A rendering of the Texas Research and Technology Foundation proposal at the Merchants Ice Storage building.
This rendering shows the Texas Research and Technology Foundation's proposal for redeveloping the former Merchants Ice building. Credit: Courtesy / Lake Flato

The Texas Research and Technology Foundation (TRTF) on Wednesday released early-concept renderings of the former Merchants Ice building’s forthcoming redevelopment into an integrated live, work, and play complex on San Antonio’s Eastside.

The project does not yet have a groundbreaking date, according to Jenness Gough, marketing and communications coordinator for TRTF.

San Antonio-based architecture firm Lake Flato designed the five-building complex at 1305 E. Houston St. to feature a multi-building innovation center, a boutique hotel, an event center, office and lab space, residential apartments, an outdoor plaza, and greenspace, according to TRTF’s announcement. Austin-based landscape architecture firm DWG is collaborating with Lake Flato on the new development.

TRTF’s new innovation hub VelocityTX will be the complex’s first tenant. Ideally, the bioscience, cybersecurity, and emerging technologies companies identified in TRTF’s international partnerships plan, would move in as they scale up operations.

A rendering of the Texas Research and Technology Foundation proposal at the Merchants Ice Storage building.
This rendering shows an aerial view of TRTF’s proposal for the former Merchants Ice complex. Credit: Courtesy / Lake Flato

With more than 110,000 square feet of built-out space on almost five acres, the long-term vision is to redevelop the plot into a campus complete with partnering ventures and other tenants leasing from TRTF. The commercial activity and leasing income would sustain TRTF’s innovation accelerator with continuous revenue streams.

“Although we are early in the process, we are very happy with the direction Lake Flato and DWG are taking, not only from the development perspective, but also [from] the self-sustaining perspective,” TRTF CEO Randy Harig stated in a press release.

TRTF’s Executive Vice President of Real Estate York Duncan recognized an early challenge in sequencing the complex’s development, given its many components.

“We are finishing up the first phase of the master plan, and have realized we have many options,” Duncan stated. “However, we want to be mindful of making a positive impact on the surrounding community.”

Iris Gonzalez

Iris Gonzalez writes about technology, life science, and veteran affairs. She won the Texas Veterans Commission Media Excellence Awards for her 2016 Veterans Day story "Life as a Veteran: What Veterans...