The $24 million incentive package that GrayStreet Partners and Houston developer Midway received last month to redevelop the Lone Star Brewery is the largest San Antonio has awarded for an urban development project, according to an analysis of public records from the city.
It is larger than the $22.1 million sum of the six incentive packages the city has awarded to Silver Ventures since 2011 to build components in and around the Pearl, which consist of five apartment buildings and the Credit Human headquarters on Broadway— a combined investment value of $335.9 million, the records show. That value doesn’t include Pearl projects that did not receive incentives, such as Hotel Emma and retail buildings.
GrayStreet Partners and Midway have said they plan to invest at least $596 million to rehabilitate the 32-acre brewery site with 1,282 housing units, 186 hotel rooms, 65,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and nearly 360,000 square feet of office space.
Many of the city’s largest incentive packages have been through its Center City Housing Incentive Policy (CCHIP), which was created in 2012 to spur residential development downtown during former Mayor Julián Castro’s time as San Antonio’s top elected official. In 2018, City Council overhauled the program by creating affordable housing requirements for some projects receiving the incentives, responding to concerns from Mayor Ron Nirenberg and others that it was contributing to rising home values and rental costs.
In accepting the $24 million package, GrayStreet Partners and Midway agreed to forgo an earlier $2.4 million incentive agreement they had reached with the city through CCHIP. But they will be able to apply for further incentives as they build on the site, city spokesperson Michelle Vigil said.
Here is a list of the largest incentive packages the city has awarded for urban development:
1. Lone Star District: $24 million
» Address: 600 Lone Star Blvd.
» Developers: GrayStreet Partners (San Antonio) and Midway (Houston)
» Project details: A $596 million rehabilitation of the 32-acre brewery site creating 1,282 housing units, 186 hotel rooms, 65,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and nearly 360,000 square feet of office space over 10 years.
» Incentive package: 15 years of rebates on city property taxes to reimburse infrastructure work—rebuilding streets and sidewalks, burying power lines, etc.—which GrayStreet and Midway will initially fund. Rebates through the Inner City Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ), through which the rise in property tax revenue is reinvested into the zone, and city economic development grants. Awarded in May 2021.
» Read more: Council passes $24M Lone Star incentive package, despite community concerns
2. The Arts Residences: $10 million
» Address: 123 Lexington Ave.
» Developer: Universal Services Group LLC (Boerne) and DC Partners (Houston)
» Project details: A $116 million, 20-story, 162-room Thompson hotel tower was awarded a CCHIP package because it also included 66 condos.
» Incentive package: $9.5 million in city property tax rebates through CCHIP and $541,000 in city and San Antonio Water System (SAWS) fee waivers. Awarded in August 2017.
3. The Red Berry Estate: $7.7 million
» Address: 856 Gembler Road
» Developer: NRP Group (Cleveland), RK Group (San Antonio)
» Project details: A master-planned development to build a 330-unit apartment complex called The Salado at Red Berry, a 169,000 square-foot new headquarters for RK Group and the restoration of the historic Red Berry Mansion.
» Incentive package: $4.6 million from the Inner City TIRZ; $1.5 million from the purchase of the property; $540,579 in Inner City Incentive Funds; and a 10-year rebate on city property taxes for a new headquarters for RK Group worth an estimated $1.1 million. Awarded in October 2017.
4. Weston Urban apartment tower: $7.5 million
» Address: 305 Soledad St.
» Developer: Weston Urban (San Antonio)
» Project details: A $107 million, 32-story tower with 351 apartment units.
» Incentive package: A 75% rebate on city property taxes over 15 years, worth an estimated $6.5 million through CCHIP, and a $1 million grant to cover the cost of SAWS impact fee waivers. (The other 25% of city property taxes due, or $2.2 million, will feed into the city’s affordable housing fund.) Awarded in May 2021.
» Read more: Council approves subsidy for Weston Urban’s 32-story apartment tower
5. Fish Market and Witte buildings: $7.4 million
» Address: 161 E. Commerce St.
» Developer: Crockett Urban Ventures (San Antonio)
» Project details: A $67.5 million project to build a 195-room Canopy by Hilton hotel at 161 E. Commerce St. on one end of the block (former Fish Market building location), and rehab the Witte Building at 135 E. Commerce St. into restaurant and bar space and four apartment units.
» Incentive package: A $7.4 million grant through the city’s Economic Development Program. Awarded in July 2016.
» Read more: ‘It’s like conducting a symphony.’ Building downtown poses unique set of challenges
6. Rivera on Broadway: $6.2 million
» Address: 1130 Broadway
» Developer: Cypress Real Estate Advisors (Austin). Currently owned by The Barvin Group (Houston).
» Project details: A $40 million apartment complex with 302 units.
» Incentive package: A $3.2 million city tax rebates, $790,000 in city and SAWS fee waivers and $661,000 in loans all through CCHIP. Awarded in May 2014.
7. Encore SoFlo: $6 million
» Address: 326 S. Flores St.
» Developer: Encore Multifamily (Dallas)
» Project details: A $60 million apartment complex with 338 units.
» Incentive package: $4.5 million in city property tax rebates and $1.4 million in city and SAWS impact fee waivers through CCHIP. Awarded in March 2016.
8. Credit Human building: $5.9 million
» Address: 1803 Broadway
» Developer: Silver Ventures (San Antonio)
» Project details: A $113 million new headquarters tower for Credit Human, with assurances that the company would retain 435 local jobs and create 50 more.
» Incentive package: A 10-year abatement of city property taxes worth $5.9 million. Awarded in October 2017.
9. Merchant’s Ice complex: $5.7 million
» Address: 1305 E. Houston St.
» Developer: Texas Research and Technology Foundation and VelocityTX (San Antonio)
» Project details: $227 million redevelopment of the historic Merchant’s Ice complex into a research facility with office space and possibly a hotel and food hall.
» Incentive package: $5 million in reimbursements through the Inner City TIRZ and a city grant of $750,000. Awarded in February 2019.
10. Agave Apartments: $4.7 million
» Address: 633 S. St. Mary’s Dt.
» Developer: GreyStar (South Carolina) and Carlyle Group (Washington, D.C.). Currently owned by Castle Lanterra Properties (New York).
» Project details: A $48.7 million apartment complex with 350 units.
» Incentive package: $3.8 million in city property tax rebates and $919,000 in SAWS and city fee waivers through CCHIP. Awarded in May 2013.
Richard Webner is a freelance journalist covering Austin and San Antonio, and a former San Antonio Express-News business reporter. Follow him at @RWebner on Twitter