo-PIV system also provides critical instrumentation regarding research in biological flows, such as airflow in human lungs and blood flows in large arteries.
“In collaboration with the UTRGV School of Medicine, this equipment will also be used to study blood flow patterns in brain aneurysms,” Choutapalli said. “One of our goals with its use is the endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms using fluid flow diverters.”
Choutapalli said both undergraduate and graduate students will gain experience in using the Tomo-PIV.
“This is a state-of-the-art measurement technique in fluid dynamics, and not many schools in the country are equipped with such instrumentation,” he said.
Currently in Texas, only The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M-College Station have a Tomo-PIV system on campus.
Dr. Constantine Tarawneh, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Bentsen Fellow, and Associate Dean of Research in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, UTRGV hopes to develop a certificate or minor in aerospace.
“Having this equipment will allow faculty to offer technical electives in areas connected to aerospace, and aerodynamics is one of them,” he said. “It would be useful for a student with a manufacturing engineering degree to have a minor or certificate in aerospace, for example.”
Tarawneh said new equipment is necessary with ever-changing technology and will provide the university a better opportunity to gain grants to support student researchers.
Choutapalli said the Tomo-PIV system will serve as an active tool for learning and training for students.
“Hopefully, it will increase the number of undergraduate and graduate students at UTRGV who pursue a Ph.D. at tier-one institutions and in STEM-related careers,” he said.
Gail Fagan contributed to this article. For more information on the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the City of Edinburg, please log on to http://edinburgedc.com or to http://www.facebook.com/