Rafael González
Director General
Building Design International (BDI)
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View from the Top

US Experience Helps Anticipate Trends

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 16:54

Q: How did BDI grow its business to become an important player in the industrial sector?

A: We are based in Mexicali, Mexico with two subsidiary company that have been in business for over 50 years specializing in the commercial sector and with several shopping centers in our real estate portfolio. We also have an import and export division with cold storage warehouses on the US and Mexico sides of the border that specializes in the import and export of beef, dairy, vegetables and fruit. BDI was created to service these two companies all under the same umbrella. Expansion across Mexico over the past 10 years has been steady through organic growth, repeat clients and word of mouth. Our core business is project management, construction management and industrial construction. We will continue to offer our world-class services to Mexican developers and investors and keep expanding our own commercial portfolio.

In Mexico, we mostly build logistics, industrial and manufacturing parks but we are beginning to view the EIP Eco-Industrial Park as the future. BDI is mostly interested in developing along the border with the US because of the area’s potential as the maquiladora corridor. We feel it is a sustainable market due to the strength of the US economy and it is where we are most competitive.

Q: What are the biggest challenges when building industrial parks in Mexico?

A: The occupancy of industrial parks in Mexico is closely linked to the US economy, since our northern neighbor is by far Mexico’s most important partner in trade and investment. The development of new industrial projects will depend on better market conditions, as well as strong cash positions from investors. As a builder, the challenges of building industrial parks in Mexico are varied and based on location. The common factors that we encounter are the contract model, qualified labor, connectivity to the project site and the complete set of coordinated construction documents.

Q: What are the reasons behind the company’s investments in Yucatan and Veracruz?

A: We decided to invest in these states due to the growth in the region fueled by construction in Merida and Cancun. The
Riviera Maya is a contributing factor and the expansion of the sea ports in the region are spurring the need for strategic 187 distribution, logistics and staging points. We would like to expand into Baja California, specifically the peninsula. The Tijuana-Cabo San Lucas corridor also has huge potential.

Q: What can Mexico’s industrial park market do to reduce its dependence on the US?

A: We must work strategically with foreign companies and create import partners specifically at major seaports and airports so that goods and services can enter the country independently from the US. We can also leverage the government to create incentives with foreign countries to export goods and services to Mexico.

Q: What trends or patterns are you expecting in this sector regarding growth?

A: BDI sees several trends in the industrial sector in the coming year. There is a need to increase inventory space and, given the lack of such, we have seen developers begin to build vertical storage facilities in industrial settings. We believe LEED will take a backseat at industrial properties, given the plethora of other priorities for the sector. Politics will have a direct influence on foreign direct investment but importers will increasingly look to foreign trade zones for tax breaks and better shipping times. Intermodal shipping will remain a dominant force and continue to grow and transportation management systems will become more sophisticated, seamless and mobile. Security, both on the ground and online, will grow in importance. Finally, and perhaps one of the most important trends, is that e-commerce will encourage brick and mortar retailers to consolidate services. At BID, we are prepared for these trends as they are already unfolding within our existing projects in the US.