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Garrison General Contractors Announces Renovation of La Quinta Inn San Antonio

5 Nov 2013, 6:31 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The La Quinta Inn & Suites – San Antonio North Stone Oak is about to receive a makeover. The hotel is part of one of the country’s largest hotel chains. The assigned construction firm is San Antonio-based Garrison General Contractors.

The four-story hotel is owned by GPB Hospitality LLC of Monterrey, Mexico. It was built less than 10 years ago at 18502 Hardy Oak Blvd. The budget for the renovation of the 85-room hotel is estimated at $325,000, excluding fixtures, furniture and equipment, for which approximately $175,000 is projected.

The president and owner of the construction firm, Brian Garrison, said in a press release that renovation includes new carpet for all public areas, as well as paint, millwork, lighting and countertops, including in the lobby, meeting rooms, breakfast area, laundry, elevators, corridors and stairways. All guest rooms will have the carpet replaced and will be repainted, and wood-grain vinyl will be used for the entryway and bathroom. New drapes and bedding are also part of the facelift.

Work is expected to start early this month, with completion by early February 2014. “We understand all the nuances involved in renovating guest floors and public areas while maintaining a fully operational property with minimal disruption to hotel guests,” said Garrison.

In addition to the San Antonio project, Garrison has been tapped for the 121-room La Quinta Inn – Airport in El Paso and the 13-room facility La Quinta Inn – Santa Fe.

Photo courtesy of La Quinta Inn San Antonio.

H-E-B Proposes $100M Master Plan for City

28 Oct 2013, 4:28 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

H-E-B has revealed its plans for a $100 million master plan that would transform the area north of the historic King William neighborhood. The project is designed to be developed in two phases and would encompass almost 27 acres.

The ambitious plan includes the expansion of its headquarters, the construction of a grocery store – Flores Market, several mixed-use buildings, new public spaces, and a pedestrian and bike trail along South Flores, between Chávez and Arsenal streets. Furthermore, H-E-B would double its current workforce and move the 1,600 workers in the downtown campus by 2030. Flores Market would offer prepared foods, dinner-to-go, a bakery and deli, fresh meat and produce, wine and beer selections, as well as dairy and frozen foods.

“Our proposal is much more than just a downtown store,” said Craig Boyan in an interview with the San Antonio Express-News. “We think that we can help make South Flores and the San Pedro Creek a great street and a great redevelopment area in the city, perhaps like another Southtown.”

Mayor Julián Castro said in a phone interview with the newspaper that the investment “goes directly into our local economy (and) does have a spillover effect to the rest of the area,”, calling it a significant economic development project.

The first phase has an estimated cost of $40 million and features a culinary school with a test kitchen and renovation of 1601 Nogalitos St., the store downtown and connected gas station. A 24-foot pedestrian and bike path is also included in the construction.

Phase II has an estimated cost that ranges between $60 million and $80 million. It includes the addition of green space in the San Pedro Creek area, several mixed-use buildings north of the culinary school, as well as a new office building with underground parking.

The results of a traffic study considering the impact of closing Main Avenue are expected to be sent to the city early next month. Despite some criticism, Mayor Castro seems to see the opportunity: “Imagine if we didn’t have that in San Antonio, and we were looking at somebody saying they would put all of these jobs in the middle of downtown,” he said. “We’d be falling over ourselves for that kind of investment.”

IPA Arranges Sale of The Ridge at Bandera Apartment Community

22 Oct 2013, 4:16 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The apartment community at the intersection of Loop 1604 and Bandera Highway, at 10950 Biering Lane, has changed owners. Institutional Property Advisors (IPA), a multifamily division of Marcus & Millichap, oversaw the transaction.

The seller, a Northeast-based opportunity fund, was advised by Will Balthrope, IPA executive director; Scott Lamontagne, IPA director; and Marcus & Millichap senior associate Moses Siller. The buyer is a Kentucky-based family office with a Texas-based asset manager. The financing was arranged by Brian Adams, associate director of IPA Capital Markets in Dallas.

