In Pharr, Texas, the transformation of agricultural land into the thriving Capote International Business Park marks a significant milestone in the region’s development. This evolution, the evidence of generational vision and entrepreneurial spirit, has been led by the City of Pharr and executed by the Pharr Economic Development Corporation (PEDC) and key partners such as Ocotillo Capital Partners.
On January 23, 2024, the PEDC celebrated the expansion of Capote Building H, the eighth structure in the business park, with a groundbreaking ceremony. Nick Dyer, Principal of Ocotillo Capital Partners, emphasized the importance of this addition to the Pharr-McAllen market, particularly for warehousing needs and facilitating cross-border trade in the Rio Grande Valley.
The new Class A Industrial building, adjacent to the Pharr International Bridge, is a state-of-the-art facility. Spanning 160,000 square feet, it features a concrete tilt wall design, 36’ clear height, Early Suppression, Fast Response (ESFR) fire protection, ample dock doors with pit levelers, and a full 180’ wide truck court. Its strategic location and advanced features cater to the increasing demand for logistics and international trade facilities, as highlighted by Victor Pérez, President/CEO of Pharr EDC.
The Capote Business Park’s inception is deeply rooted in the history of the Dyer family, who have been stewards of this land since the early 1960s. Phil Dyer, a key developer, recalls the area’s transformation from its agricultural past, where the community of Capote played a crucial role. The construction of the Pharr International Bridge and the strategic foresight of the Dyer family of this land transformation.
Originally a hub for agriculture, including vegetables, cotton, sugarcane, grain sorghum, and corn, the land has been in the Dyer family since around 1910. The park, now a modern architectural marvel, stands as a tribute to the area’s agrarian past and the family’s deep roots in the region. The latest addition to the park, a massive 160,000-square-foot building, represents the adaptability and forward-thinking design of the architects, the Warren Group.
The Capote Business Park is more than a commercial space; it’s the story of family, history, and community evolution. The park symbolizes a legacy of growth and adaptation, bridging the past, present, and future of the Capote community. For Phill, the business park is not just about buildings and infrastructure; it’s a living assortment of memories, honoring the land that once nurtured cotton and sugarcane fields.
This remarkable journey, from fertile fields to a successful business hub, showcases the dynamic and the amazing growth of Pharr, Texas. The Capote International Park demonstrates the region’s adaptability and economic resilience. It highlights the progress and blends the rich agricultural heritage with contemporary economic needs.
The Capote International Park has become a crucial element in the region’s economic landscape. It serves as a strategic node for businesses, especially those engaged in international trade and logistics, leveraging its proximity to Mexico and furthermore their unique location next to the Pharr International Bridge. This bridge is a symbolic gateway, enhances the city’s role in global commerce and reinforces its position as a key player in the North American trade corridor.
The park’s evolution reflects a larger trend in the Rio Grande Valley, where traditional industries are making way for modern economic ventures. This shift is driven by a growing recognition of the strategic location of Pharr, its access to international markets, and the need to diversify the local economy.
The foresight and commitment of the City of Pharr and the PEDC, along with the partnership of Ocotillo Capital Partners and other stakeholders, have been instrumental in this transformation. Their collaborative efforts have not only led to the creation of state-of-the-art facilities but have also attracted a diverse array of businesses, from logistics and distribution to high-tech industries. This diversification has created numerous job opportunities, fueled the region’s economic growth and enhanced the quality of life for its residents.
The story of Capote International Park is also a story of community engagement and development. The park’s growth has spurred numerous initiatives aimed at enhancing the local infrastructure, including roads, utilities, and other public services. This development has had a ripple effect, benefitted the surrounding communities and contributed to the overall development of the region.
The buildings within this park, encompassing over 1.1 million square feet, primarily serve as distribution centers. They play a crucial role in facilitating the movement of goods between the United States and Mexico. This includes not only finished products manufactured across Mexico, such as those from Maquiladoras, but also raw materials. A significant aspect of this distribution involves southbound products, particularly in the oil and gas sector, supporting Mexico’s exploration efforts.
Interestingly, while distribution is the primary use, some buildings also engage in light manufacturing, applying final touches to end products. However, the heart of the park remains rooted in distribution activities.
The journey of this business park began in 2007 with the delivery of the first large-scale building. Since then, consistent development has led to a full occupancy rate, with the exception of a current construction project offering available space.
The vision of the park was initiated by the founding family, where a father’s idea transformed into a partnership with his Phill, marking the beginning of this ambitious project. Over time, the family’s involvement deepened, with the next generation, represented by Nick and Ocotillo Capital Partners, taking forward the legacy. This new chapter sees them developing adjacent buildings and maintaining the family’s philosophy in the business.
The family’s hands-on approach is evident in their direct involvement in project management and maintenance, ensuring a deep personal connection with every aspect of the business park. This blend of family values with professional growth encapsulates the essence of Capote’s evolution, from a simple agricultural landscape to a thriving, family-run business park that seamlessly integrates distribution and light manufacturing, fostering economic growth and cross-border trade dynamics.
Josh Pollock, one of the general partners of Ocotillo Capital, brings a wealth of experience to the project. With over 13 years of expertise in real estate and real estate development, Josh has primarily focused his career on Texas but has also undertaken projects across the United States. His involvement in this venture stems from a shared belief with his partner, Phil and Nick Dyer, in the successful international trade, particularly between the U.S. and Mexico. They recognized the growing demand for dry warehouse facilities, driven in part by the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
While Ocotillo Capital’s journey into industrial building began in San Antonio before this project, the team’s formation in 2022 signaled a strong commitment to the industrial sector. Josh envisions the Rio Grande Valley as a strategic hub, comparing it to a blend of El Paso and Laredo, with growing potential in manufacturing, maquiladoras, and produce transport. He is enthusiastic about working in Pharr, acknowledging its business-friendly environment and promising prospects for the future.
The Park centers around the collaborative spirit and community involvement that have been key in the park’s development. A strategic figure in this narrative is Jose Manuel, the superintendent responsible for the upkeep of the buildings. His role extends beyond mere maintenance; he is regarded as a vital member of the team. His dedication and vigilance are indispensable, especially in the absence of Phil Dyer and his son Nick. This effort, where responsibilities are shared, allows each member to focus on their strengths, with Nick handling more challenging tasks and Phil enjoying the construction aspects he is passionate about.
The relationship with the local government and organizations has been a cornerstone of the park’s success. The partnership with the Pharr Economic Development Corporation (PHARR EDC) and the City of Pharr has been instrumental. Compliance with city planning, zoning, and utility requirements underscores the park’s commitment to adhering to local regulations. The support from these entities, particularly in the early stages, was crucial. Initial infrastructure assistance, like water and sewer services, provided the necessary foundation for the first buildings. As the business park became self-sufficient, this financial support was redirected to aid other emerging ventures, reflecting a sense of community and mutual growth.
As Phill said, the ongoing collaboration with Victor Pérez and his team at the PHARR EDC has been beneficial, not only in terms of infrastructure but also in networking and attracting tenants. The business park maintains an open dialogue with various stakeholders, which has been a key factor in achieving full occupancy for the buildings.
Written by Roberto Hugo González, The 2009 SBA Journalist of the Year Award Winner & The 2009 and 2012 Paul Harris Award recipient.