Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report
The Los Angeles-based CBRE Group has acquired Reata Real Estate, a local real estate firm founded in 2001.
CBRE, one of the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firms based on revenue, purchased Reata’s property management and brokerage companies, but not its development and investment division.
That division will maintain its ownership and control of the St. Paul Square District and Sunset Station on San Antonio’s near East Side.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
CBRE provides a broad range of real estate investment and management services. With 480 offices worldwide, including San Antonio, it has more than 90,000 employees.
“Reata complements our retail, office, and medical office leasing and property management offering as well as our investment properties and land brokerage business in San Antonio,” said Michael Caffey, president of the South-Central Division and Latin America for CBRE. “We expect to leverage Reata’s talented professionals and client relationships to increase our market share throughout Central and South Texas as well.”
With the sale of Reata’s real estate business, the firm’s development arm, which in recent years has developed or acquired Sonterra Village, Brooks Corner, Dominion Springs Plaza, and other commercial developments, will become known as Espada Real Estate, the company said Monday. Espada reports over $100 million in owned assets.
Brent Conlin will continue at Espada in his role as managing partner, leading the daily operations of the company along with newly named partner and director of retail development, John Wright. The 45 employees with Reata Real Estate will transition to CBRE.
“For years, our development and investment company has debated the merits of potentially separating ourselves from the other Reata companies by rebranding,” Conlin said. “The recent sale of those companies to CBRE made rebranding to Espada Real Estate an easy decision. We’re passionate about the future of this company and the opportunity to reintroduce ourselves to the community with a new name.”
In 2017, Reata purchased from Zachry Corp. the historic Sunset Station and 11 buildings in St. Paul Square Historic District, in hopes of activating the largely dormant area just east of San Antonio’s busy convention and tourism district.
In October, the San Antonio City Council approved the sale of five properties it owned in St. Paul Square to East Commerce Realty, led by Reata and Area Real Estate, for nearly $1.76 million. East Commerce Realty had been leasing the buildings since 2017.
The deal also included up to $1.325 million to make improvements to the area’s wayfinding, crosswalks, plazas, and pavilions. The board of the Inner City Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) approved the incentive package in September.
The TIRZ was established in 2000 to collect increased taxes from development in the area that included the near East Side. The board then allocates that money to other development projects and infrastructure improvements within its boundaries.
Infrastructure improvements in the area are planned over the next few years, starting first with renovations to the interior courtyard off the southwest corner of Commerce and Hoefgen streets. The CBRE acquisition does not affect those plans, Conlin said.
“Nothing has changed with the plan, nothing has changed with the TIRZ agreement,” Conlin said. “Nothing that was planned with the timing of the execution of those improvements relative to the TIRZ [has changed.]”
In the coming weeks, the six Espada Real Estate staffers will relocate from their offices at Loop 410 and Nacogdoches Road to St. Paul Square.
“The degree of scrutiny and visual tracking and some of creativity that evolves from seeing it, touching it, smelling it every single day, I think will have a net positive impact on the ultimate execution of that project,” Conlin said. “The culmination of our team down there will be a positive catalyst for maybe some of that activity happening more efficiently, perhaps a little sooner.”
Disclosure: The Rivard Report leases property in St. Paul Square from Reata.