Wondering why the dirt is being turned or what that huge crane is helping build? Centro San Antonio has launched a new online tool that keeps track of construction activity in downtown San Antonio. 

Posted to the Centro website, the Catalytic Projects Web Page features a map that plots development planned or happening in the central business district and the surrounding area, and the status of those projects.

Both private- and public-sector projects are included on the map. 

The goal of the new tool is to keep everyone in the know.

“We often get questions about all of the construction going on downtown, so we built a map to track it all,” stated Matt Brown, president and CEO of Centro. “This tool pulls all information together in one easily accessible place for anyone to explore.”

The information is collected from various sources, including the commercial real estate market analysis firm CoStar, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation and City of San Antonio departments such as Development Services and Public Works. 

To be updated by Centro staff quarterly, the map also includes information provided by property developers, real estate professionals and local news sources like the San Antonio Report

The site invites users to submit updates to the information as needed. 

New apartment and hotel buildings as well as planned and ongoing street repairs, flood control and cultural amenities are all pinpointed on the map. 

There are 62 private projects either completed since 2019, under construction or planned for the central business district totaling over $2 billion, according to the page. On the public-sector side, there are another 40 projects completed, ongoing or planned, adding up to almost $2.5 billion.

“This has been a long need in downtown,” said Sarah Esserlieu Khalil, Centro’s economic development director, who spearheaded the project with her team. It’s the only tool she has seen that includes both public and private sector development. 

“I think because we have such a sizable level of investment from the public sector from the 2017 bond and then again in 2022 that it’s really helpful to have both … so we wanted it to be kind of unique and useful and usable,” she said. 

The tool also provides a closer look at ongoing development in three distinct parts of downtown — the Broadway corridor, the Hemisfair and Alamo area and the Zona Cultural and Downtown UTSA area. 

Future phases of the project could expand to other areas, Khalil said. 

A screenshot of the Centro Catalytic Map shows projects along the Broadway Corridor.
A screenshot of the Centro Catalytic Projects map shows projects along the Broadway corridor. Credit: Courtesy / Centro San Antonio

“I would love to take this to be much more focused on the regional center as a whole,” she said, citing the Lone Star district, if development takes off there, and the East Side, where bioscience accelerator VelocityTX is working to establish an Innovation District

The tool also tallies the number of projects going on in the central business district, the total investment being made in those projects, the office square footage and the number of new and rehabilitated residential units and hotel rooms planned.

“Companies interested in moving to San Antonio or opening a new branch want to know about the growth our market is experiencing,” stated Larry Mendez, first vice president at commercial real estate firm CBRE. “Having this information readily available will help attract new companies to the downtown submarket.”

It will also help the city’s economic development officials promote San Antonio.  

“Downtown San Antonio is among the strongest assets in our region with additional room for growth,” stated Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, president and CEO of Greater:SATX. 

“With over $3 billion in investment underway, this tool will help prospects understand the scale of investment from the public and private sector, while helping us to demonstrate where they can make their mark and play a role in building our future.”

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Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is the development beat reporter for the San Antonio Report.