What a difference one mile can make.

The stretch of Broadway between Josephine Street and McCullough Avenue is a three-minute drive – seven on a bike – with aging storefronts contrasting with construction fencing as its impressive rebirth gathers steam.

Significant public and private investment that began 15 years ago at an abandoned brewery has  brought lower Broadway out of the shadows and transformed it into a magnet for all manner of new construction and redevelopment projects.

The river runs through it, and now so does the money. Even as City officials contend with an improvement plan for Broadway that would bring expanded sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and lighting to the area, there’s new development at nearly every corner, with more to come.

All that growth shows that the “housing first” strategy works, said Assistant City Manager Lori Houston.

“The boom in development … is due to the expansion of the San Antonio River, the City’s commitment to downtown development through incentives, and our local development community’s willingness to take on more financial risk than normal,” she said.

In the 10 years since the River Walk was expanded, more than 2,000 housing units have been added to the area. Occupancy rates are high.

“These units facilitated new neighborhood-serving retail and more Class A office space,” Houston said. “It shows that public infrastructure can be a catalyst and that there is an overwhelming desire for downtown housing.”  

This map identifies the projects transforming this part of Broadway as we head into 2020.

  • 2100 Broadway: A 196-square-foot tiny house once owned by a councilman sits squarely in the center of a former used car lot, the site of a proposed multi-story office building project that is on hold, according to a Stream Realty Partners representative.
  • Jefferson Bank: Jefferson Bank is developing the 1.7-acre property at Broadway and East Grayson streets where several shotgun homes were demolished to make way for its new headquarters.
  • Oxbow Building: A Silver Ventures project, the eight-story tower at 1803 Broadway now under construction will feature office, food, beverage, and retail spaces.
  • 1706 Broadway: This 8,450-square-foot retail space built in 1950 is owned by GrayStreet Partners and currently undeveloped.
  • Credit Human Headquarters: At the corner of Broadway and Pearl Parkway, 1703 Broadway, Silver Ventures is developing a state-of-the-art, sustainably built office tower for the credit union’s new headquarters.
  • W Hotels By Marriott: A GrayStreet Partners development at 1603 Broadway, the 20-story tower is planned as a Marriott-brand W Hotels with a projected opening date of January 2022.
  • Southline Residences: A Silver Ventures project under construction south of the Pearl, at 226 Newell Avenue, will bring 223 units to the area just west of Broadway.
  • 1101 Broadway: This vacant 24,000-square-foot building, formerly the Hughes Supply building, was built in 1940 and is owned by a partnership that includes developer David Adelman.
  • Flats at River North: A five-story mixed-use apartment building at 1011 Broadway is being developed by the NRP Group.
  • Dog Park at Maverick Park: A dog park with a ball-throwing area, drinking water, and a dog shower will be added to Maverick Park.
  • Murray Motor Office Lofts: In 2017, Ridgemont Properties rehabilitated the Murray Motor Sales building into office space at 900 Broadway. In late 2018, it became home to the military-themed apparel store, Grunt Style.
  • The Soto: Hixon Properties is redeveloping the former Cavender auto dealership at 711 Broadway into a six-story, 140,000-square-foot mixed-use building set to open in February 2020 as The Soto. The existing showroom buildings may be renovated for restaurant or brewery space, or short-term rentals.
  • CPS Energy Headquarters: Just off Broadway, at 500 McCullough Ave., CPS Energy is transforming at a cost of $210 million the former AT&T headquarters into a LEED Silver-certified facility. A new 1,200-space parking garage will occupy the northeast corner of the property. A CPS Energy spokesman said the exterior is 98 percent complete and interior work is in full swing. It will be completed in summer 2020.
  • Light Building: GrayStreet Partners is transforming the long-vacant San Antonio Light campus at 420 Broadway into a mixed-use office and retail complex.

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Shari Biediger

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