Ridge at Bandera has 120 units that entail 91,200 square feet. It was built in 2002 and includes one- and two-bedroom units, with an average size of 760 square feet. Amenities feature a swimming pool, fully appointed kitchens and an upgraded fitness center. The residential community is newly renovated: The exterior has been painted, the kitchens and baths have been upgraded, and the floors are now wood-style. The parking lot has been resurfaced and restriped, and the landscaping beautified.

“The Ridge at Bandera’s superior location, recent upgrades and positive rent growth provide the new owner with increased cash flow potential and long-term stability in the surging San Antonio apartment market,” said Balthrope.

“This is a one-of-a-kind asset in a tight multifamily market near major employment and retail centers,” added Lamontagne.

Photo courtesy of The Ridge at Bandera.

Stream Private Data Center Breaks Ground in San Antonio

14 Oct 2013, 3:15 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

“San Antonio’s central location, reliable infrastructure and stable cost of electricity make it a great choice for national enterprise users to locate and operate their mission-critical infrastructure,” declared Rob Kennedy, co-managing partner with Stream Data Centers. With this in mind, the company broke ground on the Stream Private Data Center in the master-planned business park of Westover Hills.

The development will encompass 75,840 square feet on 9.6 acres of greenfield. Built to comply with the Miami-Dade County Building Code Standards, it will be able to withstand 185 mph winds. Stream Data Centers is also using accredited construction and design practices needed to achieve a LEED Silver certification.

Initially, the building will be divided into three 10,000-square-foot suites, which can be further divided in 200 kilowatt increments to satisfy different size requirements on the market. Among the property’s features are the redundant telecommunications rooms that have access to multiple fiber providers supplying the site. Each suite will have allocated 4,500 square feet of private office space for disaster recovery.

The new facility is scheduled to be commissioned and ready for occupancy in May 2014.

Stream Data Centers has 14 years of experience in the field, providing space for enterprise data center users such as Apple, AT&T, Home Depot, Nokia and others. During this time, the firm has acquired, developed and operated more than 1.5 million square feet of data center space in Texas, Colorado, Minnesota and California.

Big Red Dog Announces New Apartment Community in San Antonio

8 Oct 2013, 8:45 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Besides the Abandoned Peanut Factory project, Big Red Dog announced the construction of its newest community in San Antonio. The engineering firm– which specializes in civil engineering, permitting and land-use consulting for real estate and natural resource development — has been expanding recently not only in the downtown area but also in the suburbs. It will provide engineering and entitlement services for an apartment project in the Northwest part of the city, close to the South Texas Medical Center.

“This project will be right across the street from VIA’s new rapid transit bus station, so we think it will be quite popular with students and medical professionals alike,” Chris Weigand, president of Big Red Dog, told the San Antonio Business Journal. “There are so many young professionals in that area who want to be close to work and live somewhere they can be proud of,” he added.

The apartment community will include 300 units, plus an amenity center, parking garage and park area. The cost is expected to total $30 million. Houston-based Clerkley Watkins Group is the architect, and completion is scheduled for the fall of 2014.

Photo courtesy of Big Red Dog.

New Senior-Living Community to be Developed in San Antonio

23 Sep 2013, 5:27 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The Public Finance Authority has approved a $120 million bond to finance qualified costs associated with the acquisition, construction, installation and equipping of two new senior living communities, one in Cibolo Canyon in San Antonio and the other in Chattanooga, Tenn. To be owned by Samarian Housing and developed by WholeLife Cos., the new properties will be built under the WholeLife Traditions concept. 

“We are profoundly honored to be working with PFA on financing some of our communities,” said John Lowery, founder & CEO of WholeLife, in a statement.

“Traditions” is part of the luxury rental communities under the WholeLife trademark. The concept consists of 100 to 150 single-level residencies of 1,500 to 2,000 square feet that resemble and have the same feel as traditional houses. The communities are designed to be walkable.

The community features a WholeLife Club that has a designed space for gatherings and events, a business center, a fitness center, a pool, a game room and a concierge, all included in the rental fees. On-site medical care, fitness and weight control programs, in-home meal delivery and catering, and maid and laundry services are offered a la carte.

The master plan is located north of the JW Marriott. The construction date is set for 2015, and the monthly cost of living is at $2,975, according to WholeLife’s Web site.

