The city of Rio Communities has contracted well-known New Mexico economic developer Ralph L. Mims as it prepares to expand its economic development outreach and efforts. Located in Valencia County, Rio Communities has many opportunities for businesses looking to expand or relocate.
Rio Communities City Manager Martin Moore, Ph.D said he’s thrilled to have Mims join the Rio Communities team.
“By bringing in an economic development consultant, we’re creating an energy for the community, for the people and businesses that we care about here. We want to compliment it with growth that fits Rio Communities,” Moore added.
Rio Communities recently rebranded with a new logo and slogan – Spectacular Views, Endless Opportunities! For decades people have confused Rio Communities with Albuquerque suburb Rio Rancho or the City of Belen, the community Rio Communities share a zip code with. Mims and Moore are hoping the new branding will change that.
“My job, as the economic development consultant, is to promote the City’s uniqueness and generate awareness of all it has to offer. When you market the community and get an awareness out there, it attracts businesses, it attracts retail and people to the community.”
In the short-term there are several opportunities Mims is focusing on including the Rio Grande Industrial Park, which is in the unincorporated part of Valencia County. That location is prime for economic-based jobs, manufacturing, warehousing and full-scale facilities. There are other large parcels of available land, with 90% of the City located in an opportunity zone.
“Opportunity Zones are a way to bring in investors into so-called ‘distressed communities’,” Mims said. “Rio Communities is the only community in the country that has 90 percent of their properties in an opportunity zone. What it means is investors can get a capital gains deferment.”
Mims is courting investors to for a variety of projects including residential housing, retail, strip malls and manufacturing — all within the opportunity zone. So far there is interest by a pizza franchise and a developer that wants to build homes, retail, medical and office space.
“It’s always good to have a mayor and council that supports economic development,” he said. “You can go to a city that doesn’t want growth, or are not progressive, but we have a good mayor and council who want to see things happen.”