San Antonio to add 1M square feet of office space with 3 new projects

Dive Brief:

  • The San Antonio Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC) has given its official stamp of approval to what will be first new office tower built in the city since 1989 as well as two other projects that will significantly boost the city's office space, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
  • At its Wednesday meeting, the HDRC approved a 10-story office building, the 23-story Frost Tower, and two River Walk renovations worth $122 million, also the future headquarters of CPS Energy. Including Frost Tower, the three projects total 1.1 million square feet, almost 20% of total office space in downtown San Antonio.
  • The 386-foot-tall Frost Tower will feature 460,000 square feet of Class A office space — 250,000-square feet of which Frost Bank has already leased. The project is also shooting for LEED Silver certification and will include 20,000 square feet of retail space and a 400,000-square-foot parking garage.

Dive Insight:

Clark Construction started work on the 460,000-square-foot Frost Tower project earlier this month, and developer Weston Urban said it plans more future building in the downtown area.

San Antonio officials have previously said that they hope projects like Frost Tower will jumpstart development downtown, and they are not alone. Cities across the country are looking away from the suburbs and toward their cores, providing an incoming flow of residents with increasing live-work-play options.

This is particularly true for many baby boomers, whose children have left the nest and who are now ready to move downtown for a vibrant, urban retirement. Millennials, however, are the main draw for large companies who want to capitalize on that group's skills and their desire to live in a walkable city environment close to where they work.

San Antonio can certainly look to Chicago for inspiration. That city's affordability, along with cultural activities and opportunities for socialization, have drawn corporations like Caterpillar, McDonald's, Kraft Heinz and ConAgra, all ready to capitalize on the millennials graduating from area universities and colleges and O'Hare International Airport, which provides global access to clients.

The office building segment is expected to stand out this year, as Dodge Data & Analytics predicted the office sector will see the strongest surge in starts of any other segment of commercial construction this year.

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