SANTA TERESA, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez and officials from Mexico announced Friday the creation of a 70,000-acre, master-planned community around the Santa Teresa-San Jeronimo border crossing in an effort to expand the fast-growing border region even more.
Martinez joined Chihuahua state Gov. Cesar Duarte at press conferences on both sides of the New Mexico-Mexico border to outline details of the “twin cities” which would include more than 2,000 acres of rail-served industrial land.
“The potential of the Santa Teresa-San Jeronimo area is endless, and with this visionary, master-planned community we will be well-positioned to compete for large, global investments to locate in New Mexico,” Martinez said. “This region is strategically located in the central corridor of the NAFTA region and it’s right in the middle of the U.S.-Mexico Border between the two major seaports of Houston and Long Beach making it an attractive location for manufacturers, transportation and logistics companies.”
Under the plan, the project would create new trade zones, joint health care programs and “quality residential living.” Officials said the goal was to create an industrial powerhouse capable of transforming the area into a busy international trading zone.
But unlike other areas, officials hope to prevent unstructured development that has sparked uncontrollable congestion and industrial sprawl.
The Santa Teresa-San Jeronimo region is still young and development there only started after the Santa Teresa Port of Entry opened in 1993. The New Mexico Border Authority said last year that the port of entry processed more than 81,000 commercial trucks — 13 percent higher than any year on record.
The region’s growth has been a keystone to plans by Martinez for New Mexico economic expansion. Last year, Martinez and state Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela attended a distribution center groundbreaking in Santa Teresa for Interceramic Inc., a large Mexican ceramic tile manufacturer.
“Over the last two and a half years both administrations have been committed to increase economic development through cross-border cooperation,” Barela said. “We have seen great benefits to the entire state of New Mexico through our efforts to grow the Santa Teresa Borderplex and we expect this to also contribute greatly.”