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New Development Breaks Ground in Historic Leon Springs

10 Mar 2014, 9:13 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Three firms have joined forces to keep a promise to “do something special” between Leon Creek and historic Leon Springs, fronting Interstate Highway 10. San Antonio-based Embrey Partners, New York City-based Case Pomeroy Properties and San Antonio-based Leon Creek Ltd. have broken ground on a 15-acre, 320-unit multi-family community as part of a larger mixed-use development.

The community is designed to pay tribute to the local history and to the Old Spanish Trail that in the late 1800s passed across the front of the property, at the same time reflecting an upscale, eclectic and pedestrian-friendly environment. Financing for the project comes from JP Morgan, and first occupancy is scheduled for February 2015.

The area offers magnificent hill country views, with walkable access to retail and popular local restaurants like Rudy’s and The Grill. “We’ve worked with other landowners to create a place with improved access that offers the ability to drive into the area and safely walk around; read the signage commemorating the historic nature of the area; visit the Aue homestead, old depot and hotel; and really get a sense of the historical significance of the area,” said Jeff Booth, Embrey’s senior managing partner on the project, in a press statement.

The Dallas-based BGO Architects chose a “Texas Country French” theme, utilizing native limestone. The development will include a 6,397-square-foot, two-story clubhouse featuring a business office, catering kitchen, dining room, fitness center and indoor golf simulator. Outdoor amenities will consist of a luxury pool with cabanas, cooking areas, a trellis-covered outdoor fireplace and green gathering areas. “We’ve designed this as an executive-class lifestyle experience and have made it flexible enough for empty nesters, singles and couples,” added Booth.

The apartments will include one-, two- and three-bedroom options, as well as carriage house units and townhomes; they will range in size from 608 square feet to 1,409 square feet. Residents will be able to choose from three interior design finish packages including high-quality granite countertops and custom wood cabinets. They will also be able to upgrade to packages normally found only in custom, single-family homes, such as designer hardware and lighting, stainless steel appliances and attached private garages.

The east side of the development overlooks homes in the Dominion, one of San Antonio’s most exclusive, Hill Country neighborhoods. Two premier residential buildings will offer elevators, one overlooking the pool and the other flanking the amenity center. “We’re very excited about developing it in a way that will reflect the quality and timeless architectural appeal the Dominion is known for,” said Booth.

Photo courtesy of Embrey Partners.

Canyon Realty Funds $55.2M Senior Loan for Final Phase of Retail Center The Rim

4 Mar 2014, 2:58 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The prosperous North San Antonio market keeps on flourishing, especially the Northwest Corridor. Following investment led by Hines Global REIT in massive retail center The Rim, the final phase of construction is about to commence. Canyon Capital Realty Advisors announced its involvement in the financing for the fifth phase with a $55.2 million senior loan to an affiliate of Thomas Land and Development L.L.C. RIM V adds 254,606 square feet of retail space to the existing construction, and 91 percent of it is already pre-leased to retail tenants.

This transaction is the second investment Canyon Realty has made in the Northwest submarket of San Antonio in the past three years. “RIM V is a compelling investment opportunity for Canyon Realty, given the project’s thriving trade area, with affluent demographics, excellent visibility and access, and a diverse tenant mix of national and local retailers,” said Robin Potts, director of Canyon Realty, in a press statement. “Thomas developed the first four phases of the RIM, which have become San Antonio’s premier power center, and we look forward to building on that success with the fifth phase of the center.”

RIM V is ideally located in the middle of the first four phases, which are 100 percent occupied. Scheduled to be finalized by the end of 2014, it includes among its tenants Hobby Lobby, PetSmart, Total Wine & More, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill and Bowl & Barrel.

“We are excited that Canyon Realty’s loan enables us to complete the vision of adding new top-tier retail tenants to the project,” stated Stan Thomas, founder, chairman & CEO of Thomas Land and Development. “Canyon Realty brought significant value to the project by moving quickly to structure and to execute the construction loan in a short timeframe to meet the needs of the transaction.”

Photo courtesy of The Rim.

Hines Acquires a Portion of The Rim Outdoor Retail Center

25 Feb 2014, 2:38 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The Northwest San Antonio is developing at very high speed. The latest acquisition is evidence of high interest coming from the investors: Hines Global REIT Inc. announced it purchased the retail interest of Georgia-based Thomas Land & Development in The Rim, the largest outdoor retail center in Texas.

