The Austin firm Ironwood Real Estate has made its second major purchase in Southtown over the last year, buying two buildings on South St. Mary’s Street, including a 1920s-era office building and the retail strip that’s home to the Southtown Vinyl record shop. 

A partnership linked with the firm purchased the two adjacent properties — totalling 0.46 acres, at 1112 and 1114 S. St. Mary’s St., across the street from The Good Kind restaurant — on Feb. 14 from the local brokerage JJ Real Co., county deed records show. 

The sale price was not disclosed; the Bexar Appraisal District valued the properties at a total of $1.3 million last year.

The purchase comes three months after Ironwood bought one of Southtown’s most prominent retail centers — the 1.1-acre, 14,800-square-foot building at 812 S. Alamo St., at the crossing of South Alamo and South St. Mary’s streets, featuring signature businesses such as Pharm Table, Mixtli and Brown Coffee Co. The firm took out a $6.96 million loan from the State Life Insurance Company of Indiana to make that purchase.

Ironwood bought that building, known as Southtown Junction, from GrayStreet Partners, which had completed a painstaking renovation in 2017. The building formerly served as the Texas Highway Patrol Museum.

Matthew Hooks, Ironwood’s founding principal, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Apart from Ironwood, several other out-of-town firms have invested in the area just south of downtown in recent years. The Austin developer OHT Partners unveiled plans last year to build a 310-unit, four-story apartment building at 400 Probandt St., across the railroad from The Flats at Big Tex.

In May, a partnership including the prominent Austin entrepreneur Abe Zimmerman bought the retail strip at 803 S. St. Mary’s St. that was then home to the Francis Bogside bar. Francis Bogside announced in July that it would close and move, and the bar’s sign has appeared on a building in St. Paul Square on East Commerce Street that formerly housed Smoke, a barbecue restaurant. An email sent to the bar’s email address was returned as undeliverable.

In summer 2021, an entity linked with Braun Enterprises, a Houston real estate and development firm, bought the 2,600-square-foot, 0.22-acre property at 620 S. Presa St. that formerly served as the Señor Veggie vegetarian restaurant — another Southtown business that has lately closed.

The office building Ironwood recently purchased, at 1114 S. St. Mary’s includes nearly 8,800 square feet of space over two stories and features tenants such as the Robot Creative marketing agency. 

The Southtown Vinyl retail strip, at 1112 S. St. Mary’s, dates to the 1940s and includes about 2,880 square feet of space, according to the Bexar Appraisal District. Tommy Newman, the owner of Southtown Vinyl, said in an email that there are no plans to move the shop. It has been in the strip since 2021 after being founded in 2016 in retail space in The 1010 South Flores Apartments, he said.

“I don’t plan on moving the shop anytime soon,” he said in the email. “This has been a great location, and we hope to continue to provide a great place for our customers to hang and shop.”

Customers browse a selection of albums at Southtown Vinyl.
Customers browse a selection of albums at Southtown Vinyl. Credit: Bria Woods / San Antonio Report

Ironwood has developed major projects in Austin, including a 32-story, 360,000-square-foot office tower at 300 Colorado St. in the city’s downtown, which it completed in 2020 in partnership with another firm, according to its website.

In San Antonio, it owns several commercial properties outside of Southtown, including the Olmos Park retail strip at the intersection of McCullough and Hildebrand avenues and the Plaza at Encino Commons retail center off of Loop 1604 on the far North Side.

Richard Webner

Richard Webner

Richard Webner is a freelance reporter covering the San Antonio and Austin metro areas.