San Antonio: HEB to Request Concept Approval on Tech Hub Building
Feature Illustration (above): HEB Arsenal Campus Tech Hub Building – Northeast approach. Courtesy: Lake|Flato
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar County) — The H-E-B Grocery Company will be requesting conceptual approval next week for the designs for a 170,000-square-foot Tech Hub building that will be constructed on its Arsenal campus.
The proposed new construction will take place on what is currently a surface parking lot. The Historic and Design Review Commission is scheduled to consider the designs at their January 15 public hearing.
The proposed structure will be 96 feet in height. This exceeds the allowable height of 84 feet for this district. However, city staff made a finding that the height is appropriate, “given its distance from one and two story residential structures and the San Antonio River. The Arsenal Historic District on the south end of downtown is also within the River Improvement Overlay-District 4.
The Tech Hub building will be centrally located on the corporate campus.
H-E-B first announced its intention to construct such a facility Aug. 7, 2019 in a corporate press statement. At that time, the concept was for a 150,000-square-foot, five-story building that could house up to 1,000 employees.
The grocery chain hopes to start construction the summer of 2020 and finish the project by summer 2022. The new building is considered an expansion of the corporate headquarters that will eventually add 500 new jobs and relocate H-E-B’s digital partners from other locations in the city.
Company-wide, there are more than 5,500 e-commerce partners who are part of the retailer’s H-E-B Curbside and Home Delivery teams.
H-E-B already has several hundred workers at the Eastside Tech Hub in Austin. Like the sister facility in Austin, the new work space will offer a variety of dynamic work areas spread throughout the floor plan, including open collaboration areas, individual work spaces and meeting rooms equipped with advanced technology and video conferencing capabilities.
The dedicated uses by floor in the Tech Hub building. Courtesy: Lake|Flato.
The building exterior is to feature limestone, glass curtain walls, weathered steel and zinc panels, terracotta screening and wood accent elements. The building exterior is divided into three distinct segments. The mid-section is separated from the base through both a change in materials and a change in scale, and is separated from the cap by architectural control joints, roof elements, and parapet caps.
Lake|Flato presented designs for a step-up building that is 4 1/2 stories on one side and 5 stories on the other.
The southwest approach to the Tech Hub.
“Conceptually, this project is envisioned to be a concrete and mass timber hybrid structure,” the architect stated in the project summary. “The exterior material palette is limestone–matching the character of historic Arsenal campus–curtain wall, mass timber, painted steel and louver systems responding to solar orientation conditions.
“The building will also include campus amenity spaces such as a juice/coffee bar, an amphitheater and multiple courtyards. This new project will celebrate low impact development strategies and sustainable practices on the historic campus.”
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.