Pearl Developer Buys Southtown Land from SAISD for $14.5 Million

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The SAISD board voted Tuesday night to sell property along Lavaca Street to the developer behind of the Pearl Brewery for $14.5 million. The property includes 141 Lavaca St., 211 Lavaca St., 215 Lavaca St., and 620 Matagorda St.

Courtesy / Apple Maps

The SAISD board voted Tuesday night to sell property in Southtown to the developer of the Pearl for $14.5 million. The four tracts of land are located across César Chavez Boulevard from Hemisfair.

Completing a major land deal that's been in the works since last October, the San Antonio Independent School District voted Tuesday night to sell roughly five acres of district property just south of Hemisfair to the developer of the Pearl for $14.5 million.

Board documents identify Broadway SA Investors GP LLC as the best bid of five offers submitted. Broadway SA Investors is the real estate arm of Silver Ventures, which redeveloped the Pearl Brewery.

Silver Ventures Managing Director of Real Estate Bill Shown said he isn't yet sure exactly how the land will be used, but that it was attractive because of the "great, historic buildings" on the property.

"We have no idea, and that is an honest answer," he told the Rivard Report. "We just see it as a great gateway into Southtown and King William."

The four tracts of land being sold are located at 620 Matagorda St., 211 Lavaca St., 215 Lavaca St., and 141 Lavaca St., and are grouped into two lots with two different zoning designations. One tract contains 0.79 acres and is zoned for residential-mixed use. The second contains 3.95 acres and is zoned for office use. Both tracts, across the street from Hemisfair's Yanaguana Garden also have historic zoning requirements.

Other bids were submitted by Greystar Acquisitions for $14.1 million, York Acquisitions for $13 million, PPC Land Ventures for $9.1 million, and LG Acquisitions for $6.2 million.

Greystar is a real estate developer that has focused on multifamily developments in the past and York is a partner of Aspen Heights, which has primarily constructed student housing.

In its interview with SAISD, Broadway SA Investors said it expects to restore both historic buildings on the property to fit the neighborhood and whatever project is developed, according to district documents.

The SAISD board voted Tuesday night to sell property along Lavaca Street to the developer behind of the Pearl Brewery for $14.5 million. The property includes 141 Lavaca St., 211 Lavaca St., 215 Lavaca St., and 620 Matagorda St.

Courtesy / SAISD

This map encompasses the properties of 141 Lavaca St., 211 Lavaca St., 215 Lavaca St., and 620 Matagorda St.

SAISD Trustee Steve Lecholop called Broadway SA Investors "a local company with a proven track record of thoughtfully and deliberately slowly developing historic properties in San Antonio's urban core in a way that respects history and the surrounding neighborhood."

"They know San Antonio and they are willing to work and actively engage the neighborhood," he said.

A district presentation noted that the principal partner for Broadway SA Investors, Shown, lives two blocks away from the site and is aware of the need to work with the neighborhood. Shown is also on the Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation board of directors and has experience in the area.

One lot being sold is zoned for residential use. Broadway SA Investors said it would either develop homes on this lot to fit the neighborhood or partner with or sell to a home developer to do the same.

On the other, larger lot zoned for office use, Broadway SA Investors said it expects to build a multipurpose development at the corner of Cesar Chavez Boulevard and Alamo Street and wants to create a special entrance to the Southtown neighborhood.

SAISD Board President Patti Radle said there were a number of reasons why Broadway SA Investors' offer was the most attractive.

"It was financially, the most money, the largest bid, but also it is a group of people that have a good reputation for dealing with community and neighbors and restoring and maintaining historic structures," she said.

The agreement that the trustees approved allows SAISD to continue using the properties for as long as 28 months from the closing date, with a annual rent payment of $100.

The money SAISD receives from the sale will go toward the construction of a consolidated central office facility.

Kamal ElHabr, SAISD's associate superintendent of facilities planning and construction,  said plans for a new facility are still under development, and there are several options for how the district may proceed.

Its new office space will be big enough to accommodate roughly 625 employees, ElHabr said. The money from the Lavaca sale along with money from the sale of previous properties at Alamo and Austin streets and a food service warehouse will fund the building of this new facility.

While not yet approved, the new facility will likely be placed on one of the Fox Tech High School athletic fields. ElHabr said the high school doesn't currently use the adjacent baseball or football field.

The 28-month leasing period will allow the district time to construct this office.

District spokeswoman Leslie Price said the board will discuss future plans for a central office in four to six weeks.

Lecholop said the district's staff operates in "old, closed school buildings" at different locations across the district. He said having one consolidated base for district employees would save SAISD roughly $2 million in operational costs per year.

22 thoughts on “Pearl Developer Buys Southtown Land from SAISD for $14.5 Million

    • you mean their home values will go through the roof, isn’t necessarily a bad thing…I am sure they are already high given they are in southtown and near king william

      • Home values going through the roof only matter if you have an investment property. For those for whom this is their home, rising property taxes make it very difficult to sustain that home.

        That said, that battle is one we need to fight with the state legislature. We shouldn’t have to choose between neighborhood revitalization and community survival. This redevelopment will be a positive thing for the community overall, meanwhile we need to work with the Lege to address the reliance upon property taxes.

