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Bank of America, RE/MAX join marketing forces

Special to the Times HOUSTON -- Bank of America said recently that it has entered into a marketing alliance with RE/MAX of Texas that will offer more convenience and higher service to home buyers and sellers throughout Texas. Both business entities have offices in Laredo. The new marketing alliance also means that Bank of America will be leveraging its huge customer base to connect consumers with RE/MAX Brokers and Sales Associates in Dallas/Fort Worth, the Houston Metropolitan area, and the Greater Austin and San Antonio areas. Bank of America will provide several new channels for RE/MAX of Texas to source new business opportunities and to grow customer relationships. The new relationship will also allow both companies to better deliver on the promise of integrated home services. "We are very excited about this opportunity to further develop our relationship with one of the world's most recognized names in real estate," said Bowyer. "Two extremely forward-thinking institutions that have led their respective industries in the application of tomorrow's technology, coupled with oldfashioned customer service and work ethic, will deliver an entirely new level of consumer satisfaction. We're eager to steer customers relying on our expertise in banking to our preferred real estate Brokers, so that together, we can bring the dream of home ownership to an ever-widening audience." With over $13 Billion in 2003 statewide real estate sales, RE/MAX enjoys market dominance in Texas cities large and small, and has expanded it's 5,100 offices into 52 countries worldwide. With the state's largest real estate portal in both English and Spanish, RE/MAX buyers enjoy unmatched selection, while sellers listing with RE/MAX receive unrivaled marketing exposure. For additional information, contact Mike Bowyer at (480) 855 8071, or by writing [email protected] .com.

Rosson Hill Plaza to begin construction

BY MAYRA FLORES LMTBusiness Journal writer Laredo continues to expand with construction of a new 20,458 square-foot office complex located in north Laredo in the vicinity of Loop 20. Groundbreaking of the Rosson Hill Plaza, a 13-unit office, shops and restaurant complex, took place on Oct. 14 at 7128 Rosson Lane. The all-new complex, located across the Laredo Entertainment Center, is being developed by Luis Castillo, president and founder of Castillo Investments. The project is valued at $2 million and is projected to be completed by late March or early April of 2005. Laredo-based Ramos Gonzalez is the architect with Foster's Engineering Company serving as the engineer. The site work is being completed by Manuel Gonzalez Construction. area, Castillo said. The remaining 1,125 square-foot Spanish style spaces with Saltillo tile roofs are planned for professional or retail users and are available for lease or sale. Castillo said that among the future plans are to include a 5 or 6 story multi-level addition, Phase 2, which will join Phase 1 through a crosswalk. Upon approval, Castillo expects the second phase to be completed in three to five years. This project marks the third major development for Castillo Investments. For leasing or purchasing information on this property, contact Luis Castillo, president, at (956) 726-4224, or Mary Perez with Del Realty at 753-3030. (LMTBusiness Journal writer Mayra Flores can be reached at 728-2582 or by email at [email protected])

QuickBooks class offered

Times staff reports The Laredo Development Foundation, Texas A&M International University, and Blair & Blair P.C. will be sponsoring an Advance Class of QuickBooks. The class will take place this Tuesday and Wednesday from 6-9 p.m. at TAMIU Cowart Hall Room #113 and the fee will be $75 for both sessions. Randy Blair of Blair & Blair P.C. will be conducting the hands-on workshop that will teach business owners how to use QuickBooks Pro 2004 to manage every financial aspect of their business. "The days of manually posting transactions to journals and ledgers are gone," Isabel Salazar, LDF training coordinator said. "Computer technology has ushered accounting into a new generation. The benefit for business owners is the opportunity to participate at a higher level in the financial administration of their businesses," she added. Invoicing, sales receipts, check writing, and the subsequent flow of information into a cash in bank register are among the important basic features found in most accounting software ap-plications. However, these processes represent only a small portion of the accounting procedures that can now be done electronically. Learn how to navigate all of QuickBooks features, elaborate reports, charts and much more. Incorporated on Nov. 17, 1966, the Laredo Development Foundation is a private, nonprofit corporation funded and governed by business and civic leaders dedicated to Laredo's economic development.

