ARIZONA DAILY STAR
By: Gabriela Rico
October 29, 2012
Owners, operators and investors in Sonora’s maquiladora industry now have designated meeting space north of the border.
The Americas Trade and Commerce Center, a new office complex in the center of Nogales, Ariz., caters to cross-border businesses with offices that can be rented short- or long-term.
“We wanted to put a quality building in Nogales that caters to that industry,” said Leonard Lizardi, one of the building’s owners, whose CPA firm is located on site. “Most companies in Sonora are from the U.S.”
He said some suppliers, who ship materials to the manufacturing parks, are hesitant to cross the border due to drug violence.
“They also don’t want to work out of a hotel room,” Lizardi said.
For those on the south side of the border, they appreciate the ability to arrange meetings just across the line, he said.
The center is on Grand Avenue, about 1 1/2 miles from the DeConcini Port of Entry in downtown Nogales. It opened earlier this month. The 20,000-square-foot building has 14 furnished, private suites of varying sizes for rent, and a conference room. Shared amenities include a break room and receptionist, said Veronica Kraushaar, president of Viva International Partners, Inc., which is helping to market the space.
“Nogales is an interesting place in a lot of different ways,” said Mike Smith, another of the building’s investors. “It’s a port of entry, but also along the Canamex corridor.”
The Canamex Trade Corridor is part of the federally designated North American Free Trade Agreement route, intended to connect Mexico City to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to facilitate trade among the three countries. In the U.S., the corridor runs from the border in Nogales, through Tucson, Phoenix, Nevada, Utah and Idaho to the Canadian border.
“We wanted to create something along the border that would accommodate people who want to have a presence here without having to make a huge investment in infrastructure,” said Smith, president and owner of produce company Sigma Sales.
One component of the center is to be open, at no cost, to community events.
“There are a limited amount of high-end buildings in Nogales,” Smith said. “We kind of saw this as a way to interject a quality product.”
Find out more
For more information on The Americas Trade and Commerce Center, call 1-877-281-9305.
Contact reporter Gabriela Rico at [email protected] or 573-4232.