        • home values going through the roof also matter if you own a home (not just if you are an investor), regardless if you plan to move in 2 years or 10 years or leave your home in your will to your children – you still benefit from the rising values and the economic benefit from it
          The ones that don’t benefit and are burdened are renters

  1. What other properties in and around HemisFair has Bill Shown’s boss vested in? Is he partners with David Adelman on any projects? Lest we forget, all street car routes planned for this street and through HemisFair Park (and advocated by HemisFair Board Members) .. including Mr. Shown .. ran to The Pearl.

  2. Totally bad decision. This site for a century has been the historical, geographical, and cultural center of Ssn Antonio. The developers got their way.

    With one exception. The members of the board were shown how the property could be utilized for the benefit of the SAISD and to increase revenue for the students, but they didn’t choose that option.

    • Did you not read the article?? They took the HIGHEST bid. That confirms your post about valuing the site. There were at least 4 OTHER BIDDERS. If someone thinks that is an example of how “a developer got their way” then i agree with the post about third tier city. The seller got a good deal and showed foresight and knowledge about the importance of what gets developed on this site to the surrounding neighborhood cohesiveness and vitality.

  3. This is exciting news. Being a Pearl resident for 7 years, I know they do things as they should be done. I feel confident that this property will be in good hands.

  4. I would have thought Fox Tech HS property would be sold,as well. But, building a new central office is adequate re purposing of SAISD property. Maybe SAISD will relocate Central Office away from Downtown?

  5. Bob Comeaux on February 21, 2018 at 12:54 PM said:

    “Totally bad decision. This site for a century has been the historical, geographical, and cultural center of Ssn Antonio. The developers got their way.”

    Seriously? Where do these people come from? It’s a freaking parking lot with a few old structures for crying out loud. My goodness no wonder San Antonio is a second or third tier city.

    • San Antonio, in your opinion, is a second and third tier city because of an opinion you disagree with? A bit hyperbolic, wouldn’t you say.

      I agree, it’s a parking lot and this is a great step to revitalizing that area and I’m excited to see what Silver Ventures does with it.

      Aside from that, I think you’re just as ridiculous as the commentator you quoted and responded to.

      • I get his sentiment though…San Antonio officials and many residents have historically been highly resistant to change on certain occasions that would benefit development in the city. This is very exciting news in my opinion.

      • San Antonio is a second or third tier city because that what it is and that is how it is perceived by the institutional investment market. It is ranked mid 20s in terms of metro size, similar to Indianapolis and between portland and orlando but only 35 in gross domestic product between nashville and las vegas but behind austin.
        Many national real estate companies ( brokerages and investment) dont even include SA on national rankings ir have offices here. That said, i like it here and with continued good decisions like selling this site to the highest bidder at at auction subject to the historic district restrictions is part of why we are moving higher in the rankings to be second to first tier.

        • Sorry, Indianapolis is lower than SA in population at 35 but is at 24 in GDP. so we switch positions but not in a favorable way. Indianapolis is definitely considered third tier.

          • Top tier is 10, second tier 25, third tier 50. If you want to compare to the world, however, then definitely top tier but that’s relative to some actual sh!tholes, or so I’ve heard. Sad!

  6. I think it’s a great idea for whatever they plan to construct there. About time the downtown and Southside get some action instead of the Northside. Plus it will blend in with the Hemisphere Grounds and the awesome folks in La Vaca and K William area.

  7. This is going to be a huge catalyst for the area. I agree with the “gateway to Southtown” concept. Great way to merge Southtown with Hemisfair, and even La Villita. Hemisfair, for a long time, has really been isolated from the King William area and I think this project will be a great connector.

    Silver Ventures always does a good job. They take a long-term approach, and they always develop with civic pride in mind. I’m excited to see what they come up with.

  8. Being a resident in the SAISD I’m more excited about the $2 million savings in operational costs per year by centralizing the admin offices! Seems like this should have been thought of a long time ago. It’s a win/win because now they have the money to build the new offices that’s not coming from allocations that can be made to school budgets. I’m all for more efficient use of taxpayer monies when it comes to education!

  9. San Antonio, in your opinion, is a second and third tier city because of an opinion you disagree with? A bit hyperbolic, wouldn’t you say.

    I agree, it’s a parking lot and this is a great step to revitalizing that area and I’m excited to see what Silver Ventures does with it.

    Aside from that, I think you’re just as ridiculous as the commentator you quoted and responded to.

    I am saying this because it is. Look at our tiny airport, the first impression that people get of our city. Sacramento and Salt Lake City have bigger airports. One main reason AT&T left for Dallas. Look at our downtown, dated, old and not giving the impression of a 21st century city. And then you have people with attitudes like the one I responded to that don’t help with the perception that national companies may have of our city. Furthermore, our young people that get educated end up leaving. We end up with a large uneducated population. I am glad that the Pearl developers bought this land and I hope they do something with it. Whatever developments are happening now should have happened 20-25 years ago. We are so far behind in terms of the built environment that we are now Austin’s little brother. Things are slowly changing but attitudes have to change around here and we desperately need major outside money to develop this city to a comparable level of first rate cities in the U.S. And we don’t have to look like any of them either. We can still remain distinct and unique.

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