Photo courtesy of WholeLife Cos. 

Wedgwood Senior Living Community Sold to Out-of-State Investor

14 Sep 2013, 4:46 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Wedgwood Apartments, the North Central senior apartment community located at 6701 Blanco Road, has changed owners. The property is easy to reach from Loop 410 and U.S. Highway 281 and close to much of what San Antonio has to offer. 

The seller was Wedgwood Apartments LLP of Centennial, Colo., and the buyer is an out-of-state investor, reports San Antonio Business Journal. Mike Miller, Chris Ross and Will Caruth of San Antonio’s Hendricks-Berkadia office negotiated the transaction, and Michael Levell took care of the financing. The price was not disclosed.

Wedgwood is a high-rise residential complex built in 1965 and has 301 units divided into nine floor plans, including studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. The amenities feature a beauty shop, restaurant-style dining or delivery, a fitness center, a mini grocery mart, club rooms, a pool & cabana, a fish pond & waterfall, a business center, on-site banking and a nature walking path. Rent prices start at $885 and go as high as $1,855 per month.

Hendricks-Berkadia is one of the largest real estate multifamily services firms in the country and represents the acquisition of Hendricks & Partners, a firm specializing in multifamily sales, marketing and research, by Berkadia Commercial Mortgage LLC, the joint venture between Berkshire Hathaway and Leucadia National. The merged firm now has more than 1,000 employees in 68 offices, offering one of the first fully integrated investment banking platforms in the industry.

Photo courtesy of Wedgwood Apartments.

CBRE Manages Sale of Westover Springs

10 Sep 2013, 4:06 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

A Class A multi-housing community in northwest San Antonio has been taken off the market, as a result of successful representation by CBRE Central Texas Multi-Housing Group. Charles Cirar, Ryan Epstein and Michael Wardlaw represented the seller, while Jim Kirkpatrick and Jim Richards with CBRE’s Debt and Equity Finance Group arranged the financing for Westover Springs, located at 12105 State Highway 151. 

The seller was a joint venture between Carbon Thompson and an equity fund counseled by Prudential Real Estate Investors. The buyer was Steel Castle Property Partners LLC, but neither the asking nor the sale price has been made public.

“San Antonio continues to attract new capital as investors recognize the inherent strength and stability the San Antonio economy offers,” said Ryan Epstein, senior vice president of CBRE’s Multi-Housing Group, in a press release.

The property was built in 2012 and includes two- and three-story buildings housing 296 one-, two- and three-bedroom units varying in size between 583 and 1,305 square feet. Property amenities include a swimming pool, an outdoor fireplace and grilling area, a community center with kitchen lounge, game areas and a fitness center. Conveniences such as legendary golf courses, retail, restaurants, business and medical centers surround the area.

Photo courtesy of Westover Springs.

Abandoned Peanut Factory to Be Transformed into Residential Complex

3 Sep 2013, 2:38 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Not far from San Antonio’s urban core sits an abandoned peanut factory previously used for processing and storage. At the beginning of next year, it will be transformed into Peanut Factory Lofts, a 90-unit apartment and townhome complex, with the help of civil engineering firm Big Red Dog. 

The developer is 210 Development Group, which made public an estimated cost of $10 million for the residential complex. Designs for the project are scheduled to be finalized by the end of 2013 and construction to start in early 2014. The contracted architectural firm creating the contemporary and eco-friendly design is local B&A Architects.

Big Red Dog will provide civil engineering and entitlement services for the project. “San Antonio is truly a big city with a warm, hospitable small town feel, so it was great to be able to have a relationship with someone that needed our services,” said Big Red Dog President Chris Weigand, explaining the partnership. “It’s going to be an exciting project to be a part of, one that will continue Mayor Castro’s mission to make the 2010s the ‘Decade of Downtown,’ ” he added.

Weigand is happy with the makeover the project brings to the area; the site has been vacant for a few years. “Anytime we can help make San Antonio a little more beautiful and pleasant to live in, that’s a plus for us.”

Photo courtesy of Big Red Dog.

