MISSION — The Mission Economic Development Corporation’s consultant Alex Meade of P3 Economics became its newest executive director this week.
The action was taken at Tuesday’s meeting following executive session.
Meade, who is fluent in Spanish, earned a bachelor of Business Administration in Economics at St. Edward’s University in 1999 and a master’s of Business Administration from the University of Texas-Brownsville in 2006.
Locally, Meade has previously worked with the Harlingen Chamber of Commerce in economic development. As part of this job, Meade was responsible for recruitment of $100 million in retail development with retail sales of approximately $90 million. Over 800 jobs were created. He served as interim manager of the Harlingen Economic Development office and was appointed to the Economic Development and Tourism Board by the Office of the Governor.
He also worked with the San Benito Economic Development Corporation where he was responsible for the recruitment of $10 million in retail development projects with a retail sales impact of $8 million.
Currently, since 2010, Meade has worked as a consultant with MEDC, conducting a retail leakage study, and developed a retail strategy for the city. At the same time, he worked with the Alamo Economic Development Corporation, the Mercedes Economic Development Corporation, Panda Restaurant Group, Inc., Vista Management and SpawGlass Contractors on projects.
Meade is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Texas Economics Development Council.
In a presentation at Tuesday’s board meeting before he was officially hired by the MEDC, Meade discussed various economic development projects that are proposed to be located at various locations throughout the City of Mission on Tuesday.
Meade said that several initiatives are underway with hearings being held at the Planning and Zoning Commission to work out details while others are in the preliminary stages. Meade used code names when discussing the projects to keep the developers anonymous until the projects are closer to reality.
“Project Urban” involves a 41,000-square-foot commercial and retail development and approximately 80 to100 condos of residential development. The project has an estimated $15 million value.
“Project Coffee” includes a 10,000- to 15,000-square-foot commercial development. In addition, there will be a multi-family development included in the project. The estimated value of this project is approximately $7 million.
“Project Box” is a retail development with about 30,000 square feet of commercial space and a restaurant pad with about 6,000 square feet of commercial area. Meade placed the value of this project at $7 million.
“Project Tower” is composed of two eight-story condo tower units. The estimated value of the project was $15 million. Meade was unsure of how many condo units were being planned.
“Project Energy” is in its preliminary stages. This project would take up 300 acres of land within the city for hotel, commercial and multi-family residential use. Meade said an 8,000-square-foot commercial development would be located on the first 100 acres of land. When fully developed, the commercial area could have as much or more shopping area than La Plaza Mall has.
Meade said the same property owner has had the site for over 27 years and has decided it is time to consider developing it. Meade could not yet put a value on the proposed project because it is in the beginning stages of development. Nor could he indicate how many jobs the project might create.
“Project Irish," the smallest project under consideration, is designed to hold a 3,500-square-foot restaurant.
Excluding “Project Energy,” Meade said the projects he presented would add $44.5 million in investments to Mission.
“The project developers are committed to coming to Mission and establishing their businesses in the city,” Meade said. “The projects are in various stages of working with the city to finalize their plans.”
Meade was unable to say how many jobs would be added to the city or how much tax revenue would be created as a result of these developments.
When asked if developers were being given any special incentives or tax abatements to develop in the city, Meade said that information was not yet available. However, when a final contract for any of the projects was given, the city would have to make public any special incentives given to the projects.
In other action, the MEDC board held a public hearing on the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2011-2012 which gives the City of Mission $635,000 and The Texas Citrus Fiesta a budget of $60,000. An official vote to approve the budget is expected to take place at the next meeting.
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