Since its inception, the Vallejo industrial zone has been a reference of industrialization in Mexico City. While the industrial zone lost its prominence in the 1980s and 1990s, the government of Mexico City wants to restore Vallejo’s industrial might and turn it into a world-class industrial region, said Fadlala Akabani, Minister of Economic Development, Mexico City Ministry of Economic Development.
Located in the municipality of Azcapotzalco in the north of Mexico City, the Vallejo neighborhood has a long history of industrial production. Until the 1960s, Vallejo was an attractive industrial hub that accounted for 7 percent of the country’s manufacturing GDP. However, a process of deindustrialization caused by the closure of the “March 18” oil refinery, the earthquake of 1985 and Mexico’s opening to international free trade in the 1990s, led Vallejo to lose its manufacturing focus. To restore the neighborhood’s industrial capabilities, the local government is pushing forward the Vallejo-i initiative, which aims to breathe new life into the industrial capabilities of Mexico City.
“Currently, the Vallejo industrial zone hosts 1,008 economic units, offering 47,528 jobs in 17 different sectors, including pharmaceutical, processed food, beverages, cleaning products, electronics and machinery, “said Akabani.
In 2019, Mexico’s City government launched the Vallejo-i strategy to attract investments related to Industry 4.0, clean energies, data centers, logistics and industrial corporate services. “We want Vallejo-i to renovate Vallejo’s industrial vocation,” said Akabani. To achieve this goal, the Vallejo-I strategy focuses on four action lines. The first is improving the neighborhood’s infrastructure improvement by reinforcing roads and rehabilitating water and sewage networks. Efforts will also focus on expanding the cargo station Pantaco to increase its container capacity and introduce new technologies for better safety and management procedures.
The second action line focuses on urban planning through the new Urban Development Partial Program, which will renovate about 163 properties that represent 610,534 m2. Its goal is to preserve industrial land use and boost urban development by 2050.
The third action line focuses on research and innovation. In 2021, 16,760 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students graduated from universities in the region, greatly strengthening the region’s capabilities in artificial intelligence, automation of manufacturing systems, logistics and supply chain, precision mechanics, manufacturing systems, data science, computing, robotics and electronics systems. “These students graduated from 12 higher-level education institutions, including Universidad Tecmilenio Ferrería, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana and Centro de Investigación e Innovación Tecnológica del Instituto Politécnico Nacional,” said Akabani.
R&D efforts will focus on sustainability, Industry 4.0, entrepreneurship and waste processing. Some projects will take place in the Transfer Station and Selection Plant for Recycling and Utilization of Urban Solid Waste and the Center for Technological Development and Innovation (CDIT). This transfer station is the most modern and complex water recycling plant in Latin America, said Akabani, and can process 1,400 tons of solid waste per day. The CDIT is the first data center in Latin America with an ICREA Level III Certification. In Dec. 2021, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced an MX$12 billion (US$571.7 million) investment in the CDIT, as reported by MBN.
Vallejo-I’s fourth action line is economic development, overseen by the Ministry of Economic Development. “We encourage once-a-month business networking between companies in Vallejo from the logistics, metalworking, energy and chemical industries, among others,” said Akabani.
The Ministry of Economic Development signed a special collaboration agreement with the Mexican Association of Industrial Parks (AMPIP) that will support the attraction of foreign direct investment in Mexico. Through this agreement AMPIP will approach companies and provide information in a wide variety of languages to help them identify the best location to establish their operations.
“Vallejo’s industrial area has not evolved into a world-class real estate development. We must help industrial parks evolve into digital parks and welcome new types of companies, such as data centers,” said Claudia Esteves, Executive Director, AMPIP, to MBN.
In Mar. 2022, the Ministry of Economic Development (SEDECO) and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (SECTEI) signed an agreement with the Association of Real Estate Developers (ADI) to boost the participation of the real estate sector in the Vallejo-i industrial zone.