Housing Proposed in East Otay Mesa

Dear Members, 

Sunroad Enterprises made a presentation to the Otay Chamber Board on January 10 seeking the Chamber’s approval of their proposed re-zone of their 253-acre business/technology park site in East Otay Mesa. Their new plan is for a mixed-use development with 3,258 dwelling units and 78,000 sf of retail as well as 765,000 sf of industrial development north of Otay Mesa Rd. and east of SR 125.

Specific studies and reports can be found here. Aerials showing the specific location of the project can be found below.

Your feedback on this project would be greatly appreciated.

Electrifying Trucks: The Lifeblood of Commerce

Attention Trucking Companies: Don’t miss this interesting article about how electric trucks have evolved and are now viable economically and could even save you money while reducing carbon emissions.

Trucks are the lifeblood of commerce. Perhaps nowhere is that more true than in the San Diego region, where the economy thrives on the movement of goods between the United States and Mexico. While the truck traffic is vital to our region’s economy, it’s also a major source of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The good news is that with today’s advanced battery technology, businesses can both save money in operating costs and reduce local vehicle emissions by switching to electric trucks.

In recent years, electric vehicle (“EV”) technology – particularly battery technology – has come down significantly in cost, while also improving in performance. As a result, the passenger EV market has blossomed, and the medium and heavy-duty EV market is emerging. Tesla’s recent unveiling of its Class 8 semi-truck has generated lots of excitement around medium-duty and heavy-duty EVs. The Tesla semi is expected to hit roads in 2019. Observers expected the vehicle to have a range of 200 miles. However, it beat the expectations of some analysts. According to Tesla’s website, the larger battery model will be able to travel 500 miles between charges. The base model (300-mile range) is expected to come in at $150k, also beating expectations by analysts. The most exciting part is that the total cost of ownership is projected to be better than incumbent vehicles due to much lower maintenance and fuel costs. Major players are already lining up to receive the vehicle. Reservations and deposits have been made by United Parcel Service (“UPS”) (125 trucks), PepsiCo (100 trucks), Sysco (50 trucks), Anheuser-Busch (40 trucks) and others. Tesla is not alone in targeting this market. They face competition from Daimler Fuso, Navistar International, Volkswagen, Cummins, BYD, and others.

Better than expected vehicle costs and range are one part of the puzzle. Another piece of the puzzle is the growing EV charging network in California. The state’s three major electric utilities have put forth EV charging infrastructure programs that will provide charging infrastructure for reduced or no cost to the customer. Additionally, California has set aside hundreds of millions of dollars to reduce the up-front cost of medium-duty and heavy-duty electric vehicles of all weight classes. More information on programs and incentives can be found here.

Southbound Wait Times at San Ysidro Now Available

As part of the Otay II Port of Entry Project, CALTRANS will be developing and sharing real-time wait time information for both the San Ysidro and existing Otay Mesa Ports of Entry. This is a critical step for Otay II, since this project will be a toll port, and the price will vary depending on the traffic at other regional ports.

The initial phase of this project has been launched and southbound wait times at San Ysidro are now available through the CALTRANS website.

Check it out:



New Buses Added to Otay Mesa

In response to high ridership demand along the Otay Mesa border area, the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) purchased and started operating large 60-foot articulated buses to supplement standard 40-foot buses during peak commute hours on Routes 905 and 950. The first articulated bus began operations last week and more will be added in the coming months.

This move allows MTS to increase its capacity to transport riders along two heavily-used routes in the South Bay. The new buses will nearly double from about 55 passengers to nearly 100, allowing the agency to carry more people and provide extra seating for more comfortable rides.

The two routes span from the Otay Mesa Border to the Iris Avenue Transit Center. They are popular among cross-border commuters who connect from the Otay Mesa Port of Entry to the UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley. Route 905 runs every 20-30 minutes most of the day between the Iris Avenue Transit Center and Otay Mesa with multiple stops through the business corridor and some neighborhoods. Route 950 is an express route that runs approximately every 10-20 minutes during peak commute times. Routes 905 and 950 served 857,415 passengers in FY 2017 – a 25 percent increase over just four years ago when the routes served 682,830 passengers in FY 2014.

The addition of articulated buses is currently in its initial phase and service is limited to weekday peak hours only. Additional vehicles are expected to begin operating in the coming weeks, with some added throughout the day and on select weekend days.


Toyota Announces Expansion Plans in Tijuana

Our Member Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Baja California is expanding its operations in Tijuana, investing roughly US$150 million, and creating an estimated 400 new jobs in January 2018.

TOYOTA expects to increase its annual production by 60%, which currently stands at 160,000 Tacoma pick-ups per year. Currently, 90% of the Tijuana production is allotted to the North American market, while 10% stays in the national market.




Brentwood Industries Expansion in Tijuana

Brentwood Industries Partners with Co-Production International for Expansion of Medical Thermoforming and Plastic Injection Molding Manufacturing in Tijuana

Brentwood Industries, Inc. is expanding operations to Tijuana, Mexico with a new manufacturing clean room facility opening early 2018. The new facility just south of San Diego, California, represents Brentwood’s first strategic international manufacturing expansion site in Latin America. Brentwood has leased a 35,000-square foot clean room facility in the modern Thomas Alva Edison Industrial Park and is expected to invest $3.5 million dollars in the build out.

Click here for full press release


Commuter Card Program

Check out these NEW videos produced by the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce and the Smart Border Coalition that outline the Commuter Card Program. 

 Click here to see Spanish version              Click here to see English version 

Because of our proximity to the border, a great deal of employees are residing in Tijuana and coming to work every day to Otay Mesa. Many of these employees have a legal permanent resident card (known as green card). This permit allows you to work in the US but also requires you to reside in the US. People in this situation are not in compliance with US law and can face repercussions, such as inadmissibility into the US.

Fortunately, there is a commuter card program that allows people to work in the US and reside in Mexico. This program will allow your employees to abide by the law and be eligible for trusted traveler program, such as SENTRI and Global Entry. This can be a huge productivity boost for your companies because employees would see a dramatic reduction in wait times when crossing the border in addition to more predictable wait times, therefore decreasing tardiness to work, not to mention a significant increase in quality of life for workers.

Check out these presentations by the Smart Border Coalition that outline the key benefits and potential disadvantages of the Commuter Card Program. If you are interested in a detailed presentation about this program to your employees, please email our Executive Director, Alejandra Mier y Teran.


Hurricane Support through the International Community Foundation

Tropical Storm Lidia Recovery Effort in Baja California Sur: The International Community Foundation is seeking support for the Baja California Disaster Relief Fund to rebuild this beautiful region, which is in so much need of assistance. ICF has received several requests from groups on-the-ground that urgently need our help. Please consider a contribution to help southern Baja recover.

Hurricane Irma Barbuda Recovery Effort: ICF is partnering with The Waitt Institute and Waitt Foundation to establish the Barbuda Recovery and Conservation, Trust Fund. The Waitt Foundation is seeding this Fund with a $100,000 grant and will match contributions made to this fund. Waitt staff are heading to Antigua and Barbuda to provide coordination and first-hand support.

Earthquake in Mexico Recovery Effort: Finally, any contributions to the International Relief Fund will aid in the recovery process that is required by the devastation caused by the magnitude-8.1 earthquake that occurred in Chiapas, and was felt as far as Mexico City and Guatemala City. The earthquake was registered off Mexico’s southern coast while heavy rains from Hurricane Katia lashed the east. There are reports of over 50 deaths in Chiapas, Tabasco, and Oaxaca and we are sure the region will need significant aid in the coming days and weeks.