BBVA Compass will showcase its newest retail banking location Monday at the Weston Centre, where the bank set up its San Antonio corporate offices last month, staking a strategic claim in the growing downtown tech corridor.
“We need to embrace this area for the sole fact of the revitalization in downtown San Antonio and the tech wave that is obviously in the downtown area. It only made sense,” said Ryan Parker, BBVA Compass commercial banking manager. He called the site a hybrid – combining executive functions with the services of a branch bank.
In May, the local corporate offices of BBVA Compass relocated to the Weston Centre from Concord Plaza on Jones Maltsberger Road. BBVA Compass is leasing 19,275 sq. ft. on the second floor of San Antonio’s tallest office building and another 9,000 sq. ft. on the first floor for the branch.
Currently, 79 people work at BBVA Compass in the Weston Centre, with 10 assigned to provide services at the branch. In the brightly lit bank branch, there are two BBVA Compass ATMs, but the bank will continue to operate its drive-through branch at Soledad and Main streets, which Parker said has been “a staple” for downtown clients for more than 20 years.
“When you see this new branch for the first time, you get the feeling that this is not a typical bank branch,” Parker said. “The lighting we selected gives you a very ‘tech’ but also very warm feeling, so it doesn’t look like any other branch.
“What’s really unique is the amount of conference rooms slated for customer interactions. Our bankers can walk in at any time and have interactions with clients downstairs. Or our customers can book conference rooms to have meetings with their own clients.”
The bank announced its arrival downtown with the March 2 lighting of a bright blue BBVA Compass sign atop the 32-story Weston Centre.
“Our presence downtown and the sign we put on top of the Weston Centre gave us that flag we’ve been waiting on for so many years,” Parker said. “We’ve been in the city for 20-plus years, but we never had the brand awareness we have today, and it’s 100% attributed to that sign.”
Also this fall, Commonwealth Coffeehouse will open in the building, and there are plans for two restaurants as well, said David Held, a partner with Endura Advisory Group, the company that provides leasing services for the Weston Centre. He added that one restaurant would be located on the River Walk level, and another in the fountain area.
Coming even sooner is a 7,000-sq.-ft. health club that Held believes will not only provide tenants with a place to exercise, but also serve as a recruiting tool for the companies housed there.
“Other buildings have fitness centers that are smaller, and some are functional, but it’s really there just to check the box,” Held said. “This one is the real deal and unmatched in San Antonio in any building.”
BBVA Compass, based in Birmingham, Ala., and a subsidiary of Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, is a major U.S. banking franchise and ranks among the top 25 largest U.S. commercial banks based on deposit market share. It operates 25 branches and 130 ATMs in the San Antonio market.