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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.                



Methodist Hospital Announces $200M Expansion

10 Dec 2013, 9:56 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The Methodist Hospital opened in 1963 in the South Texas Medical Center with 175 beds and 272 employees. These days, the hospital has 882 beds and a staff of 3,538 members; recently they’ve announced a significant expansion of $200 million that will start in early 2014 and be completed by 2017.

The project consists of the expansion of the footprint by 445,000 square feet, and includes renovations and development for both the Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital.

“With a 50-year track record of as the most preferred hospital in the region, it’s important to continue to meet the needs of our community, our employees, and our physicians,” said Gay Nord, CEO of Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital, in a press release. “Our landmark expansion includes upgrades to substantial areas and services across Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital to include the addition of two new patient towers, expansion of women’s services and neonatal ICU, and expansion of emergency services as well as surgical services.”

The Methodist Hospital Central Tower will be expanded with a new entrance and the adult emergency department will grow to 48 treatment rooms. The sub-level surgical pre-operating and post-operating areas will also be enhanced and an additional nine story parking garage, partially underground, will improve patient access from the parking area directly to the surgical suites.

The Methodist Children’s Hospital, opened in 1998 as the only facility of its kind in the region, will grow from 32 beds 40 in the Emergency Department and a six story patient care tower will be added. A new entrance for the Children’s Hospital is also part of the plan. The Methodist Children’s Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) will result in 94 beds.

For the comfort of the patients and their families, more than 90 percent of the patient rooms will be private rooms.

“We’ve built a reputation for providing exceptional health care to the people of San Antonio and South Texas,” Nord added. “Now it’s time for us to embark on the largest construction project our organization has ever undertaken.”

Photo courtesy of Methodist Hospital



PHH Ventures Partners Lease Aztec Theater, with Plans to Redevelop It

2 Dec 2013, 4:58 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

After successfully collaborating to transform Sam’s Burger Joint into a live music venue, Sam Panchevre and Keith Howerton, partners at PHH Ventures Entertainment L.L.C., have signed a multi-year lease with Baron Theodore Bracht for the 87-year-old historic Aztec Theater. The property, located at 201 E. Commerce St., will undergo renovations that will transform it into a concert venue capable of accommodating midsize touring acts.

The Aztec presents the design of Meyer & Holler, flaunting vibrantly colored columns, sculptures, furnishings and murals, some of them authentic reproductions of Meso-American artifacts. The interior is decorated with fixtures, furnishings, relief carvings, sculptures, plaques, painted symbols and architectural elements inspired by the Aztec, Mixtec, Zapotec, Toltec and Mayan cultures. The theater has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1992, which helped keep it safe from demolition. Baron Theodore Bracht purchased the building in 1998 and invested $20 million into its restoration in 2006.

The estimated budget for the redevelopment project is $2 million, which will increase the capacity from 1,700 seats to 2,000. “So many promoters, talent buyers and artists have talked to us about wanting to book shows that will draw 1,500 to 2,000 people. They can’t find the right venue in San Antonio,” Panchevre told the San Antonio Business Journal.

Aside from readjusting the seating configuration, the renovation will include new concert lighting and sound, along with a new bar. The project is scheduled to be finalized by mid-January 2014.

Photo courtesy of Aztec on the River



SouthStar Announces Three New Neighborhoods in New Braunfels Community

26 Nov 2013, 2:39 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Following strong sales in the Vintage Oak community, residential investment, development and management firm SouthStar announced plans for three new neighborhoods in the city of New Braunfels, northeast of San Antonio. The master-planned community has been on the market since 2006, but only in the past 10 months announced the sale of more than 100 housing lots.

“Vintage Oaks showcases the best of the Hill Country,” said Thad Rutherford, senior vice president of SouthStar. “We are pleased with the strong sales and continue to anticipate more growth in the South Texas market.”

