JV Agreement Solidified for 10,000-Acre Science Park in Mexico

New York City’s ING Clarion Partners and Poway, Calif.-based Silicon Border Development have hashed out the final details of their joint venture and financing plans for the development of the Silicon Border Science Park, a 10,000-acre state-of-the-art project in the City of Mexicali in Baja California, Mexico, about two hours across the U.S. border from San Diego. The news comes 18 months after the two companies announced they had entered into an agreement to form the joint venture. ING will provide capital for the first phase of the behemoth project whose infrastructure development alone will carry an ultimate price tag of $1 billion. Modeled on science parks in Asia, Silicon Border will feature a college campus-style setting encompassing offerings ranging from research and development space to recreation and clubhouse facilities. The park is designed to spur the evolution of Mexicali and Southern California as global forces in the aerospace, LCD, nanotechnology, semiconductor and solar industries. Already Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany-based Q-Cells, the largest solar cell manufacturing concern in the world, has made a commitment to Silicon Border, announcing in May that it will invest as much as $3.5 billion on manufacturing facilities to be developed on 150 acres over the long-term. ING and Silicon Border Development are touting the project as the only science park that will supply tenants with complete infrastructure accommodations and duty free access to the North American, Latin American and European markets. Silicon Border will be developed in four phases, the first of which includes an infrastructure project that is on track to reach completion in January 2009 at a cost of $35 million. In addition to providing financing for the first phase, ING has signed on to participate in three additional phases over the next decade; the development schedule for the entire park spans 20 years. Additionally, ING will offer build-to-suit leases, while Silicon Border Development will oversee marketing and management of the park. Nuevo Leon, Mexico-based Grupo Maiz is on board to oversee the design and construction. Established in 1982, ING Clarion and affiliates manage approximately $50 billion in assets in the real estate market’s private and public equity sectors, and public debt sector. The company is the U.S. investment management division of Netherlands-based global real estate company ING Real Estate, which has a business portfolio totaling nearly $160 billion. Silicon Border Development, founded in 2001, is a privately held company focusing on the development of industrial parks for the high-tech industry.