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HOUSTON-Three more US companies will soon commit to another 1.6 million sf of maquiladora development in Mexico, GlobeSt.com has learned.

Tom Boyd, a first vice president of international properties for CB Richard Ellis Inc. in Houston, is representing the companies that have turned south for their manufacturing locations. He tells GlobeSt.com that northwest Mexico is ticketed for a 1.3 million-sf build-to-suit for a US manufacturer. Boyd says commitments will be signed, sealed and delivered in a month. Simultaneously, another manufacturer will shore up its commitment for an 81,000-sf build-to-suit in central Mexico. In Tijuana, a 200,000-sf maquiladora project in on the drawing boards, he confides.

Just recently in Reynosa, Mexico, Boyd completed a 225,000-sf lease for a soft drink dispenser factory. Boyd’s specializes in maquiladoras. And, he handles every facet from site selection through construction spec translation to financing.

Jeff Moseley, executive director for the Texas Department of Economic Development, says the most recent available numbers are though December 2000, which peg 3,713 maquiladora operations along the full length of the US-Mexico border. Some 1.3 million people are employed in the border manufacturing industry.

Boyd says labor cost is always the one variable when companies rush to the board room to determine where they can make cuts in operating expenses. They need the competitive edge of low-cost labor and the border projects are meeting that need. China and the Far East might be popular spots to produce small, easily shipped and labor intensive items, but Mexico is the new hub for larger products such as automotive parts and electronics assembly lines, he says.

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