The City of San Antonio, Weston Urban and Frost Bank have negotiated a deal that will result in a consolidated office tower for City operations, facilitate the development of 265 new housing units in the Central Business District and forever alter San Antonio’s skyline with the construction of the first new office tower downtown since 1989. The new tower will house the headquarters for Frost Bank.
In June 2014, the City of San Antonio received an unsolicited proposal under the Public Private Partnership Guidelines from Weston Urban and Frost that would consolidate City offices and catalyze housing, office and retail development in the city’s core. In accordance with the guidelines and at the invitation of the City, Weston Urban and Frost submitted a more detailed proposal in August 2014.
“As mayor, I couldn’t be more thrilled about this Public Private Partnership with Weston Urban and Frost,” Mayor Taylor said. “In addition to providing valuable downtown housing, it will enable the City to consolidate operations into City-owned buildings downtown. The economic impact is huge – in addition to the new tower and housing, it will provide much needed retail opportunities along our two major retail corridors, West Commerce and Houston streets.”
“This transaction will centralize approximately 1,400 employees into three City-owned buildings,” City Manager Sheryl Sculley said. “Currently, the City of San Antonio leases office space in four buildings in the downtown area, costing the City $3.5 million annually. This transaction will result in a net savings to the City’s budget. Additionally, it will provide more housing in the core of our downtown and facilitate the construction of the first tower in 26 years.”
The City will sell the Municipal Plaza Building at 114 West Commerce and properties at 319 West Travis and 403 North Flores to Weston Urban. These properties along with the properties that Frost will sell to Weston Urban will facilitate the creation of 265 new housing units downtown. Frost will sell the Frost Bank Tower and 732 space parking garage to the City of San Antonio. Weston Urban will construct a new 400,000 square foot office tower to serve as Frost Bank’s headquarters, with Frost as the named tenant, on the Frost Motor Bank and surface parking lot at the corner of Flores and Houston streets.
“Frost has been an integral part of downtown San Antonio since our company first opened its doors on Main Plaza nearly 150 years ago,” said Evans, Frost chairman and CEO. “As a long-time supporter of downtown initiatives, Frost is committed to the continued growth of San Antonio’s urban core. We are very pleased to see this project moving forward, as it will allow us to maintain our corporate headquarters downtown in an iconic new skyscraper, where we will be the named tenant.”
“This project will continue the incredible momentum we are experiencing in downtown San Antonio,” Weston said. “When complete, this will be the first office tower built downtown in three decades. Its proximity to the San Pedro Creek Improvements Project makes it an extremely desirable location. While the tower will forever change our city’s skyline, we’re equally excited about the proposal on the whole and creating unique housing options in the core.”
A public hearing on the proposal and comprehensive development agreement is scheduled for 9 a.m. on May 28 in City Council Chambers. City Council will take action on the agreement at the June 4, 2015 City Council meeting.