More good news to share about downtown San Antonio’s growing business climate and growth. The San Antonio Business Journal recently highlighted the surge in tech activity that will result in more high-paying jobs downtown and the need for residential options in the downtown area. With only 20 residences remaining at The Alteza above the Grand Hyatt. The news is even better for investors looking to take advantage of closeout opportunities in the building. Here’s the news from the Business Journal:
By Kristen Mosbucker – The San Antonio Business Journal, September 23rd.
Dozens gathered for a nighttime festival with mobile food trucks dishing up empanadas and an open party along Houston Street in downtown San Antonio. It’s a collaborative effort between the City of San Antonio, nonprofit advocacy group Centro San Antonio and Tech Bloc among others working to change the vibe of the central business district as a place for local residents, not just tourists, to spend time.
The local technology industry has been pushing for more focus on the downtown district. In exchange for the city’s investments — like $185,000 for new LED streetlights to run along Houston Street from Santa Rosa to Alamo Plaza, or the multimillion-dollar renovation of San Pedro Creek — technology companies are moving into otherwise vacant office spaces.
Economic development leaders drew an Austin-based startup to lease space in The Vogue building; several technology startups are spinning out of Geekdom LC., a collaborative co-working space downtown; and a startup that raised significant venture capital this year signed a lease near the San Antonio Central Library. In general, the goal is to entice more businesses to sign off for more capital investment in the city center:
• Merge Labs Inc., the creators of Merge VR, a virtual reality headset, raised more than $10 million in 2016 for the technology startup. The company recently moved out of its offices inside the Rand Building and has leased space in a building with River Walk access along the 450 block of Soledad Street.
• Liquid Web will be the biggest technology company tenant in the downtown district, a cloud hosting provider for businesses that purchased Rackspace Hosting Inc.’s Cloud Sites business unit. Michigan-based Liquid Web plans to move 57 existing employees from Rackspace headquarters to offices along Houston Street next door to the River Walk inside the International Bank of Commerce building. By 2020, Liquid Web agreed to have 100 employees working downtown.
So a party that closed down a strip of Houston Street to showcase a new logo for downtown San Antonio was a marketing play, but the capital investment by businesses both inside and outside of the local market is gaining some traction.
And that’s a move lauded by Rackspace’s co-founder Graham Weston, who created Weston Urban. It is also good news for the owners of a longstanding clothing store in Main Plaza — Penners Inc. In 2015, Penner’s, which has been in business for more than 100 years, sold more than 7,000 guayaberas — a linen dress shirt popular throughout Latin America, and in San Antonio too. And in the coming years, the local retailer plans to stay just steps away from the $175 million Pedro Creek project and the new Frost Tower.
“We are fortunate for the future, with the new San Pedro Creek going to be inches from our store,” said Mark Penner, the third generation of the family. “This area is going to be totally different than what my father and mother enjoyed. It’s just going to grow and grow.” The fourth generation owner, Max Penner, who is in his late 20s, plans to keep running the shop.