It seems that plenty of developers have their eyes on the six San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) properties that will be sold in a sealed competitive bid process. The response has been strong, especially as the process approaches its halfway point, according to Larry Mendez, executive managing director at Transwestern, the brokerage firm managing the sale.
SAISD is capitalizing on the rising demand for downtown real estate, and the increased attention from developers. It’s a savvy move, helping the district benefit from investment within its borders.
“It’s certainly part of the momentum of the renaissance of downtown,” Mendez said.
More than 100 potential buyers have enquired about the parcels at 1702 N. Alamo St. and nearby parcels on Austin Street, Fox Tech High School football and baseball fields, the Gonzales Center at 518 E. Magnolia Ave., the Food Services warehouse at 2 Haven for Hope Way, the lots on South Presa Street, and the vacant lots on Lord Road.
Mendez said that he’s been pleased by both the number and the quality of the inquiries.
“It’s a cross-section of some very prominent developers,” he said. While many are local investors, he added, there are plenty of national entities as well.
“In general, in the last three to four years, San Antonio has certainly popped up on the national radar as more of an investment market,” he said.
In addition to San Antonio’s own core revitalization, Mendez cited a larger trend toward urbanization, as people want to live, work and play in the heart of large cities. The properties at Fox Tech and North Alamo are especially friendly to multi-family and mixed-use development, he said.
Strengthening SAISD itself is an important issue for those investing in the urban core. Improved financial management is one of the administration’s major goals for coming years. This includes greater efficiency in facilities across the district.
“The sale of these properties will put us well on our way to achieving the $55-60 million needed for the development of a consolidated central office building, as well as a service center for transportation and maintenance,” said Kamal ElHabr, SAISD associate superintendent of facilities.
SAISD is holding several other vacant or underutilized properties. Once it sees the market response to the six parcels currently for sale, it will asses whether more sales are in the best interest of the district, according to SAISD officials.
The bidding process will run until May 26, 2016. Interested parties should contact Transwestern at 210-341-1344.
Top image: 1702 N Alamo St is one under-utilized district property SAISD will sell. Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone.