Running the Road to a Bigger & Better Downtown
Q1 2021 San Antonio Office Outlook
A resurgence of investment in downtown San Antonio is bringing new excitement and attention to the central business district. One of the key factors garnering this attention is the expansion of the University of Texas at San Antonio’s downtown campus, with the addition of the $90 million National Security Collaboration Center & National School of Data Science along San Pedro Creek and the relocation of the College of Business. The $15 million donation from Graham Weston to help secure funding for this new project, along with a $20 million donation from Shiner Brewery owner Carlos Alvarez to rename the business school and advance the University’s research capabilities, are expected to have a serious impact on the city’s economy.
This funding is part of UTSA’s campaign to raise $500 million in support of its 10-year vision for the downtown campus. The University is seeking to expand its downtown footprint on parcels of land adjacent to the existing downtown campus. The land was acquired from a combination of gifts from the city, county, Weston Urban, TxDOT, and the University’s own fund. The expansion will be conducted in four phases and include over 4.25 million square feet of academic, athletic, research, retail, and office space throughout more than 20 proposed buildings. The goal is to be the gateway that connects the west side neighborhood to downtown with pleasant walkable areas and inviting spaces while maintaining the historical and cultural influences of the area and adding the space that UTSA needs to accommodate the significant campus population growth in addition to their larger academic and research aspirations.
This expansion, accompanied by dozens of other developments and renovations will continue to help revitalize the central business district and bolster the local economy. With the easing of restrictions and an increasing number of vaccinations being distributed, we are expecting to see a rebound in the office market while most businesses plan to return to the office by the third quarter of this year.
On March 31st, the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation unveiled the All In SATX plan, which aims to add 140,000 jobs and generate $55 billion in economic impact by 2025. A team of major employers, small businesses, education and training institutions, economic development organizations, and public-sector agencies collaborated on the plan. The goal is to create economic opportunities for every San Antonian and stimulate the region’s ability to attract talent and to become economically competitive.
In the past, San Antonio has had a reputation of not being able to attract talent as well as other major metropolitan areas, but these types of initiatives will likely change that when it comes to recruiting and advance the city in a way that was just not possible before. There is so much opportunity for growth and with these resources, it looks like the city is finally capitalizing on that opportunity to achieve that in the coming years.