San Antonio’s Waters at Northern Hills for Sale for $13.1M

26 Aug 2013, 5:08 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Marcus & Millichap has arranged the sale of the 304-unit apartment complex located at 4031 Thousand Oaks Drive. The seller, a 501c-3 nonprofit company, is represented by Will Balthrope, senior vice president of investments in Dallas, and Scott Lamontagne, vice president of investments in Austin, both with Institutional Property Advisors, a division of the real estate investment firm, and Zar Haro and Michael Moffitt, senior associates in Marcus & Millichap’s San Antonio and Austin offices, respectively. 

“Prospective buyers were attracted to this stable property just a few blocks from a neighborhood shopping center, along with the prospective upside potential found in one of San Antonio’s premier central locations,” said Balthrope. “There were many complexities with this transaction, given the Bexar County Housing Bond financing that was not due to mature for some time. The bonds required a percentage of the property be set aside as affordable housing,” added Lamontagne. Haro confirmed that the asset will be administered as a market-rate deal.

Waters at Northern Hills was built in 1982 and is currently at 96 percent occupancy. The apartment complex encompasses 124 one-bedroom/one-bath units, 24 one-bedroom/one-and-a half-bath units, 64 two-bedroom/two-bath and eight two-bedroom/two-and-a-half-bath units, beautifully set on a private lake. The amenity package includes a fitness center, wooded picnic areas and swimming pools.

CyrusOne Expands Data Center in San Antonio

19 Aug 2013, 4:38 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

CyrusOne, one of San Antonio’s global co-location solutions providers, has purchased a 22-acre property on which to expand its data center campus. The remaining space in its existing facility, the equivalent of 19,500 square feet, was leased for the next five years to one single customer, identified as a Fortune 50 customer. 

The newly acquired land will contain a 200,000-square-foot data center with Class A office space. Work will begin in the fourth quarter of 2013. Kevin Timmons, chief technology officer for CyrusOne, said it “plans to use our innovative Massively Modular™ facility engineering approach to achieve construction and asset utilization efficiencies and enable a speedy commissioning of the site.” The architect chosen for the new building is Texas-based Corgan, one of the largest U.S.-based design firms, with special expertise in sustainable design for special facilities such as data centers.

The new facility will be in Westover Hills, one of San Antonio’s western suburbs, near CyrusOne’s existing building and one major Microsoft data center.

“We’re taking a uniquely sustainable and innovative approach to the design of this facility, which will blend it seamlessly into the native landscape,” explained Timmons. “The building will be layered with the terrain to allow at-grade access to each level of the building. The master plan is highly flexible, with best-in-class redundancy, security and scalability.”

CyrusOne specializes in highly reliable enterprise-class, carrier-neutral data center properties. The firm is committed to full transparency in communication, management, and service delivery throughout its 25 data centers worldwide.

Photo courtesy of CyrusOne

New Master-Planned Community to be Built in Schertz

6 Aug 2013, 4:55 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

New master-planned development The Crossvine is likely to keep San Antonio in a building mode for the next 10 years. Chris Price, president of developer Schertz 1518 Ltd., brings extensive experience in mixed- and master-planned developments. 

The development actually started in 2006 as Sedona Trails but was killed by the financial crisis after only 170 lots were developed. Schertz 1518 Ltd. purchased the property more than a year ago and has since been working with the city to redesign the neighborhood’s plan. The city created a TIRZ (Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone) for the newly planned area, which means that the public improvements fund will grow with any increase in property values.

The project will be built on 504 acres near FM 1518 and Lower Seguin Road and encompasses single-family homes, commercial sites and 12 miles of hike and bike trails. Home prices are expected to start at around $250,000, and the developers anticipate that the model home will be available for tours soon after the New Year. The Crossvine has an extensive team behind it: Schertz 1518 Ltd. as developer, Malone & Wheeler Inc. providing engineering, Marsh & Associates as the architect, Planned Environments Inc. for land planning and landscape architecture, and lookthinkmake providing branding, PR and marketing.

