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Old April 15th, 2012, 01:24 AM   #41
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Downtown may get at least $84 million
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We are less than a month away from voting on the largest bond program in city history. Meanwhile, City Council is considering a downtown revitalization plan. Given these two rather lengthy propositions, in the coming weeks, numbers are going to be flung from every direction, Swedish Chef-style.

In the interest of clarity and to prevent further headaches, I figured now would be a good time to pause and talk specifics.

At least $84 million of the $596 million 2012-2017 bond initiative is coming downtown's way, assuming it's approved by voters on May 12. Talking with city officials, and studying the two websites dedicated to the proposal — buildsanow.com and sanantonio.gov/2012Bond — this is how it breaks down in the millions:

$40M downtown streets

$15M HemisFair Park area streets

$15M HemisFair Park general improvements

$4M Central Library

$2.6M Cherry Street

$1.7M Frio Street

$1.5M Buena Vista Street

$1.5M Commerce Street

$1.4M César E. Chávez Boulevard

$1M Alamo Plaza

$1M San Antonio Museum of Art

$75K Travis Park
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Old April 15th, 2012, 01:27 AM   #42
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Hays Street Bridge, the beer magnet
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Do we dare ask Nettie Hinton what she thinks? The historic Hays Street Bridge, a symbolic and physical link to the old East Side, restored through the efforts of community activists such as Hinton, Gary Houston, and Doug Steadman, has lured another business to the post-industrial corridor between downtown and on-the-up Dignowity Hill. Boneshakers, the early adopter that put craft beer and a bike shop on the banks of the reconstructed Mission Reach the moment it opened to cyclists and hikers, is moving north at the end of the month to 306 Austin, near the foot of the bridge.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 01:45 AM   #43
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Office building planned for Museum Reach
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Conceptual plans for a four-story, 25,000-square-foot office building along the Museum Reach portion of the River Walk goes before the Historic and Design Review Commission this week. The address is 206 Arden Grove — the road behind KSAT 12 which dead-ends at 9th Street. In relation to the River Walk, it’s across the river from the Turner Club.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 01:50 AM   #44
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UTSA hosts Park West Athletics Complex groundbreaking
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UTSA hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday to kick off the construction of the Park West Athletics Complex.

The athletics complex will be located on a portion of the 125-acre UTSA Park West Campus, located approximately two miles west of the main campus, and is slated to include a track-and-field complex, soccer field, paved parking and related infrastructure.

UTSA President Ricardo Romo, Director of Athletics Lynn Hickey, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, County Commissioner Kevin Wolff, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and City Councilman Reed Williams attended the groundbreaking along with the UTSA Marching Band, UTSA student-athletes, UTSA cheerleaders and Rowdy Roadrunner.

Construction of the Park West Athletics Complex will be completed in multiple phases.

The first phase, with an expected completion date of 2013, includes a 1,000-seat soccer stadium, 1,000-seat track and field stadium, 500-space surface parking lot, roadways and a retention basin.

The facilities will be used for public events and will serve as home bases for the UTSA sports teams.

Future development of the complex will include tennis, softball and baseball facilities, fan amenities, meeting and hospitality rooms and expansion to existing facilities.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 03:18 AM   #45
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New plan to put SA2020 into action
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Build more housing units and then downtown will attract more of the things that make a vibrant city: residents, workers, retail, recreation, and maybe even a grocery store.

It's one strategy the city thinks will keep area-born young creatives — millennials between the ages of 16 and 34 — from leaving San Antonio for the big city somewhere else.

And it's the backbone of a $350 million downtown action plan by HR&A Advisors Inc. that was outlined to a roomful of movers and shakers Monday at the Hyatt Regency. Where the mayor's SA2020 plan was a broad list of goals for the city center, the downtown action plan aims to be a roadmap for how to achieve those goals.

Specifically, the action plan calls for adding 7,500 housing units (mostly apartments) to the downtown area by 2020. That's a more ambitious goal than the 5,000-unit bump outlined in SA2020.

The council is expected to vote on the plan in mid-May.

Some of the other keys to downtown's rebirth already are in motion, such as HemisFair Park and the planned north-east streetcar route.

Other recommendations:

Parking: While HR&A found there's plenty of parking downtown, it's not distributed evenly, creating shortages in some parts of downtown. The city plans to build two more parking garages by 2017.

Transportation: The plan calls for making streets friendlier to pedestrians by widening sidewalks and to cyclists by creating bike lanes. It also suggests introducing on-street parking to major corridors like Commerce Street.

Connectivity: Torres Springer said the River Walk contains most of downtown's life and action, but not the streets that border it. HR&A recommends improving the means by which people enter and exit the River Walk from Jones Avenue to the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center to encourage more pedestrian movement at both levels. That would hopefully create more street-level retail and restaurants to encourage more action above the river.

Parks: Downtown's open spaces are in desperate need of resuscitation, according to the plan. The obvious candidate is HemisFair Park, but it also mentions better programming and design for Maverick, Madison Square, Travis and Milam parks.

Cultural institutions: The report encourages the city to get involved with its culture destinations, such as assisting in parking for the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, which is scheduled to open in 2014.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 11:47 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by hannah_banana View Post
There is a bomb shelter on the property?! Sounds like a hell of place to have a club!
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Old April 20th, 2012, 07:55 PM   #47
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Santa Rosa will be Children's Hospital of San Antonio
By Don Finley
Updated 12:08 p.m., Friday, April 20, 2012

San Antonio will get a new, stand-alone children's hospital downtown after all.

Officials with Christus Santa Rosa Health System announced Friday they would immediately begin a $135 million transformation of their downtown campus into the Children's Hospital of San Antonio.

Completion should take two years. The campus currently includes adult and children's hospitals.

Patrick Carrier, president of the Christus Santa Rosa system, said plans began shortly after March 1, when the University Health System pulled out of talks to build a new, state-of-the art children's hospital together.

“This process has gone very fast for us because until just six weeks ago, we were in discussions with the University Health System in the hopes of developing a partnership to develop a freestanding hospital with them,” Carrier said. “We began immediately at that time to look for alternatives for a children's hospital because we felt it was so vital — not only to the community but to our own Christus Santa Rosa mission.”

....
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/loc...#photo-2840487
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Old April 30th, 2012, 02:26 AM   #48
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1800 Broadway construction


http://www.mysanantonio.com/fiesta/a...16596.php#next
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Old April 30th, 2012, 02:33 AM   #49
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Developers: It's a matter of supply, demand
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Recently, on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, two men were power-washing the Alamo-shaped marquee of a one-story building at the northeast corner of Broadway and Grayson. The brain cells — the few I have left — began dancing with the realization that there were 950 reasons why those men were tidying up the building's facade.

That's the number of new residential units — four major projects either already finished or under construction — slated for the near-Broadway corridor.

That little building, whatever it's destined to become — coffee shop, clothing boutique, bar — will directly serve occupants of apartment buildings 1800 Broadway and The Mosaic when they are completed across the street.

A block west, there are nearly 300 apartments in the works at Pearl, most of which will adopt the Can Plant name. And then there's 1221 Broadway, a five-minute walk south of the Pearl, which will total 307 units when its second phase is completed.

Alone, any one of the aforementioned projects might not sustain new business, large or small. But together, they already are sparking inquiries into what kinds of amenities could complement the arriving near-downtowners.

The primordial ooze and its evolution along Broadway can be seen every day. But what about office space?

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Old April 30th, 2012, 02:40 AM   #50
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Full article on Graham Weston posted earlier. If you haven't read it yet, it's a good read for what to expect from him.

Billionnaire Weston eyes major downtown revival in San Antonio
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The newest member of San Antonio’s billionaire’s club is ready to open his wallet over downtown.

Rackspace Hosting Inc. founder and chairman Graham Weston says he will forge partnerships with a dozen or more real estate developers over the next two years to further develop the city center into a livable, walkable urban environment that will attract and retain young professionals.

Weston, who owns downtown’s Weston Centre, says his plan — which he’ll unveil within the next six months — will involve “philanthropic capitalism” akin to Pace Foods billionaire Kit Goldsbury’s Pearl Brewery redevelopment or the Bass Brothers’ revitalization of downtown Fort Worth.

He declined to reveal specifics, however, including how much he will spend and which sites he’s targeted for development.

“This is about helping San Antonio become a city over the next decade that’s more attractive to young and single people,” says Weston, 48. “Young people are free agents looking to live in a city for the experiences it can give them, for the people they can meet, the things they can do. They’re also very mobile. They can work anywhere that captures their imagination.”

