Texas Construction News from Virtual Builders Exchange
Posted: 3-21-2016, 10:48 a.m.
San Antonio (Bexar Co.) – Negotiations are underway between Port San Antonio and Dallas-based Granite Redevelopment Properties, who along with San Antonio-based Mission DG plan to expand workforce housing on the inland port’s 1,900-acre campus.
In a prepared statement released Monday, Port San Antonio stated that, “In the days ahead, the Port will work with the developers to establish a plan to upgrade almost 300 existing unoccupied townhome-style units at the Billy Mitchell Village apartment complex, located along the northern boundary of the property.”
The project—with a total cost estimated of $20 million—would more than triple residential offerings for the growing number of families working at the Port and the surrounding area. Before construction begins later this year, the Port will enter into a formal agreement with Granite and Mission DG.
Mission DG is an affiliate of the San Antonio-based 210 Development Group, which also specializes in multi-family residences. 210’s recent projects include the Peanut Factory Lofts in downtown San Antonio, Villa Espada Apartments and the Aviator Lofts at Brooks City Base—the region’s other base redevelopment authority.
San Antonio Port President and Chief Executive Officer Roland Mower said, “This is a huge step forward in the ongoing transformation of our large property as we continue to support the region’s economic growth. The ability to offer additional quality housing in close proximity to employers at the Port and elsewhere in southwest San Antonio creates a win-win for our customers, their employees and the area surrounding the Port.”
Granite’s president, Tim Gillean, added, “We’re excited about the opportunity to partner with one of the region’s growth leaders. We look forward to collaborating with the Port team and our partners in the days ahead to refine and execute a development agreement and bring new units to the market as quickly as possible and provide a good value to those residents.”
Henry Cisneros, a Mission DG partner and former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said, “Our focus is to cultivate an environment that facilitates future growth at the community level by rebuilding our neighborhoods into livable and sustainable communities/
“Our roots are in San Antonio, and we look forward to working closely with the Port and Granite to create a quality workforce housing project at Billy Mitchell Village that unlocks the area’s intrinsic value and promotes development at the Port,” Cisneros said.
The Billy Mitchell Village was home to Air Force personnel before Kelly Air Force Base was decommissioned in the mid-1990s and converted into an industrial park with intermodal transport capacity. The village is within the city’s political District 4, represented today by Councilman Rey Saldaña.
“A lot of great things are happening at the Port,” Saldaña said. “The addition of 300 new housing units will be a boon to our district—supporting the Port’s job-creation mission and also generating new activity and opportunities for families and small businesses in the surrounding area.”
Billy Mitchell Village encompasses 374 townhome-style residences on 43 acres within the main Port property. The complex, which is adjacent to the Thompson Neighborhood, is bisected by South General McMullen Drive—a major artery into San Antonio’s Westside with quick access to U.S. Highway 90 and Interstate Highways 10, 35 and 37.
Billy Mitchell Village was first established in the late 1940’s to house military families. Port San Antonio, which for nearly 20 years has led redevelopment of the former base, assumed ownership of the complex in 2010. Beginning in 2011, the Port’s in-house team upgraded several buildings of units and quickly leased them to the general public.
Occupancy for the 82 units upgraded to date has averaged 95 percent over the past five years. With a proven market now established, the Port wanted a development agreement to accelerate availability of additional housing. Units range from two to four bedrooms and approximately 1,000 to 1,600 square feet in size. The Port also offers furnished units for businesses who require short-term housing as they relocate employees to the region.
About half of the current residents work for Port SA employers, which include Boeing, Lockheed Martin, StandardAero, Xerox and several major Department of Defense operations and contractors. The other residents work for different area employers, which include neighboring Lackland Air Force Base as well as businesses in downtown San Antonio, located within a 10-minute drive from the Port SA.
In the weeks ahead, the Port’s real estate development team will engage the developers to finalize project details, including timeline, types of upgrades required by the different units, floor plans, and additional amenities. The two firms bring important development expertise. Granite has upgraded over 10,000 units to date, mostly in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The company also manages about 6,000 units.