Feature Illustration (above): A concept rendering for a proposed office building at Port San Antonio. Courtesy: Port San Antonio.
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar County) — During a briefing to City Council, the president/CEO of Port San Antonio announced two pending construction projects–the renovation of 80,000 square feet for an aviation industry tenant and the initial planning for a new office building.
President/CEO Jim Perschbach told the council Wednesday that Knight Aerospace would be relocating from its West Side facility to an old Air Force warehouse building at Port San Antonio that is located off the southeast corner of SW 36th Street and Sam Houston Boulevard.
The building was constructed in the late 1970s. Renovations will begin soon.
Knight Aerospace was formed in 1992 and over the past 27 years has become a global leader in the design and fabrication of specialized self-contained modules that can be quickly rolled into and out of large military cargo planes.
A Knight Aerospace module being rolled into the cargo compartment of a C130J at Kelly Field. Courtesy: Knight Aerospace.
The company is best known for its medical modules. These are fully functioning emergency rooms and Intensive Care Units that allow doctors to immediately stabilize and begin treatment of patients while in flight.
Another Knight Aerospace innovation is the enclosed passenger unit, a module used to transport world leaders or command and control personnel as well as systems with rows of seats (palletized seating kits). Knight Aerospace products are used by military and humanitarian relief organizations for aircraft that go into temporary or compromised runways that can’t handle traditional commercial aircraft.
The move will allow Knight to expand its workforce from 40 to about 100 employees. Knight expects to be in operation at Port SA by the end of 2020.
Perschbach also noted that the Board of Directors’ gamble on the construction of Tech I, a spec flex office building, was a success. It was fully leased in less than 12 months.
“In fact, it is so successful, we’re about to build a second,” Perschbach said.
He offered no details on those plans, however. But during the March regular meeting of the Port SA board, Perschbach and the directors discussed plans for a multi-story office building and a conceptual rendering was introduced.
Port SA spokesman Paco Felici said the Port staff is in the planning stages for a second, larger facility that would similarly provide office space and meet requirements to support cyber and other advanced tech operations.