John Kessel, Schertz city manager, told the San Antonio Express-News that “in recent years, we’re seeing a trend where you have large national builders who act as both the developer and the builder. We’re seeing a return to the traditional model with this project. It’s less of the mass-produced product. Now you can have two and three builders in the same neighborhood. It creates variety and accountability. The variety you get translates into a more interesting neighborhood. It’s an organic development. Over time, it’s a unique look.”

Photo courtesy of The Crossvine Facebook Page

Vista Ridge Apartments Changes Ownership

29 Jul 2013, 3:48 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Raia Properties sold the Vista Ridge apartment complex to a private investment firm. The property is a 271-unit community located at 6522 Camp Bullis Road, northwest of San Antonio. 

Vista Ridge is a garden-style community built in 2007 and offering one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Principal Patton Jones and broker Casey Fry from Atlanta-based ARA Real Estate Investment Services represented the seller in the transaction. The price was not disclosed, but the San Antonio Business Journal reports that the buyer paid cash for the acquisition. The residential community was at 95 percent occupancy at the time of the sale.

“Vista Ridge was sought after by institutional and private wealthy investors seeking a core investment opportunity,” said Jones. Moreover, the property was appealing to potential buyers due to “the affluent demographics, outstanding product finishes and the high-end retail and entertainment” destinations near Vista Ridge, such as The Shops at La Cantera and The Rim.

Photo courtesy of Vista Ridge – San Antonio Facebook Page

Koontz McCombs Announces Grand Opening of Sendero Ranch in San Antonio

22 Jul 2013, 3:34 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The second phase of Sendero Ranch in Dilley is completed and the community will open its gates on July 25th, according to developer Koontz McCombs. The residential development is located in the fast-growing area of the Eagle Ford Shale oil-and-gas formation. 

The apartment complex is designed for the temporary and permanent field workforce of oil companies. It is in fact the response to their demand for high-quality housing for their on-site employees and contractors. It offers daily, weekly, monthly and yearly rental options.

“We’ve worked very hard to create top-tier private communities with the ‘home away from home’ feel,” said company representative Loren Gulley in a press release. “We take great pride in providing the highest-quality living standard in the market. It gives us great satisfaction that our clients and their people are happy, healthy and safe.”

Sendero Ranch is a gated community with one- and two-bedroom cottages, each equipped with a housewares package, flat-screen cable TV, high-speed Internet, maid service, recreation and laundry facilities. There is on-site management and maintenance. Commercial and industrial lots ranging from 1.3 acres to more than 50 acres are available for sale, lease or build-to-suit in the Pearsall and Dilley regions.

Koontz McCombs is a highly respected developer in the commercial and multifamily real estate markets. Since 1997, it has been developing superior-quality properties throughout Texas, mostly in San Antonio, Austin and Houston.

Photo courtesy of Sendero Ranch

Brookwood Acquires Tech Ridge Business Park in San Antonio

16 Jul 2013, 4:01 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The multi-tenant office property Tech Ridge Business Park has been acquired by Brookwood Financial Partners L.L.C., a leading real estate company specializing in investment and asset management services. Tech Ridge was built in 2002-2003 and is located  between Loop 410 and Loop 1604, near Interstate 10 in the Northwest submarket. It encompasses two buildings totaling 118,769 square feet. 

Todd Mills of CBRE Group Inc. represented the seller, while Brookwood was represented in house and by Stream Realty. “The property has a superior location, and given our low cost basis, we will be able to offer prospective tenants very competitive leasing rates and incentive packages. The property, which is in a market that has improving fundamentals and increasing rental rates, is surrounded by numerous amenities and is very appealing to tenants that require quality space with separate entryways, high parking ratios and easy access to major thoroughfares,” declared Thomas Brown, director of acquisitions for Brookwood.

The company plans to lease the remaining 17 percent vacant space in the building and to maintain retention of current tenants by implementing an aggressive leasing strategy. It is also planning to invest in renovation of the two vacant suites, a total of 20,000 square feet, as well as in exterior upgrades such as painting, landscaping and new signage.

The Northwest submarket has experienced a decrease in vacancy, from 22.1 percent in the second quarter of 2009 to 19.5 percent in the current quarter, according to CBRE Econometric Advisors. It anticipates a continued decline in vacancy rates, based on the positive absorption in the Class A office sector in the last five out of six quarters.

