Feature Photo (above): A Brooks AFB vintage purple martin birdhouse stands next to one of the surviving buildings on the future site of the Okin BPS campus. Image: Google Maps.
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar County) — Brooks City Base is planning to build an office campus for a Czech company, Okin Business Process Services, that will eventually include 100,000 square feet of new office space and more than 30,000 square feet of remodeled office space.
The Brooks Board of Directors is proceeding with plans to renovate two existing buildings that have a combined 30,024 square feet. Building 167, (13,824 square feet), and Building 176, (16,200 square feet) are hand-me-down one-story buildings that Brooks inherited from the U.S. Department of Defense when Brooks was decommissioned as an Air Force base.
Two other old buildings (165 and 175) also remain on the site that is being dedicated as part of the future Okin BPS campus. They have a combined area of 22,910 square feet, but there are no immediate plans to make use of them.
Instead, the site plan calls for the construction at some future unspecified date of two new buildings, each of them two stories, with one having 60,000 square feet and the other having 40,000 square feet. They will be located on vacant land that once was occupied by other Brooks AFB structures that have since been demolished.
The site at Brooks that has been designated as the future U.S. headquarters campus for Okin BPS. Image: Google Earth.
Requests for Qualifications on the renovation of Buildings 167 and 176 are pending upon future action by the Brooks Board of Directors.
The proposed campus is located on two asymmetrical city blocks northwest of the intersection of Sidney Brooks and Kennedy Hill Drive, and to the south of the University of Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine.
On Sept. 28, the Brooks Finance Committee voted to recommend Board approval for the Brooks president/CEO to negotiate for a line of credit to redevelop Buildings 167 and 176. The Finance Committee also recommended Board approval for the president/CEO to execute a funding agreement with the City of San Antonio for reimbursement of the line of credit.
The Board of Directors followed up on their committee’s recommendation at its Oct. 9 meeting, passing resolutions for financing and reimbursement of “approximately $6 million.”
On Monday, Brooks officials held a joint press conference at Hangar 9 with the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation and various city, county and state officials to publicly announced Okin BPS’s plans to establish its U.S. headquarters in San Antonio. The formalities included an announcement that Okin BPS would receive a $6.6 million grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund for its headquarters move.
The local incentive package will be presented in November to City Council; Brooks is a tax increment reinvestment zone that was created by City Council.
Bexar County Commissioners Court may also consider an incentive package in November.
For its part, Okin BPS is committed to investing $23 million and bringing nearly 1,500 jobs. Monday’s announcement concludes a two-year search by Okin BPS for a U.S. base, according to reports.
Okin BPS provides remote and back-office solutions for other companies. Services include billing and contracting, incident management, maintenance, project management and project support, corporate and customer communication network services and more.
These two buildings next to Sidney Brooks will be renovated to provide interim office space for the future Okin BPS headquarters. Image: Google Maps.