The Rim has been designed to be constructed in five phases: The first four were completed between 2006 and 2008, and the last phase is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015. The complex, which encompasses 1.8 million square feet located at the intersection of Interstate 10 and Highway 1604, is currently 99.5 percent leased to popular brands including Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, JC Penney, Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off Fifth and TJ Maxx.

“We were attracted to this property due to the desirable location in one of the strongest growth markets in the U.S. The strong tenant base, which has historically exceeded 98 percent occupancy since opening in 2006, proves it’s one of the best centers in Texas,” said Sherri Schugart, president & CEO of Hines Global REIT, in a press statement.

Hines Global REIT invested in the acquisition of 796,445 square feet of The Rim, plus rights to 259,656 square feet currently under construction, with completion set for Dec. 31, 2014, as well as the right to purchase an additional 97,000 square feet expected to be built by Dec. 31, 2015. The parcels left out of the transaction entitle 647,174 square feet and comprise a few other tenants, plus some that are individually owned by Bass Pro Shops, Lowe’s, Santikos Palladium Theatres and Target.

The seller was represented by Eastdil Secured. The purchase price has not been revealed by the buyer; however, Hines reported it in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission as $176.4 million. The property manager of the newly acquired retail space will be Hines’ Southwest regional office.

“The Rim is the fourth retail asset acquired by Hines Global REIT and is the largest to date. This acquisition is a great accomplishment and a great addition to our quality portfolio of retail centers.  We are grateful to Thomas Land & Development and Eastdil for their efforts in bringing this transaction to a close,” added Kenton McKeehan, managing director at Hines.

Photo courtesy of Hines

Embrey Partners Receives Approval for M-U Development

19 Feb 2014, 7:47 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The border delimitating the urban and suburban areas of San Antonio started fading away when Embrey Partners announced it had received zoning approval to turn 8.2 acres of commercial space in the Legacy Shopping Center into an apartment development with 289 units. The property is located at Loop 1604 and Highway 281 in northern San Antonio and will be the third mixed-use community the company has built along the 281 corridor.

“This is very unique for the area. We’re urbanizing the suburbs. There’s no longer this line drawn in the sand between city and suburb. People can have that urban, walkable experience they want with a suburban location,” said John Kirk, executive vice president of development for Embrey Partners. “Embrey has had success with similar mixed-use projects, like the one at the Quarry with Artessa, and is now bringing it further north to Legacy,” he added.

The multifamily development is part of the Santikos Legacy master plan; construction on the Legacy apartments could start toward the end of this spring. The construction plan consists of three- and four-story buildings with parking both underground and on the surface, private garages, elevators, a two-level fitness facility, a resort-style infinity pool with private cabanas and views of the Hill Country to the north, and a dog park, all in a walkable area that is close to retail and restaurants.

The size of the Class A apartments starts from 550 square feet for a one-bedroom unit and goes up to 1,200 square feet for a two-bedroom unit. Their design will be all about Generation Y: in an urban environment with convenience and choices specific to it, but outside the city center. “The design is Texas contemporary. We’ve taken great care to complement the Texas Hill Country and the existing retail,” said Kirk.

“We are excited about the addition of an urban residential development to the existing restaurant, entertainment, shops, services and loft-style offices of the Legacy. Embrey Partners has been very successful with its multifamily developments in San Antonio, and we are pleased they have chosen Legacy for their next local project,” stated John Santikos, president & owner of Santikos Real Estate Services.

Titan Development Expands Industrial Park with 184 Acres

11 Feb 2014, 2:53 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The Titan Industrial Park, located in Schertz and Selma, 20 miles northeast of San Antonio and 60 miles south of Austin, has almost doubled in size. Titan Development earlier this month acquired 184 acres for development after purchasing 124 acres at Enterprise Avenue and Lookout Road last August.

“Titan Development is one of the Southwest’s largest and most active, vertically integrated real estate developers. Titan offers development and construction services for residential, mixed-use, office, industrial and retail real estate,” said Kevin Reid, the company’s chairman.

With this acquisition, the park spans 293 acres of land across two cities and Titan secures a place as a dominant player in the Northeast submarket. The deal secures the last of the larger land tracts that were still available in the area, reported CBRE’s Rob Burlingame, who handles leasing for Titan Industrial Park along with Endura Advisory Group.

