City Council Grants Credit Human $5.9 Million in Incentives

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A Credit Human branch is located at St. Marys Street and Alamo Street.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

A Credit Human branch is located at South St. Mary's Street and Alamo streets.

City Council on Thursday unanimously approved a $5.9 million tax incentive package for the construction of Credit Human's new 10-story headquarters, to be located at the Pearl. The project has now received a total of $8.8 million in County and City tax breaks.

Credit Human, formerly the San Antonio Federal Credit Union, began negotiating the package in March after it considered relocating its headquarters out of San Antonio, where it was founded in 1935. The City's deal will give the company a 100% tax abatement over 10 years with a 5-year tax rebate. The incentives are capped at $5,923,882.

"The taxes that are being incentivized here are rebated for the purposes of building public infrastructure the entire community will benefit from," Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. "That is a clear-cut way of finding a win-win for this community."

The LEED-certified building, to be located at 1803 Broadway St., will consolidate the credit union's three San Antonio operation centers, bringing its local workforce of 435 employees into the urban core. Credit Human has agreed create an additional 50 jobs as part of the deal. The average annual salary for Credit Human employees is $61,024.

"When our organization takes on a building, we're taking this building on with a 50- to 100-year life [span]," Credit Human President and CEO Stephen Hennigan said, "which means we're planning this building with a multi-generational view."

Nine Council members voted in favor of the package, with Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran (D3) absent at the time of the vote. The development will be in Councilman Roberto Treviño's (D1) district.

"We're setting an incredible example," Treviño said. "In short, incentivizing good projects with good actors is good business."

Despite voting in support of the package, some Council members expressed concern about incentivizing an area that has already seen significant investment. Councilman Greg Brockhouse (D6) knocked the City's incentive programs.

Credit Human's current headquarters are located in District 1, so the company is relocating within the district to the popular Pearl and Broadway area, "which I feel has probably reached its peak period of incentivizing," Brockhouse told the Rivard Report in a  Thursday phone interview. "This one project kind of was a catalyst for me to create a CCR [to] start ... this conversation. We really need to look at how we're incentivizing."

Council members Treviño, Ana Sandoval (D7), John Courage (D9), and Clayton Perry (D10) also signed Brockhouse's council consideration request.

During the meeting Thursday, Brockhouse said the incentive package not only further invests in the already successful Pearl area, but is also a direct benefit to Pearl developer Silver Ventures, the company that will sell the site to Credit Human.

Significant investment in downtown housing attracts more workers to the area, Councilman Rey Saldaña (D4) said. "It is time to turn the spigot off for housing in that particular area" and redirect it to other parts of the city in need of housing incentives, he added.

The City estimates that the development will result in $7.7 million in net benefit over the next 20 years. In addition to Credit Human's 10-story office building, a six-story mixed-use building and parking garage will also be built on the plot. Those two projects are not receiving tax abatements.

Credit Human's 696-person workforce serves more than 250,000 members nationwide with nearly $3 billion in assets.

2 thoughts on “City Council Grants Credit Human $5.9 Million in Incentives

  1. “The taxes that are being incentivized here are rebated for the purposes of building public infrastructure the entire community will benefit from”
    I believe the Mayor is referring to the parking created with the project. I don’t see parking as something the community benefits from – in fact, it takes away from improving walkability, reducing car dominance/pollution, and creating available land that could be used for housing or green space. Stop incentivizing parking.

    • From the text of the Council Action….”the combined value of the tax abatement agreement and tax rebate agreement will be tied directly to and will not exceed the actual expenses incurred by Credit Human for the public improvements costs and fees at the project site. These public improvements include underground power and data infrastructure, complete street improvements, traffic signal modifications, public storm drain improvements, new street parking, and street trees, patios and green spaces. The costs of the public improvements are approximately $7.5 million. The City’s Transportation & Capital Improvements Department (TCI) will inspect and monitor the public improvements made by Credit Human, and, under a separate agreement with Credit Human, may also provide funding for a portion the public improvements.”

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