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MISSION, TX-A Bellevue, WA-based subsidiary of Deutsche Telecom has signed a lease for a 75,000-sf, 680-seat call center in the Business Park at Sharyland Plantation. The announcement will be made today as state and local officials gather to herald the newest employer for the Rio Grande Valley.

Finish-out is underway for T-Mobile USA Inc., which will set up shop at 3711 San Gabriel Rd. in the border city of Mission. The center’s first call will be fielded June 2.

Hugh D. Baker Jr., vice president with energy firm Hunt Power LP and CEO of building owner CentraTek LP, tells GlobeSt.com that T-Mobile signed a long-term lease for a building shell that delivered on a speculative basis in third quarter 2002. The governor’s office and Mission Economic Development Authority aren’t releasing details about the economic incentive package used to lure T-Mobile to the border town.

Baker says T-Mobile was attracted to the region’s young, bi-lingual, educated and trainable labor force. “Eighty percent of a typical call center’s operating cost is labor,” he says.

According to the Mission Economic Development Authority, the city has a labor pool of 15,835 people and an unemployment rate of 11.2%. The County of Hidalgo, which includes cities like Mission, McAllen and Edinburg, has a labor pool of 223,438 people and a 13.3% unemployment rate.

The facility, expandable to 125,000 sf, is a design that the developer has labeled a sustainable technology business center and one that targets users such as call centers, wired with bandwidth and power needs that are mission critical elements for the industry. “The building features an abundance of natural light in the form of tall windows, a wrap-around clerestory window, and skylights,” says Baker.

Larger buildings with parking necessary for a call center are difficult to find in the area because of a very strong local retail market, Baker says. The parking ratio at the building is eight vehicles per 1,000 sf.

Today’s announcement will feature Gov. Rick Perry, Mission Mayor Betos Salinas, McAllen Mayor Leo Montalvo and T-Mobile management. The lease was crafted by Peter Marin of the Atlanta office of the Staubach Co., who represented T-Mobile. CentraTek’s brokers were Jim Trobaugh, Rob Marsh and Chris Hook, all in the Phoenix office of CB Richard Ellis Inc. and Baron Aldrine of CBRE’s Dallas office.

The Business Park at Sharyland Plantation takes in McAllen and Mission. The 6,000-acre, mixed-use development is owned by CentraTek LP, a division of Hunt Power LP, which is an affiliate of Dallas-based Hunt Oil Co. In the past two years, more than 2.5 million sf of commercial space has been developed in the park.

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