Brookwood is a private equity firm that has acquired more than $518 million in real estate throughout 13 states in the U.S., with a realized and unrealized value of over $1.4 billion. Its portfolio totals 121 properties with more than 11 million square feet, including office, retail, flex and research & development space. It also includes 143 hotel rooms, 138 condominium units, 572 apartment units and 1,360 residential lots.

Photo credit: www.digitaltrends.com 

Koontz McCombs Announces CityVista Development in San Antonio

9 Jul 2013, 8:59 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

CityVista, a new Class A community of 141 units, will break ground in July on one of the last lots available in the 281/Hildebrand Area, Koontz McCombs announced in a release. The estimated cost for the project is $20 million and the completion date is set for December 2014.

Next to Trinity University and the University of Incarnate Word, the site is one of the highest elevations in the city of San Antonio, a feature that promises spectacular views of downtown, a natural plus to integrate seamlessly with the planned luxury amenities. A five-story building with brick and stucco exterior is projected to blend with the surrounding area under the signature of Houston-based Wallace Garcia Wilson Architects.

“CityVista will be a jewel-box development,” announced Bart Koontz, president & CEO. “It will include a luxury clubhouse, recreation and fitness facilities, and multiple courtyard areas, including a really spectacular rooftop area featuring an amazing view of the city. The flats will have all the amenities of a high-end condominium complex without the commitment involved in purchasing a home. We see a market for this, as San Antonio is attracting more young professionals who want to live in the city where they work and play but don’t necessarily want to make a home purchasing decision yet.”

An Internet café and a resort-style swimming pool are included in the amenity package, and the interior will feature stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, gourmet island kitchens, nine-foot ceilings, crown moldings and oversize walk-in closets. The units will be available with one, two and three bedrooms, ranging in size from 656 square feet to 1,600 square feet. Prices will vary from $1,240 to $3,000 per month.

Photo credit: www.koontzmccombs.com

Sage Hospitality Increases Portfolio with Éilan Hotel Resort & Spa

1 Jul 2013, 4:46 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Sage Hospitality added the Éilan Hotel Resort & Spa to its Premier and Lifestyle Division. The division targets vibrant and progressive hotels that connect modern luxury with harmonious style and design. 

The new acquisition is LEED Silver accredited and located next to one of the best shopping areas in the Southwest: The Shops at La Cantera. It is also near the Interstate 10 corridor, with the San Antonio International Airport only 20 minutes away.

Part of the 120-acre Éilan – San Antonio mixed-use development, the resort combines a Tuscan feel with a Texas atmosphere. Guests can choose from 165 rooms or suites with private terraces and Jacuzzi spas. Amenities include a 12,000-square-foot fitness center with lap pool and golf simulation room, spa facilities with 10 different treatment rooms, six private gardens and an outdoor resort pool. A 24,000-square-foot meeting space is fully equipped for indoor and outdoor events, and Sustenio, the hotel’s restaurant, offers Southwestern cuisine prepared under the experienced eye of Chef Stephen Pyles, with a 24-hour in-room dining option.

“We look forward to driving exceptional results in the San Antonio market, as well as becoming involved in the surrounding community,” said Vincent Piro, vice president of operations for Sage’s Premier and Lifestyle Division, in a press release.

Sage is one of the largest privately held U.S. hotel management, investment and development companies, founded in 1984. It currently operates more than 60 hotels in 18 states and 10 distinct concept restaurants.

Photo credits: www.eilanhotel.com

Prado Student Development Breaks Ground in San Antonio

11 Jun 2013, 5:57 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The University of Texas – San Antonio will be the recipient of one of three new student developments encompassing 1,400 units that have  broken ground under the Fountain Residential Partners name. With additional projects for The University of Houston and The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, the company will start leasing in the coming months, with occupancy starting in autumn of 2014. 

The San Antonio project, Prado, is located at 14531 Roadrunner Way, across the street from the UT – San Antonio campus. It is planned to accommodate 498 students in one, two, three, four and five-bedroom homes. They will also benefit from a 6,000-square-foot restaurant fronting UTSA Boulevard. The development includes four stories and was designed in the Spanish style.

