Dallas developer Encore Multifamily plans to build a five-story apartment complex as the first phase of GrayStreet Partners’ $560 million Broadway East master-planned community.
The 386-unit complex will be constructed on about 3.4 acres of land that Encore bought from GrayStreet in July, northwest from the corner of Carson and Austin streets in Government Hill, across Broadway from the Pearl. Construction is expected to begin some time next year, company spokeswoman Amy Dunaway said in an email.
The complex will feature a courtyard, and its landscaping will make use of an historic acequia that runs through the property, said Peter French, GrayStreet’s director of development. All of its units will be market-rate, he said. It will not feature a retail component.
French said he wasn’t sure when the groundbreaking will happen, but said “sooner rather than later.”
“They’re a great outfit,” French said of Encore, which finished construction last year of the Encore SoFlo complex in south downtown. “They’ve approached this with a clear understanding that they’re part of a larger master plan. … That’s not the way everyone approaches projects.”
Over the next 10 years, GrayStreet has said it plans to develop more than 1.6 million square feet of mixed-use space in Broadway East with its partner, Houston builder Midway. The community would span about 20 acres roughly bounded by Broadway, North Hackberry, Casa Blanca and East Grayson streets. In recent years, GrayStreet has acquired the non-residential properties, most of which were previously owned by the San Antonio Independent School District.
Along with the construction of Encore’s complex, the first phase will include infrastructure work that is badly needed in the area, which is expected to begin this year, French said.
The second phase will focus on the city blocks north and south of a planned extention of Pearl Parkway to the east, French said. As currently planned, a mixture of office space and retail would be built on land GrayStreet owns next to the 1800 Broadway apartment complex, while retail and multifamily would be built south of the extension. The plans also include a hotel component.
It’s not yet clear whether GrayStreet and Midway would develop the second phase by themselves or would work with other partners, French said.
He is hopeful that Encore’s complex will build momentum for the community, attracting retail businesses to serve the new residents. The complex would be just south of a cluster of trendy bars and restaurants on East Grayson Street.
“Rooftops, rooftops, rooftops is one of the keys to successful neighborhood retail,” French said. “Activity begets activity.”
Last month, French went before the board of the Midtown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) after GrayStreet and Midway requested $8.9 million in reimbursement dollars to cover part of their infrastructure work for the first phase. In a TIRZ, revenue gained from the rise in property taxes is collected and reinvested into public upgrades within the zone. Recently, San Antonio began using some of those dollars to restore and create affordable housing.
In addition to the TIRZ dollars, GrayStreet is also seeking a Chapter 380 economic development agreement for a total ask of $20.5 million in public incentives from the city.
Work is expected to start this year, and extend to 2023.
» Phase 1, 2020-2023 — $146.M
» Phase 2, 2022-2025 — $152.8M
» Phase 3, 2024-2026 — $124M
» Phase 4, 2027-2030 — $140.9M
Source: GrayStreet Partners
The massive development is expected to generate more than $160 million in new tax revenue by 2030, which includes property tax, sales tax, and hotel occupancy tax revenues, French told the TIRZ board. GrayStreet and Midway are not requesting property tax breaks, such as an exemption or a rebate.
Addressing concerns of affordable housing, French told the Midtown TIRZ board that commercial tenants and hotel guests at Broadway East would pay a fee that would feed a fund that could be used by Government Hill or the city for below-market-rate housing. Government Hill is one of the fastest gentrifying neighborhoods in San Antonio, according to county property records; it’s also located in one of San Antonio’s poorest ZIP codes.
“We will create an annual fund to support affordable housing, community organizations and events, and maintenance of area homes and businesses, which will be administered in conjunction with the Government Hill neighborhood association,” French told the board.
Broadway East is expected to return to the Midtown TIRZ board for a vote in December, and to the City Council for final approval in January.
GrayStreet also plans to build a 20-story office and hotel tower at 1603 Broadway.
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