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Courtesy photo

Advantage Rent-ACar expands international

The Rosson Hill Plaza ground breaking ceremony took place at 7128 Rosson Lane Thursday Oct. 14. Pictured, from left, are Terry Pratz, Rene Garza, Charlie SanMiguel, Mari Perez, Erica Castillo, Luis Castillo Jr., Luis Castillo III, Eduardo A. Castillo, Ernesto De Leon, Margie Mendoza, Manuel Gongalez and Julio Delgado. The lender for the project is Falcon International Bank. So far, eight out of the 13 spaces have been leased or sold, according to Castillo. Century 21, for one, will set up an office there. So will, Delgado Insurance Agency, Manuel Gonzalez Construction, Garza's Floral & Gift Shoppe, Inc., Raul De Leon Investments, Del Home Realty, and RC Investments. Castillo's business, Castillo Compu-Tech Inc., will occupy 1,390 square-feet in this retail center, as well. The eight businesses, so far, including an on-site bar & grill, that will call Rosson Hill Plaza home will attract hundreds of visitors to the

reservation network

SAN ANTONIO -- Advantage Rent-A-Car said this week the most recent expansion of their international reservation program into Canada. This addition brings to total 21 countries in Europe, Mexico, South America, North America and the Caribbean. This global affiliation reservation network offers Advantage's customer car rental service with qualified locally operating companies providing in-terminal and near-airport access. "Our affiliate program has become a very important tier of service to our customers," said Amy Musselwhite, Affiliate Program Coordinator. "We co-brand with providers in these countries who meet specific service criteria. Our customers expect to receive a comparable service as they do at U.S. locations and this program delivers just that." Autowise, the local cobranding affiliate in Montreal, Canada, provides nearairport service for Advantage Rent-A-Car customers to the Montreal Doval International Airport. Offering in-airport service at the Toronto International Airport, the Advantage local provider is Rent For Less.

Texas trade corridor won't bypass Laredo

BY MIKE HALL LMTBusiness Journal editor State officials assured Laredo on Tuesday that plans for the Trans-Texas Corridor, a statewide transportation network connecting highways and rail into Mexico, wouldn't bypass the city in favor of a route through the Rio Grande Valley. "It's not a competition thing," said Steve Hrncir, I-69/TTC-35 coordinator. The corridor involves four priority routes that will parallel existing roadways: Interstate 35, Interstate 37 and Interstate 69 (proposed) from Denison to the Rio Grande Valley; I-69 (proposed) from Texarkana to Houston to Laredo; Interstate 45 from Dallas-Fort Worth to Houston; and Interstate 10 from El Paso to Orange. Both the corridor through Laredo and the one leading to the McAllen-Brownsville area will be built, Hrncir said at a public hearing on the corridor held at Texas A&M International University on Tuesday night. "The NAFTA trade and corridors that support that trade are critical to the economic health of all Texas," Hrncir said. Concerned members of the Laredo City Council adopted a resolution Monday night opposing the development of any

November 1, 2004

This article was previously published in the Laredo Morning Times on Oct. 27. alternate highway or transportation system that would "divert vehicular traffic from, and thereby threaten, the traditional and historic trade route through Texas," referring to Interstate 35. Hrncir welcomed the resolution as part of the two-tier input process for this particular part of the Trans-Texas Corridor, noting public input is what the state wants. "The sooner we get information, the better the planning process is," Hrncir said. The first tier of public hearings ended in March and resulted in map revisions. The second tier, involving 44 meetings across the state, ends in early December. Chuck Rollins, president of the Laredo Transportation Association, said he came to Tuesday's meeting thinking Laredo would be eliminated for possible road improvements, but changed his attitude after hearing the presentation. "They are here to help Laredo, not hurt Laredo," Rollins said. "Now I'm comfortable they have included us. I

spoke to all the engineers and consultants and they seemed to be concerned about the trade in Laredo and the effects of the economic impact of the transportation system." The Trans Texas Corridor, which will cover an estimated total of 4,000 miles, will include separate highway lanes for passenger vehicles and trucks, highspeed passenger rail and commuter and freight rail lines. It also will have a dedicated zone for utility lines. Next year, a combined I-35/I-69 set of public meetings on the plan will follow the same hearing process. By the end of next year, state officials expect to submit a master plan for the next 50 years to the Federal Highway Administration for approval. For more information about the plan, visit www.transtx.com. To comment, call toll-free (877) 872-6789, e-mail [email protected] or write to: P.O. Box 14707; Austin, TX 78761-4707. (Mike Hall can be contacted at 956-7282529 or by e-mail at [email protected])

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