With its occupancy at more than 90%, Port San Antonio is increasing its available space through the construction of two new buildings totaling more than 200,000 sq. ft., located in the heart of the Port.

“The time is right for us to grow our capacity,” said Port President and CEO Roland Mower during the groundbreaking ceremony. “These two new buildings give our target industries additional flexibility to grow and be competitive. We look forward to working with our partners to showcase the new facilities and attract new employers to the region.”

A crowd of about 100 guests joined Mayor Ron Nirenberg, U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), San Antonio Economic Development Foundation President and CEO Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, and other City and local industry leaders at the Port’s groundbreaking for the new additions Wednesday morning.

Once completed in mid-2018 the facilities (No. 16 on the Port’s interactive map) will provide large work spaces that can be scaled and customized to meet the specifications of advanced manufacturers, logistics firms, and office operations. The buildings will be located on the northeast corner of 36th Street and Billy Mitchell Boulevard.

Port San Antonio's new office flex complex will be on the northeast corner of at the corner of 36th Street and Billy Mitchell Boulevard.
Port San Antonio’s new office flex complex will be on the northeast corner of 36th Street and Billy Mitchell Boulevard. Credit: Courtesy / Port San Antonio

The new properties were designed by San Antonio-based RVK Architects and will be built by RC Page Construction. The overall campus includes more than 8 million sq. ft. of commercial facilities.

Current Port tenants include more than 70 private and public sector entities that directly employ 12,000 workers and generate more than $5 billion in regional economic activity each year, according to the Port. The forthcoming facilities and other ongoing developments are part of the organization’s strategic vision to create 5,000 new jobs between 2015 and 2020.

“We applaud the Port and the companies already based here for their record of success in growing such a dynamic economic platform,” Nirenberg said. “We support their efforts as industries thrive here and hardworking San Antonians build futures for themselves and their families. Together, we are building a world-class city.”

Mower noted that the facilities launched Wednesday are part of a record year of developments throughout the property. The new industrial facilities will be part of $150 million planned capital projects that include the ongoing construction of the new technology complex that broke ground April. The state-of-the-art complex will anchor the larger planned development and house firms supporting San Antonio’s growing cybersecurity community.

“San Antonio is one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic communities in America today,” Hurd said. “The Alamo City is now synonymous with cybersecurity, aerospace, and advanced manufacturing thanks to partners like Port San Antonio.”

“As this job-creating platform continues to grow, our community needs to ensure that we are empowering young people today and future generations with the skills and talent necessary to take advantage of the different careers that are taking shape here,” said City Councilman Rey Saldaña (D4), whose district is home to the growing Port.

On the north side of the campus, the Port is also renovating nearly 300 townhomes – formerly Air Force family housing – that will significantly add to housing. Slated for completion in 2018, they will be available for leasing to the general public.

The pending completion of an extension of 36th Street between General Hudnell Drive and Billy Mitchell Boulevard is the last phase of a long-term project led by the City of San Antonio that added nearly two miles of new road from U.S. Highway 90 into the heart of the Port campus. The $60 million effort was made possible through funding from the Port as well as local, state, and federal partners.

The City, through the 2017-2022 municipal bond approved by voters in May, is supporting the $24-million project for new drainage infrastructure needed for the redevelopment of the large campus.

“To remain competitive in today’s world, manufacturers need access to a top-tier workforce, quickly adaptable facilities, and ready access to their markets through an integrated logistics platform,” San Antonio Manufacturers Association President and CEO Rey Chavez said. “And thanks to modern facilities that are emerging here at the Port and elsewhere in our community, we’re excited about the opportunities we can capture in the century ahead.”

Hurd captured that sense of excitement when he said, “…with each additional specialized facility that we create for these key industries, combined with the strategic support of the public sector, educators, nonprofits and private sector, we continue to raise our profile as a global hub of technological innovation and productivity.

“It’s an exciting time for my hometown.”

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Iris Gonzalez

Iris Gonzalez writes about technology, life science and veteran affairs.