New partnership will bring hundreds of additional units on-line within two years
Port San Antonio is in negotiations with Dallas-based Granite Redevelopment Properties and locally-owned Mission DG to significantly grow residential workforce housing on its 1,900-acre campus. In the days ahead, the Port will work with the developers to establish a plan to upgrade almost 300 existing unoccupied townhome-style units at the Billy Mitchell Village apartment complex, located along the northern boundary of the property.
The project—with a total cost estimated of $20 million—will more than triple residential offerings for the growing number of families who work at the Port and in the surrounding area.
Before construction work begins later this year, the Port will enter into a formal agreement with Granite, whose development team includes Mission DG.
The spacious townhomes range from 2-4 bedrooms. The upcoming $20-million project will accelerate the rehabbing process and add new amenities.
“This is a huge step forward in the ongoing transformation of our large property as we continue to support the region’s economic growth,” said Roland Mower, the Port’s President and CEO. “The ability to offer additional quality housing in close proximity to employers at the Port and elsewhere in southwest San Antonio creates a win-win for our customers, their employees and the area surrounding the Port.”
“We’re excited about the opportunity to partner with one of the region’s growth leaders,” said Tim Gillean, President of Granite Redevelopment Properties. “We look forward to collaborating with the Port team and our partners in the days ahead to refine and execute a development agreement and bring new units to the market as quickly as possible and provide a good value to those residents.”
“Our focus is to cultivate an environment that facilitates future growth at the community level by rebuilding our neighborhoods into livable and sustainable communities,” said Henry Cisneros, Partner of Mission DG and former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). “Our roots are in San Antonio, and we look forward to working closely with the Port and Granite to create a quality workforce housing project at Billy Mitchell Village that unlocks the area’s intrinsic value and promotes development at the Port.”
The complex was first built in the late 1940’s to house military families. Since 2010 the Port has rehabbed nearly 80 units and leased them to the general public.
“A lot of great things are happening at the Port,” said San Antonio City Councilman Rey Saldaña, whose District 4 includes most of the campus, including the apartment complex. “The addition of 300 new housing units will be a boon to our district—supporting the Port’s job-creation mission and also generating new activity and opportunities for families and small businesses in the surrounding area.”
Billy Mitchell Village encompasses 374 townhome-style residences on 43 acres within the main Port property. The complex, which is adjacent to the Thompson Neighborhood, is bisected by S. Gen. McMullen Drive—a major artery into San Antonio’s Westside with quick access to U.S. Highway 90 and Interstate Highways 10, 35 and 37.
Billy Mitchell Village was first established in the late 1940’s to house military families at the then-active Kelly Air Force Base. Port San Antonio, which for almost 20 years has led redevelopment of the former base, assumed ownership of the complex in 2010.
Beginning in 2011, the Port’s in-house team upgraded several buildings of units and quickly leased them to the general public. Occupancy for the 82 units upgraded to date has averaged 95 percent over the past five years. With a proven market now established, the Port seeks to enter into a development agreement to accelerate the availability of additional housing. Units range from two to four bedrooms and approximately 1,000 to 1,600 square feet in size.
Fully-furnished units are available on a short-term basis to accommodate people whose new jobs are located at the Port.
The Port also offers furnished units for businesses who require short-term housing as they relocate employees to the region.
Approximately half of current residents work for employers at the Port, which include Boeing, Lockheed Martin, StandardAero, Xerox and several major Department of Defense operations and contractors. The other residents work for different area employers, which include neighboring Lackland Air Force Base as well as businesses in downtown San Antonio, located within a 10-minute drive from the Port.
In the weeks ahead, the Port’s real estate development team will engage the developers to finalize project details, including timeline, types of upgrades required by the different units, floor plans, and additional amenities.
The two firms bring important development expertise. Granite has upgraded over 10,000 units to date, mostly in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The company also manages about 6,000 units.
Mission DG is an affiliate of the San Antonio-based 210 Development Group, which also specializes in multi-family residences. 210’s recent projects include the Peanut Factory Lofts in downtown San Antonio, Villa Espada Apartments and the Aviator Lofts at Brooks City Base—the region’s other base redevelopment authority.
The Billy Mitchell Village Apartments complex is located along the Port’s northern entrance, straddling McMullen Drive. It is a direct gateway into the city’s Westside and easily accessible through area highways.