The Day Has Arrived

$400 Million in Federal Funding Drives Massive Expansion in US/Mexico Supply Chain Gateway

Construction has begun on a brand new, state of the art Commercial Land Port of Entry (CLPOE) and cargo hub on the eastern side of Arizona’s border with Mexico.

Located at the converging intersection of highway, rail, and air shipping services, the new Douglas CLPOE will meet the immense underserved market demands on both sides of the border.

Overview

In 2021, Cochise County became Arizona’s final and largest Federal funding recipient with a mandate to radically modernize commercial shipping capacity along the most central corridor to the 48 contiguous states. Leveraging current and expanding highway, rail, and air transit capacities, the massive influx of Federal funding has driven collateral funding support from both the city of Douglas and the State of Arizona, as well as a mirror project funded by Mexico to serve as the matching piece of this tremendous initiative.

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Ardent Investments LLC owns 16 million square feet of land directly adjacent to the site of the new Douglas Commercial Port on the eastern side of Arizona’s border with Mexico. We are looking to expand our team of development partners, investors and nationally-recognized subject matter experts as we optimize returns on this tremendous opportunity.

Schedule

The new commercial port is scheduled to open in 2028. The existing port facility in downtown Douglas will remain operational while it gets completely reconfigured and modernized as a dedicated automobile and pedestrian port of entry. This will allow the CLPOE to operate with less traffic, leveraging systems and security measures designed around the safe, swift processing of commercial goods. The modernized pedestrian port is scheduled to be completed by or before 2031. 

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Mexican authorities have confirmed a signing ceremony in Mexico City to finalize acceptance of the private land, donated by Mr. Marcelo Rascón, to the Mexican federal government. They have further confirmed that Sonora’s Department of Infrastructure and Urban Development (SIDUR) has hired an architect to complete the Master Plan for Agua Prieta II. Work is ongoing to secure easements for the Mexico connector, and discussion are underway regarding funding for construction and supporting infrastructures.

Supporting Infrastructure

An initial $14 million of a projected $30 million package of Arizona State, County and City funding has already been awarded to complete a massive overhaul of the utility infrastructure needed to support the central transit hub and surrounding companies. These funds have either been executed, approved or remain in pending status while highway and utility designs are finalized.

A $9 million Federal grant was issued to cover the cost of high-speed fiber optic internet and phone service. In addition, Arizona Dept. of Transportation (ADOT) is building a new $50-$60 million highway connecting the new commercial port to Highway 80. Both US Highway 80 and US Highway 191 intersect with Interstate 10, one of America’s longest straight-line shipping corridors that stretches over 2,400 miles from California to Florida.

Arizona State Legislature passed a $41 million enhanced border security bill (2023) to construct a new operations center in nearby Sierra Vista, AZ.

Free Trade Zone

Cochise County is processing the request to have the Commercial Port designated as a Free Trade Zone (FTZ), which would give the site considerable additional competitive advantages:

Tax benefits

Companies operating within a FTZ may be eligible for reduced or eliminated duties and taxes on imported goods, which can help to lower operating costs.

Efficient customs processing

FTZs often have streamlined customs processing procedures, which help to speed up the import and export of goods. This is especially beneficial for companies that rely on the timely delivery of goods.

Increased international trade

Being located near a FTZ makes it easier for companies to engage in international trade, as they take advantage of the customs and tax benefits offered by the zone.

Access to global markets

Companies located near a FTZ can more easily access global markets, as they can use the zone to import and export goods to and from other countries.​

Attraction of foreign investment

The presence of a FTZ makes an area more attractive to foreign investors, as it provides an easier way for them to do business in the region.

Opportunity Zone

Designated as opportunity zone 04003000600, the Douglas CLPOE offers considerable additional competitive advantages:

Tax benefits

Companies operating within an opportunity zone may be eligible for additional reduction, deferral, basis adjustment or permanent removal of capital gains taxes on profits earned from investments in the zone.

Increased economic development

Opportunity zones are intended to encourage economic development in underserved areas. By investing in a commercial property near an opportunity zone, companies can contribute to the revitalization of the local community.

Access to talent

Historically, opportunity zones have a high concentration of untapped skilled workers, which can be attractive for businesses looking to hire top talent.

Increased property values

As economic development in an opportunity zone increases, property values may also increase, providing potential financial benefits for commercial property owners.

Mexico goes “All-in” on the Douglas Expansion

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Just across the US/Mexico border, Agua Prieta is the sister city to Douglas. To catch the wave of modernization, Mexico leaned forward by modernizing over 557 miles of highway, expanding capacity from 1-2 lanes to over 4 lanes in some sectors, including vital commercial routes of Highways 2, 14, 15, and 17.

Notably, these highways run south from Douglas/Agua Prieta to Mexico’s premier Guaymas Seaport, which itself is about to begin a $1B expansion, as well as Hermosillo, a huge manufacturing and assembly hub. All four of these highway routes converge at Douglas/Agua Prieta with a combined population of nearly 110,000.

The Last Chance to be First

Everyone understands first-mover advantage. It carries the right to define markets or establish dominance in a geographic region. The new Commercial Port of Entry in Douglas is one of those rare “start from a blank canvas” opportunities to realize the type of benefits documented in prior Port of Entry expansions along the Arizona border.

What sets this opportunity apart is that it is the last of its kind. The Commercial Port of Entry in Douglas will complete Arizona’s three-point strategy and represent the facility most central to the 48 contiguous states, with links to highway, rail, and air transportation. There are no plans to add another port facility, the process for which would take decades to move from concept to reality. Moreover, the Douglas CLPOE will not be an overhaul of an aging facility, but a brand-new, commercial center served by the latest generation of supporting infrastructure and roadways. Collateral benefits include high-speed fiber, and the security of a nearby Customs and Border Patrol station. The commercial port will match up to an equally new port to be constructed on the Mexico side of the border.

The Ardent holdings sit quite literally at the Port’s front door. Ardent offers the highest degree of security, the best location, and the chance to be at the front of the line for what will be the last great Southwestern Port creation event for many many years to come.

Looking Ahead

Beyond the already funded and ongoing expansion and modernization efforts, additional studies are being conducted to evaluate enhancements to existing air and rail services. The Tucson, Albuquerque and Santa Fe Railroad hubs are operational in the region, and the region is home to the San Pedro Valley Railroad, one of America’s premier class-III commercial short line railroad carriers. Studies are being conducted to expand the cargo capacity of the Bisbee/Douglas International Airport, located just 12 miles to the north of the CLPOE.