Construction of a 155-room Embassy-Suites hotel is scheduled to begin next spring at Brooks City Base. The hotel, owned by Hilton, will be the first and only full service hotel on the burgeoning Southside.
Land and equity put forth by the Brooks Development Authority, which owns more than 1,300 acres of land enveloping the former U.S. Air Force Base, will soon be the site of the $35 million, six-story hotel at the intersection of South New Braunfels Avenue and Southeast Military Drive.
“There is no full-service hotel between downtown until you get all the way to Corpus Christi or Laredo, so there’s a whole community on this side of town without access to one,” said Leo Gomez, CEO and president of the BDA.
That nearby community includes the Toyota plant, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, as well as Brooks City Base tenants including Mission Solar manufacturing plant, DPT Laboratories, Mission Trail Baptist Hospital, and more.
The new hotel will include about 8,000 square feet of convention and event space, along with a high-end restaurant, a ballroom that will accommodate about 400 people, two executive boardrooms, a spa, and more.
The hotel will be located on six acres along the northern portion of the campus, closest to Southeast Military Drive and New Braunfels Avenue, and will be surrounded by high-end retail establishments and restaurants, which will be built on the other 25 acres of vacant land in the next three to five years, Gomez said.
The mixed-use development will hopefully appeal to students at the nearby Brooks Academy of Science and Engineering and faculty and administrative staff at the Texas A&M University College of Business. The University of the Incarnate Word’s Osteopathic Medical school will open in 2016.
He said the new site will reflect the designs of sites including the Woodlands-Sugar Land and the Pearl Brewery.
The ambiance of a mixed-use development will attract large employers to the area around Brooks, he said.
“We now have some of the highest retail centers in the area that used to be a base – among the retail near Military and Goliad Road – is the highest-grossing-per-square-foot Best Buy and James Avery in town,” Gomez said. “We’re looking to build on those types of operations.”
He said the BDA had just secured a franchise agreement for Hilton before the holidays and would be working with developer Phoenix Hospitality Group to complete the design of Embassy Suites – Brooks City Base by Hilton Hotels, as it’s officially called.
The U.S. Air Force ceased operations at Brooks City Base on Sept. 15, 2011, ending 94 years of military activity at the historic installation.
*Top/featured image: The new Embassy Suites hotel on San Antonio’s Southside will eventually be surrounded by new retail businesses and restaurants to spur development. Image courtesy of Brooks City Base.