San Antonio City Council approved Thursday property tax relief worth an estimated $235,000 for a German engineering firm to build its North American headquarters in East San Antonio.

Germany-based Saueressig Engineering is one of Tesla’s suppliers, leading to some speculation that the facility represents spillover development from the $1.1 billion electric vehicle “Gigafactory” Tesla is building in southern Travis County.

The upcoming facility – expected to represent a $9 million investment – will design, produce, and install equipment for a range of industries, “including automotive and energy storage,” according to the ordinance approving the incentive. It is projected to create 50 jobs over five years.

Saueressig is involved in the design and production of lithium-ion battery parts often used in electric vehicles.

The tax relief approved by the City will not actually go toward Saueressig but rather to its parent company, Pittsburgh-based Matthews International Corporation. The relief is a 10-year property tax abatement of 75% on new investment into the property. It does not affect the property’s existing value.

Matthews is leasing the property at 4337 Profit Drive from Agarita Profit Street LLC, located in City Council District 2.

Councilwoman Jada Andrews-Sullivan (D2) said in a prepared statement last week the Council was “humbled” by Matthews’ decision to settle the engineering firm in San Antonio and on its East Side in particular. She said it demonstrates the area’s “ideal pipeline of talent for new expansion and growth.”

Matthews International Corp.’s Saueressig Engineering facility at 4338 Profit Drive will be the site of its North American headquarters. The company expects to hire at least 50 workers over the next five years to manufacture automobile components for Tesla, among other auto industry players.
Matthews International Corp.’s Saueressig Engineering facility at 4338 Profit Drive will be the site of its North American headquarters. The company expects to hire at least 50 workers over the next five years to manufacture automobile components for Tesla, among other auto industry players. Credit: Nick Wagner / San Antonio Report

The upcoming facility marks the “second significant investment” on the East Side in recent months, said Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, president and CEO of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, in a statement Thursday. The first, she said, was Amazon’s robotics fulfillment center.

The company reports that the facility’s new jobs will have an average annual wage of $73,500, according to the SAEDF. The zip code in which the facility will be located has an average per-capita income of nearly $50,000, according to census figures.

The company said in a press release it plans to be fully operational by late 2021.

Waylon Cunningham

Waylon Cunningham writes about business and technology. Contact him at waylon@sareport.org.