Brownsville is open for business!
Economic development within the city is booming.
Whether it’s a new business or an existing one, Brownsville strives to promote the city as a place to invest, work, live, and play in.
SpaceX signed a lease agreement for a 46,000 sq. Ft. warehouse space at the Brownsville Air and Space Campus, committing to an investment of $500,000 in renovations and upgrades to the facility. This agreement officially marks the organization’s operations hub inside the city limits, a notable benefit is the attraction of potential suppliers. The City of Brownsville welcomes cities to come and invest their company within the city, which is a pro-business and the future Silicon Valley of Space.
In December 2021, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism (EDT) announced the approval of a Texas enterprise project designation for an application submitted on behalf of DHR Health Brownsville by the City of Brownsville. The capital investment project is estimated to result in a $36.6 million net benefit (after-tax abatement) for the city. Ultimately, the hospital, an extension of DHR Health in Edinburg, will give patients direct access to trauma level I state-of-the-art facility. The 74,000 square foot hospital will include 40 medical/surgical beds for single occupancy and 60 medical/surgical beds for double occupancy. Additionally, this would enable the creation of 303 jobs in Brownsville, ultimately impacting economic development within the region.
More information on the Texas Enterprise Program, can be found here.
Madeira Properties Ltd.
In 2021, the Brownsville City Commission approved the voluntary annexation of Madeira Properties Ltd., which includes the annexation of 684.52 acres into the City of Brownsville. This is all thanks to the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ). This 1-billion-dollar projected build-out will include 1,300-acre master-planned community.
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Redevelopment of Sunrise Mall Area
This past year, Brownsville’s Sunrise Mall was one of the focuses of redevelopment. The Sears box, located at Sunrise Mall, has been transformed to accommodate Tru Fit, a state renowned athletic club, which occupies 25,000 square feet. Additionally, the city announced the arrival of Main Event, an entertainment venue, which offers activities like billiards, bowling, laser tag, rock climbing, and much more! This 51,000 square foot facility will be the largest in South Texas. The total estimated value of the Sunrise Mall Redevelopment is estimated to be $8 million.
Surrounding Sunrise Mall, Brownsville welcomed Mercato and Company, a 1,776 square foot European style convenience store. Located on the intersection of Ruben M. Torres and I-69C, Mercato had a total investment of $50,000. This an exciting addition to the community as it is the first of its kind! Nearby, the city also had the arrival of Brownsville’s first McAllister’s Deli, located on Ruben M Torres Blvd. McAllister’s is approximately 2,866m square feet with an added investment of $300,000.
Paragon VTOL Aerospace
In June 2021, the City of Brownsville and the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation received notice that Paragon VTOL Aerospace would be making their home within the community. The aerospace company is dedicated to advancing zero-emission energy solutions, which will establish a viable, smart microgrid. The company also announced in 2021 innovative educational opportunities with Texas Southmost College (TSC). The collaboration with the institution will allow for the development of educational degrees tailored to services related to the exciting industry, cementing Brownsville as a new trailblazer in the commercial aerospace industry.
The space media platform, Space Channel, Inc., relocated its headquarters from Los Angeles, California to the Rio Grande Valley as part of Brownsville’s NewSpace ecosystem, which has been developed by the City of Brownsville and the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation. The new studio focuses on Brownsville’s space-related infrastructure and its exponential growth in the greater space industry. In all, this helps to further cement the City of Brownsville as the ‘‘Next Space City.’’
The Space Channel’s presence brings hope to the community for the creation of space-related educational opportunities through future partnerships with local schools and higher education institutions. In addition, with the new Space Channel studio, the city expects growth of media and entertainment jobs in Brownsville for local talent. The partnership with Space Channel supports building a larger NewSpace ecosystem and increases the ability of the city to market itself nationally and internationally.
In November 2021, the City of Brownville and the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation (GBIC) announced their newest space community partner – 9Point8 Capital. The company 9Point8 Capital is a Space Financial Advisor whose vision is to support space companies from their earliest to latest stages, helping accelerate the growth of companies in the areas of Space, Quantum & Al.
This partnership includes: (1) a $250 million venture fund to support space start-ups at different development phases, (2) a local back-office team to support their global financial infrastructure, and (3) the location of their incubator and hatchery within the city.
Additionally, the community will benefit from job creation and educational opportunities in the space industry, as part of this, 9Point8 Capital is creating a Space Scholarship Fund for students in Brownsville who attend the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley. The company will also focus on professional development for the future space workforce.
The startup, Spaced Ventures, officially closed its pre-seed round on April 2021. Capital from this stage will support the company to launch the first investment platform to provide high-quality Space investment opportunities. The vision is to create the largest community of space investors in the world.
This partnership between Spaced Ventures, the City of Brownville, and the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation (GBIC), demonstrated the commitment the city possesses in creating a NewSpace ecosystem in the city. This is just the beginning, the city anticipates a momentous growth of different NewSpace sectors and space-related jobs, including Fintech, in upcoming years.