As a result, the company decided to make available more lots of different sizes, distributed in three neighborhoods: Vineyard Ranch, The Reserve and Silver Oaks. All three of them will join the community that encompasses 3,300 acres of land along FM 3009 and State Highway 35.

Vineyard Ranch offers the most generous lots of all, with sizes ranging from five to 14 acres, while Silver Oaks is designed to offer one- to two-acre lots, and The Reserve features one-acre home sites. The latter is meant to respond to the need of an immediate move-in, having a set of designs to choose from so the buyer doesn’t have to go through the time-consuming process of securing a custom-home builder for the lot they’re purchasing.

Vintage Oak is not the only New Braunfels community SouthStar has in the development process. The company is also behind Havenwood at Hunters Crossing, located at 5975 FM 1102.

Photo courtesy of SouthStar Communities.



Hunter’s Ridge Becomes Elm Creek Apartments After Presidium Group Acquisition

19 Nov 2013, 5:26 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Formerly known as Hunter’s Ridge, the apartment complex at 2358 NW Military Highway, near Hardberger Park, has a new owner and a new name. Presidium Group, a Dallas-based real estate investment and management firm, added the community to its portfolio. A rebranding process led to its being renamed as Elm Creek Apartments.

The property offers 81 units in five different floor plans, including from one to four bedrooms. A $1.1 million renovation to both the interiors and the exteriors will include upgraded flooring, lighting fixtures, appliances, hardware and plumbing. Exterior work includes landscaping, exterior wall upgrades, a pool and leasing office improvements.

“The location of this acquisition, coupled with the renovation and rebranding efforts, significantly increase the potential value of the property,” Cross Moceri, co-chief executive officer of Presidium, reported to the Business Journal .

According to the company’s website, Elm Creek Apartments is its second acquisition in the San Antonio area. In September, Presidium Group created a joint venture with Los Angeles-based private real estate investment firm Tryperion Partners to acquire Oakwell Springs, a 252-unit apartment complex located in the northeast submarket of San Antonio.

“San Antonio’s real estate market is very attractive, and this acquisition is part of our long-term strategy to grow our presence in this market,” said Moceri.

Photo courtesy of Elm Creek Apartments.



Sevona Westover Hills Community Acquired by Steel Castle Property Partners

12 Nov 2013, 7:14 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Renowned real estate investment vehicle Steel Castle Property Partners announced the acquisition of a Class A multifamily property in San Antonio’s distinguished Westover Hills community. The transaction was performed through Steel Castle Capital L.L.C., a boutique real estate investment management firm with offices on both coasts.

Sevona Westover Hills is located wonderfully in the nearness of State Highway 51 (Raymond E. Stotzer Jr. Freeway) with Loop 1604 (Charles W. Anderson Loop) and the Christus Santa Rosa Westover Medical Center. The Sea World San Antonio and the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa are also part of the surrounding environment.

“During the due diligence phase of the transaction, we learned that the U.S. Department of Defense invested a great deal in the area’s technology infrastructure,” said Bob Cooney, managing principal at Steel Castle Capital, in a press release. “This high-speed fiber access, in turn, attracted many large employers. In addition to the medical center and Sea World, Wells Fargo, Chase, Microsoft, Nationwide and other well-known corporations all have job centers within a short drive of the property.”

The community was built recently, with an eco-friendly focus and luxurious living space, in Texas’ hillside area. It offers 296 units in eight floor plans. Amenities include a 5,000–square-foot clubhouse designed after a historic Texas farmhouse from the 1800s, a cutting-edge fitness center and a resort-style swimming pool. The units have private balconies, expansive nine-foot-high ceilings, crown moldings, generous walk-in closets and ceiling fans. Tenants have the option to choose from designer interior color schemes.

“Sevona Westover Hills is already enjoying strong occupancy,” reported Craig Reed, managing principal at Steel Castle Capital. “It’s a Class A property in a Class A suburban community, and we’re very excited to have it in the Steel Castle Property Partners portfolio.”

Photo courtesy of Steel Castle Capital.



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.







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