The one that got away has become the one that came back.
MVP Plastics Inc., an Ohio-based custom plastic injection molding company that makes components for automobile manufacturers in Mexico, opened a plant in Brownsville in 2015 to take advantage of the fast-growing automotive industry in Mexico. The company had looked at other Texas cities, including Harlingen, but chose Brownsville after being wooed by the now-defunct Brownsville Economic Development Corporation.
Darrell McNair, MVP’s president and chief executive officer, predicted at the time that the company would eventually need to expand its operations in Brownsville as Mexico’s vehicle manufacturing sector grew. In fact, MVP was here for five years before outgrowing its 30,000-square-foot space near the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport and relocating to McAllen because of a lack of adequate industrial space in Brownsville.
Now the company is back in town, this time thanks to the efforts of the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation, and has signed a lease on 50,000 square feet of industrial space off Jaime J. Zapate Avenue/Coffee Port Road just east of Robindale Road.
Helen Ramirez, GBIC executive director, said the industrial development community is responding to the lack of industrial/manufacturing square-footage in the city by building “on spec,” which means building without a specific tenant lined up.
“There is a market for industrial space in Brownsville,” she said. “It’s refreshing to see that our message is getting out and that developers are taking notice. Not only was this space leased quickly but we are talking to other developers about constructing new industrial space.”
John Cowen Jr., GBIC board chairman, said it’s encouraging to see spec properties snapped up so quickly, especially by a company that will create manufacturing jobs in the city.
“During these economic times most companies do not have the luxury of waiting for a facility to be constructed, and consequently by having that quality building available, it makes the decision to select Brownsville more viable,” he said.
MVP, headquartered in Middlefield, Ohio, is also proposing to invest over $3 million in new equipment and upgrades and hire a minimum of 50 people now that the company is back in Brownsville, according to GBIC. The company also serves the appliance manufacturing, medical, telecommunications and energy industries among others.
McNair said the company looked at a number of different sites in the Rio Grande Valley for potential relocation as it began to outgrow its McAllen facility.
“At the end of the day it was the support and encouragement from the team at (GBIC) that made our decision easy,” he said. “MVP looks forward to many years of economic growth in the region.”