There’s talk of an economic downturn in the air, but things are still looking up for commercial construction projects nearing the finish line in San Antonio.
From apartment towers and office buildings to science, medical and educational institutions, there are scores of developments coming online in 2023. A familiar eatery has larger digs opening in January, and the gates also are slated to open on new green spaces next year.
Even with a recession in some economists’ forecasts for 2023, those nearly finished projects and others still in the works are not likely to stall out, said Chris Hillyer, senior vice president and regional director for pre-construction services at Skanska, a multinational construction company working in San Antonio.
And even more will break ground.
“In San Antonio, what we’ve got going for us is we’ve got a diverse project portfolio and a backlog of projects already under work, or that have funding in place on the institutional and the governmental side,” Hillyer said.
As a result, sectors that will continue to be strong in the construction industry include education, manufacturing and cybersecurity.
On the other hand, development that is reliant on construction financing could slow “because the access to capital is much more expensive and difficult to come by than it was a year ago,” he said.
Here’s a short list of major development projects set to be wrapped up in the coming year:
The 13-story bank building at 1900 Broadway St. is nearly complete. In mid-January, some of Jefferson Bank’s 240-member local workforce will begin migrating from multiple locations in San Antonio to the new headquarters within the booming Pearl district. A sign for the bank will be installed on the building later during the first quarter, a spokeswoman said.
San Pedro I – UTSA School of Data Science
The University of Texas at San Antonio is planning a grand opening on Jan. 9 for its new $92 million San Pedro I building at 506 Dolorosa St. The six-story building will house the School of Data Science and National Security Collaboration Center, the only data science school in the nation at a Hispanic-serving institution, as designated by the U.S. Department of Education. Spring semester classes for hundreds of students in five master’s programs will start on Jan. 18.
Also opening in January is an all-new Rosario’s restaurant, built in place of the former El Mirador Restaurant at 722 S. St. Mary’s St. Owner Lisa Wong said workers are now putting the finishing touches on the 25,000-sq.-ft. building, which also has a rooftop terrace and bar and landscaped courtyards. The King William Garden House adjacent to the restaurant has been remodeled and renamed to Casa Isabel in honor of Wong’s late mother; it will be available for private parties.
Civic Park at Hemisfair
The 5-acre northwestern section of Hemisfair where Skanska began work in January is a buzz of activity, with construction ongoing at the Springs, promenade and restroom building of Civic Park. Recently, the first and largest of 200 trees was planted in the park which is adjacent to the Henry B. González Convention Center. The first phase of the park, designed by Seattle-based landscape architecture firm GGN, is set to be complete in the fall.
Make Ready Market
Another new dining venue in downtown San Antonio is slated to open in the spring in the “make ready” building of a former car dealership next to The Soto building at 711 Broadway St. Known as the Make Ready Market, the 11,000-sq.-ft. food hall where a coffee bar is already open will feature a dozen more vendors, including ORDERUP, Chilaquil and El Diente de Oro, Tiny Pies and Four Brothers. The market, developed by Hixon Properties as a sister property to the Idle Beer Hall and Brewery space and Mila Coffee kiosk, also has outdoor covered patio space and courtyards.
San Pedro Creek Culture Park
Phase four of the $300 million San Pedro Creek Culture Park project is on schedule to be completed in summer 2023, said a spokeswoman for the San Antonio River Authority. Work began in September on a segment of the creek that reaches from El Paso to Guadalupe streets; a subsequent project will tie El Paso Street to East César Chávez Boulevard. Phase four is part of the effort to turn 2.2 miles of a blighted creekbed into a scenic linear park in the western part of downtown San Antonio. The first segment in phase one opened in May 2018 and the second in October. Phase two is on hold for permit approvals from Union Pacific Railroad and phase three, part of the Westside Creeks Restoration Project, will likely start in another year or two.
Tobin Hill apartments
September is the estimated completion date for The Josephine, one of the many residential development projects underway in the Tobin Hill neighborhood north of downtown San Antonio. Located at 120 W. Josephine St., the project is being built by local developer Lynd Living. Also in Tobin Hill, alongside U.S. Hwy 281, the Embrey-built Tin Top apartments at the site of a former Borden Dairy plant will be complete this spring, offering 338 market-rate apartments and 461 parking spaces. The creamery building next to Tin Top, also nearing completion, will be home to a law firm, according to developer and Area Real Estate Principal David Adelman.
The Texas Research and Technology Foundation bought three buildings that made up the Merchants Ice Building complex on East Houston Street five years ago and invested $80 million in redeveloping the block into a research and innovation hub known as VelocityTX. The largest of the buildings, set to be ready for move-in this fall, will serve as the foundation’s incubator for startups and support researchers looking to commercialize their inventions in the bioscience industry. When complete, the entire VelocityTX campus will be finished and the foundation will turn its attention in the coming year to the nearby G.J. Sutton property and needed infrastructure work.
Construction that began over a year ago on a new Spurs training center, a research institute and medical office space located at La Cantera in far Northwest San Antonio is ongoing. The first phase of The Rock project — a performance center and community event plaza — set to open in August 2023. An opening date for the adjacent Coyote Park dog park has not been set, a spokeswoman for the Spurs said.
University Health Women’s and Children’s Hospital
When the 12-story Women’s and Children’s Hospital opens in summer 2023, it will offer services found at no other hospital dedicated to women, children and babies in the region, a spokeswoman for University Health said. The 300-bed hospital will serve as the new home for University Health’s maternity center and neonatal intensive care units which are equipped to care for the most complicated cases, she added. It will also provide a new labor and delivery unit, private rooms for new moms and a “Mother’s Place” with resources for infant nutrition and breastfeeding.
A 16-story octagonal apartment building known as The Floodgate that has been under construction since April 2021 will be completed in September 2023. Situated at 143 E. Commerce St. along the San Antonio River Walk, The Floodgate is a $43 million project developed by Keller Henderson. On a site where several single-story buildings were demolished, the building will feature 63 luxury apartments, a restaurant at river level and an automated parking system.