“Titan Industrial Park’s original site is well placed to suit users’ expansion needs within the Far Northeast San Antonio submarket. The latest acquisition not only expands the park’s footprint but allows the park to suit a more diverse set of users and offer even more flexible site configurations. It’s truly a win-win situation,” Burlingame said in a news release.

Zoning for the site allows for light-industrial, warehouse, distribution and manufacturing facilities. Due to the location of the development, Titan Industrial Park gains additional growth within the greater Tri-County area, according to CBRE.

Titan Development offers services such as raw and developed land acquisition, full entitlement processes and implementation, fee development, design/build leaseback as well as joint ventures and opportunistic acquisitions, all designed to build material value for clients and investors. They offer development and construction services for residential, mixed-use, office, industrial and retail real estate.

Cantex Development Partners, Southwest Engineers to Develop Las Colinas Subdivision

4 Feb 2014, 6:49 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The full-service civil and environmental engineering consulting firm Southwest Engineers Inc. announced its partnership with real estate development firm Cantex Development LLC to contribute development and civil engineering services for the new Las Colinas Subdivision in Karnes County, near San Antonio.

“The collaboration between Southwest Engineers and Cantex Development reflects the vision of both organizations to help progressively and strategically grow communities like the city of Kenedy,” said the president of Southwest Engineers, John Littlefield, in a press statement. “Our goal is to identify meaningful, high-quality projects and develop reliable, long-term solutions that successfully position Texas communities and municipalities to benefit today’s community and future generations,” he added.

Las Colinas is designed to be built in three phases; 115 lots will be offered in the first two phases of the development. The community’s construction will begin in the second quarter of 2014, and the first phase should be finished by the end of the year. The developers offer three models for the single-family homes; the square footage for these ranges from 1,336 to 1,791 within the price range $169,900 to $219,900. They also offer three models of duplex homes, ranging in square footage between 1,367 and 2,069 and in price between $164,900 and $229,900.

Nowadays, in its current state, Kenedy relies on temporary housing options (RV parks, “man camps,” and just a few hotels in surrounding areas) for its residents – most of them employees and visitors connected with the oil and gas industries. The partnership set as a goal the construction of a more permanent housing option for them.

“It is a privilege to partner with Cantex Development on this innovative milestone for the city of Kenedy,” stated Eric Schulze, senior project engineer of Southwest Engineers. “As a family owned and operated business, we focus on projects centered on sustainable community growth. We’ve been working in and around Kenedy for more than 30 years and are very excited to help bring this new community to life.”

Photo courtesy of Cantex Development.

Stream Realty Partners Acquired San Antonio Medical Office Building

28 Jan 2014, 5:55 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The medical office building at 5109 Medical Drive has been acquired by the national real estate development and investment firm Stream Realty Partners. The address is on the campus of Christus Santa Rosa Medical Center in the South Texas Medical Center. Details about the transaction have not been made public.

The four-story, Class A office property encompasses 80,000 square feet, situated on 3.43 acres in the Northwest submarket. This area in particular experienced a prosperous 2013, showing a net absorption of 86,381 square feet in the fourth quarter alone, according to a CBRE report.

Lately, physicians’ interest in areas that are more convenient to patients has attracted them to retail and office assets. “Stream Realty purchased 5109 Medical Drive because of its central location within the South Texas Medical Center and opportunity to accommodate a variety of users,” said Carolyn Hinchey Shaw, vice president with Stream, in a news release.

Leasing will be handled by Shaw and Jason Schnittger, a senior vice president in Stream’s San Antonio office, and the company will also provide property management services.  “Since it is the only property in South Texas Medical Center of this size and quality, we anticipate finding users quickly.” Schnittger noted.

Photo courtesy of Stream Realty.

Welcome Home Center Open in Wortham Oaks by Lennar San Antonio

21 Jan 2014, 6:05 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

A new Welcome Home Center is open in North Central San Antonio, at 22307 Akin Doe. Lennar, one of the nation’s leading homebuilders, introduced the Oak Knoll Collection in Wortham Oaks.

The Oak Knoll Collection offers five floor plans ranging from 1,580 to 2,743 square feet. Pricing starts at $199,400 and goes up to $257,400. The more spacious alternative is featured at the Welcome Home Center and includes four bedrooms, with the master bedroom on the ground level, 2.5 baths, two stories, a two-car garage and a study and game room.

