HEDC on the hunt for new office space

HARLINGEN — The city’s economic agency has issued a request for proposal for the purchase or lease of new office space somewhere within the city limits.

For years the HEDC has been in offices at the University Center on the Texas State Technical College campus, but the agency sold its stake in the building for $4.4 million in 2019 and now is seeking a new location.

Their current lease with TSTC expires in August 2021, HEDC Chief Executive Officer Raudel Garza said Monday.

“There have been some people who are aware of that, and some developers, landlords, said, ‘Hey I’ve got some space’ or ‘Hey, I’m thinking of doing something with my property, would you guys be interested?’” Garza said.

“I would prefer we put it out there for everybody, and whoever is interested in sending us a proposal for leasing some space or selling their building or whatever, we’ll take a look at it,” he added.

The HEDC is seeking space between 2,500 square feet and 4,000 square feet with a minimum of five staff offices and an executive office, as well as a large conference and board room.

The offices also should have two bathrooms, an executive assistant workstation or office, reception and waiting area, storage supply and copying area, break room with running water and unrestricted access to the leased area at all times by HEDC staff.

While some staff members have been working from home on a rotating basis due to COVID-19, Garza said one of the goals of acquiring new office space will be to allow more distance between workspaces or offices for health reasons.

Garza also said that after the sale of the building to TSTC, some of the college’s plans were disrupted by the pandemic.

“TSTC has said that here had been some plans originally to actually use this space along with some other things they were going to do in this building that have kind of been put on hold because of COVID,” Garza said. “Now, they’re telling us, ‘Hey you guys can stay here as long as you want to, it’s a matter of just renewing the lease.’ They told us that after we agreed to put out the RFP (request for proposal).”

“We’re going to allow people to respond to the RFP and if there’s something that’s an interesting proposal for us, we’ll be glad to take a look at it,” he added.

For more details on submitting a proposal, contact Garza via email at rgarza@harlingenedc. com.