Weston holds almost $1.1 billion in Rackspace stock, according to a story last week by Bloomberg News tallying billionaires overlooked by Forbes magazine’s annual list. His fortunes exceeded the billion-dollar mark after a recent runup in the tech company’s stock price.

While San Antonio’s urban core has grown with the revitalization of Southtown and Goldsbury’s Pearl, Weston says those should provide just a taste of what’s to come.

Hip cities

Weston is eyeing projects, including new residential development, that take inspiration from San Francisco, Portland, Ore.; and Silicon Valley — communities that attract skilled young workers by creating urban enclaves where people can live, work and be entertained.

In 2008, Rackspace located its worldwide headquarters in the shuttered Windsor Park Mall, a decision Weston says was partially driven by the lack of downtown properties that could accommodate its anticipated growth.

Rackspace employs more than 4,100 workers, many of whom relocated to the Alamo City. Officials at local tech firms have long lamented the difficulty in finding skilled employees here and in competing for workers with “hip” cities such as Austin and Denver.

“San Antonio is a net exporter of talented young people,” Weston adds. “Too many go away to school and don’t come back. We need to change that. This brain drain isn’t sustainable.”

A handful of downtown developers say they’ve held conversations with Weston about his vision, but add that he’s not shared detailed plans. Given Weston’s vision and resources, however, most expect his moves to substantially shake up the city’s urban landscape.

“Graham is serious about taking bold steps,” says Downtown Alliance president Ben Brewer. “I think we’re looking at some of the largest major downtown development in quite some time.”

Weston, to be sure, is no stranger to real estate development — or community involvement.

His Weston Centre is one of downtown’s premiere office properties, and he also owns an adjacent parking garage. Those properties, Brewer adds, likely will be the centerpiece of Weston’s efforts.

Read more...
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 05:47 AM   #51
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Plans are for Taco Land to become an outdoor bar
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As the story goes, Ayala, along with doorman Douglas “Gypsy Doug” Morgan, were shot and killed in a robbery at Taco Land in 2005.

The Ayala family has since sold the place to a partnership called Tacoland Studios LLC, made up of “Desperate Housewives” actor Ricardo Chavira and developer David Adelman, who lead the 1221 Broadway apartment project.

Rather than wait to sign a tenant now, Adelman said they are going forth with renovating the property on the corner of Grayson and Elmira streets.

“I figured it’s a little bit like ‘Field of Dreams’,” Adelman said. “If you built it, they will come.”

The plans are the highlight of the Historic and Design Review Commission meeting this Wednesday. Click here to view them.

In short, the plan is to modify the Taco Land building to become an outdoor bar or ice house with picnic tables and probably a food truck component. So, identity-wise, somewhere between The Friendly Spot and Alamo Street Eat Bar, but on the Pearl side of downtown’s fringe areas. It’s completely unclear if the venue will keep the Taco Land name or live music bent because, again, there is no actual tenant.

But, according to the submitted plans, the portrait of Ayala, which was drawn after his death, will remain along with the other art on the northwest brick facade.

The plans do call for the demolition of the wood-framed portion of the building — roughly the middle portion around the tree. Apparently this was constructed to connect the two original masonry structures. As you can tell from drawings, it looks like the space to be demolished includes the former stage and I’m not too upset about it. It’s not like they’re tearing up Gruene Hall, or anything. Taco Land was one of those places whose character was defined by its proprietor, and not the building itself. That’s why it never got back off the ground.

Adelman said construction should take 90 days after the permitting process is completed. Urbanist Design pllc of San Antonio is the architect.
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 05:49 AM   #52
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Like the universe, B-cycle is expanding
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With apologies to Woody Allen, bike share program B-Cycle indeed is expanding.

In mid-April, new stations became operational at 500 Victoria Lane (HemisView Village), 818 S. Flores St. (next to San Antonio Housing Authority) and at 1221 Broadway, which pushed the program’s totals to 23 stations and 230 bikes.

By year’s end, the program could grow to 30 stations and 300 bikes.

“We always have great plans,” B-cycle Executive Director Cindi Snell said. “I think our next stop is going to be close to the Weston Centre (112 E. