Two of San Antonio’s well-known developers and its largest retailer have recently acquired parcels of downtown real estate valued in the millions of dollars.

Both Weston Urban and Silver Ventures have purchased several acres near the developers’ other properties, with the company led by Rackspace founder Graham Weston moving forward on plans to build on the land starting next year. 

In addition, making good on $100 million expansion plans it announced in 2013, H-E-B also recently purchased vacant land near its headquarters. 

Here’s more about each of these projects:

Apartment plans

Developer Weston Urban is planning a 32-story apartment tower on a downtown property now being used as a parking lot. 

The developer behind the Frost Tower and other large buildings in the urban core is planning a $107 million tower with 351 residential units, retail space on the ground floor, and six levels of structured parking with 456 spaces. 

Weston Urban acquired the property at 305 Soledad St. in September 2019 for an undisclosed sum. Tax records show the commercial parking lot was valued at $3.1 million in its most recent appraisal. Weston also owns the Rand, Milam, and Savoy buildings in downtown San Antonio, among other properties.

Construction on the apartment tower is set to begin next summer and be completed within two years, according to documents submitted to the City’s Planning Commission. 

The commission is considering on Wednesday a request by Weston Urban to close portions of two surrounding streets to allow for a parking garage. City staff determined the closure of 4,590 square feet of North Main Avenue and 2,358 square feet of Soledad Street will not affect pedestrian or vehicular travel. 

The lot size and shape make development challenging, said Randy Smith, president of Weston Urban. “So we’ve got to fix that before anything happens.”

Here everything’s bigger

In the King William neighborhood, H-E-B is stocking up on urban real estate as the grocer prepares to expand its headquarters in downtown San Antonio.

In October, H-E-B purchased from the State of Texas 1.8 acres of vacant land on the northside of East Cesar Chavez Boulevard, according to county records.

Located across the street from the company’s 10-acre campus, known as the Arsenal, the property stretches east from Dwyer Avenue to the San Antonio River Walk.

A spokeswoman said the company does not have plans for the property but added the acquisition is part of the company’s continued and future investment in downtown San Antonio.

H-E-B officials announced in 2019 plans to construct a 150,000-square-foot tech center at its downtown headquarters, bringing 500 new jobs to support its growing digital business. The spokeswoman could not provide an update on that plan.

Pearl expanding shell

Pearl developer Silver Ventures also is expanding its downtown borders. In September, the investor group purchased a 2.2-acre city block situated north of the Pearl along the museum reach of the San Antonio River Walk. 

Located at 102 E. Josephine St., the property is directly across from the La Gloria restaurant and is currently occupied by a massive industrial building constructed in 1990, according to county tax records. 

The property was valued at $6.6 million in its most recent appraisal and was previously owned by Illinois-based investor Glenmorangie. “We don’t have any defined plans for its use,” said Elizabeth Fauerso, chief strategy and marketing officer for The Pearl, adding that for now, it will be used as storage and temporary surface parking.

Silver Ventures has completed construction on the Pearl office tower known as Oxbow. Bank of America is the primary tenant, leasing three floors.

“We’re in the process of populating the ground floor with retail and food and beverage [businesses], and we should be able to announce toward the end of this year, or beginning of next year, those tenants,” Fauerso said. “But like everything else that’s at the Pearl, it’s local, it’s independent.”

In 2017, the developer purchased from Samuel’s Glass Co. a 2.2-acre industrial property adjacent to the Pearl but has not yet developed it. Fauerso said its use will be announced sometime next year.

In July, Silver Ventures announced it was closing the Stable as an event venue. “There are absolutely plans to reconceive the Stable and launch it in a way that will be more public-facing than it’s ever been,” Fauerso said, adding to expect more details early next year.

Disclosure: Graham Weston’s 80 | 20 Foundation, H-E-B, and The Pearl are San Antonio Report business members.

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