“Wortham Oaks is a wonderful master-planned community on San Antonio’s Northside that’s still at a more affordable price,” Tony Cerna III, director of sales and marketing for Lennar San Antonio, said in a news release. “The Oak Knoll Collection features one- and two-story plans designed with families in mind.”

The amenities for this gated community include a swimming pool, a pavilion and trails among native Live Oak trees. The community includes plans for a future Judson ISD elementary school. Lennar is known to offer luxurious touches as standard in its Everything Included communities, as well as GE Energy Star appliance packages, 9-foot and 10-foot ceilings per plan, covered patios, two-inch faux wood blinds, energy efficiency features and more.

“This excellent Northside location gives residents easy access to Highway 281, Loop 1604 and IH-35,” Cerna continued. “Whether you work downtown or at nearby military bases, Wortham Oaks is centrally located on the north side of the city, with lots of shopping, entertainment and dining options nearby.”

Photo courtesy of Lennar

WholeLife Cos. Buys Land for Premier Active Adult Community in Cibolo Canyons

30 Dec 2013, 6:48 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

WholeLife Cos. is one step closer to starting construction on its planned $55 million active adult living community in Cibolo Canyons. On Dec. 17, the developer announced it completed the acquisition of a 32-acre parcel of land just across the street from the entrance to the J.W. Marriott Hill Country Resort and Spa and the two PGA Tournament Players Club golf courses. It will be the future home of The WholeLife Traditions community.

WholeLife paid $7.7 million for the land. The company acquired it from the Forestar Group Inc., an Austin-based real estate company and the developer of Cibolo Canyons, a unique 2,100-acre master-planned community located north of San Antonio. Norton Rose Fullbright and Labarthe law firms represented WholeLife in the transaction, while Transwestern’s Michael Griffin represented WholeLife as its realtor.

The WholeLife Traditions community will be a 154-unit luxury active adult-living community. Units will range between 1,500 and 2,000 square feet. It is designed by architect Ken Schaumburg of Ft. Worth. The landscaping, sidewalks, streetlights and the design of the homes will  make WholeLife Traditions look and feel just like a traditional American neighborhood. The community includes an expansive and functional WholeLife Club, with event space, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, a game room and community services.

The Bexar County Commission unanimously approved a $55 million tax-exempt bond to finance the construction of the project in mid-October. Pape Dawson Engineers is the civil engineer for the project, while the Willis Group will provide risk management services. Gables Residential, a division of ING Financial Services, will provide operations and leasing services.

Photo credits: WholeLife Cos.

Mobile Leasing Starts at Carter’s Tetro Student Village

16 Dec 2013, 9:47 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Atlanta-based developer Carter has started leasing Tetro Student Village, a student housing project under construction at 14402 Babcock Road, less than half a mile from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Its approach is unique.

A 14-inch food truck has been customized into Tetro Truck, a mobile leasing center with full equipment for virtual tours of the units and an ability to conduct all transactions online. This uncommon marketing tool will travel to nearby festivals, parks, sporting events, restaurants and bars to promote the new development and pre-lease to those interested.

“Tetro Student Village will be a tremendous addition to the San Antonio market,” said David Nelson, vice president of Carter’s development team, in a press statement. “All of the pieces are in place for it to be extremely successful: innovative marketing and leasing, strong growth in student enrollment at UTSA, proximity to campus and a wide array of high-quality amenities that have been re-imagined  for college living to meet the high expectations of today’s student.”

The community covers 16 acres and will total 198 units with 590 beds, including 121 flat-style apartments and 77 townhomes built around a town center. One-, two-, three- and four-bedroom floor plans will be available, and the townhomes will include two-car garages. Amenities will include a resort-style pool; volleyball, basketball and bocce ball courts; a soccer field; a grilling area; a fire pit; a study room; an arcade; a dog park; a tanning room; a coffee shop; a sports bar; a state-of-the-art fitness center; and a media room. The development is scheduled to open in fall of 2014.

Cardinal Group Management will operate the property. “We are excited to be working with Carter to deliver premier student housing for the San Antonio market,” said Del de Windt, CEO of the management firm. “Tetro will not only be a gorgeous community but an affordable one, as well. With its proximity to campus, unit sizes and top-of-the-market amenities, Tetro will provide students of UTSA with a community-focused living experience unlike any other.”

Photo courtesy of Tetro Student Village.                

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