Monday, January 5, 2015

Design Contract Awarded for New Consulate General Matamoros

The river (creek? puddle?) separates Matamoros, Mexico, from Texas

Well, I'm happy to see that the press release about a new Consulate complex for Matamoros got released after all. Sure enough, U.S. Consulate General Matamoros will get a new office building around the same time that CG Nuevo Laredo does.
The Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has awarded a contract to Richärd+Bauer of Phoenix, Arizona as the design architect for the new U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros, Mexico. Richärd+Bauer will develop the schematic design for the new facility.

The multi-building complex will be situated on an eight-acre site in the central district neighborhood of Jardin, and will include an office building, U.S. Marine Security Guard residence, a support annex, utility building, and facilities for the Consulate community. A design/build construction award for the project, to complete the design and build the facility, is anticipated in fiscal year 2015.

The U.S. has had continuous consular operations in Matamoros since the 1830s. The city itself has a wild history, playing key roles in both the Mexican Revolution (1826) and the Texas Revolution (1836), after which it declared itself an international free trade zone, leading to boom years when it was the only open port serving the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War.

Matamoros, like Brownsville, is one of the most dangerous towns on the border, and the Consulate regularly sends out warnings about things like on-going gun battles. Check out CG Matamoros' twitter feed and marvel at the pace of gunfire and kidnappings going on just south of the border.

I don't know whether a new Fortress Embassy will help that security environment much, but it couldn't hurt.

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