“We have been following this site, at one of the main entrances to campus, for several years. There simply is not a better location in the marketplace, and we feel fortunate to be able to transform the property into a mixed-use community that the neighborhood, students and the university will be proud of. It will definitely raise the bar for student housing at UTSA and matches the master-plan vision for the future of UTSA Boulevard,” said Executive Vice President Jon Clayton.

Prado will distinguish itself from typical student housing through a few state-of-the-art features: keyless entry, open floor plans, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, wood-look floors, 50-inch flat-screen TVs with DVRs, furnishing inspired in the European style, high-end light installations and Wi-Fi everywhere. The amenity center is distributed on two levels encompassing 10,000 square feet. It will offer to the students a fitness center and study lounges, and a relaxation area with a tanning bed and a gaming center with digital games and pool tables.

The general contractor for Prado will be Centerpoint Builders and the architectural planning will be offered by Stuart Roosth Architects. Leasing and management services for all three campuses will be provided by Dallas-based Grand Campus Living.

Photo credits www.fountainresidential.com

Turner Construction to Build Airport’s Consolidated Car Facility

3 Jun 2013, 8:46 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Eight companies entered the competition to build San Antonio’s first airport CONRAC (consolidated rental car facility). New York-based Turner Construction Co. scored 90.5 points out of 100 for its proposal and was selected the winner by the city council. This facility will bring the International Airport one step closer to the standards of the big-city airfields. 

Currently, rental car companies are scattered around the airport, and travelers have to use a shuttle service to get to them. The CONRAC will put all companies in a single structure with a customer service and ticketing zone, along with a ready/return area and such amenities as fueling and washing areas. The plan makes the car facility easy to get to from the existing A and B terminals, but also from the future Terminal C, Mayor Julian Castro reported to My San Antonio.

“These things usually work well, particularly those that are close to the airport,” Castro said, sure of the success of the project. His opinion was shared by Frank Miller, the director of aviation, who agreed that CONRAC will be a real help for San Antonio visitors, making traveling easier. “It places the CONRAC across from the terminal buildings, eliminates the need for a shuttle operation, and vastly improves the customer service level we have at the airport,” he said.

Funds for the project come from a daily tax of $4.50 per contract day on cars rented from the airport facilities since March 2012. A “not to exceed” development price has been set at $105 million, and the facility is expected to be completed by January 2017.

Turner Construction Co. was founded in 1902 and became a leading industry proponent of the transformational construction tool and process, with more than $30 billion in building information modeling.

Photo credits: www.ttgcorp.com

Whispering Hills Apartment Complex Attracts Dallas Investor

29 May 2013, 1:14 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The San Antonio multifamily market is of growing interest to out-of-town buyers. The region’s bright economic outlook has attracted quite a number of investors in the past 12 months.

In one recent example, Commerce Capital, a private real estate investment firm with headquarters in Santa Barbara, Calif., sold the Whispering Hills apartment complex to Dallas-based Frontline Holdings, according to the San Antonio Business Journal. The price has not been made public.

Whispering Hills is a well-maintained, garden-style, Class B apartment complex with 164 units. It is located at 13658 O’Connor Road, close to Interstate Highway 35 and Wurzbach Parkway. Casey Fry, the broker who represented the seller, told the business journal that the building’s location, the growth prospects of the I-35 corridor and the prospective value-add opportunity available at the property through enhancing the unit interiors proved very attractive for investors. 

According to Marcus & Millichap, transactions slowed slightly in the first quarter of 2013. However, improving property operations will encourage owners to list properties held through the downturn, and sales will accelerate as a result. The median price increased slightly in the past 12 months, reaching $48,000 per unit, while institutional properties were traded at a median price of $85,000 per unit during the same period.

Area job growth has encouraged rental rate increases. With an average effective rent increase of 4.4 percent year over year, they are expected to reach $834 per month by the end of the year. Research studies forecast that demand for rental units will rise in the metro area, too.  As a consequence, vacancy will be pushed down to 5.5 percent, a significant 130-basis point drop from 2012.

Chart courtesy of Marcus & Millichap.

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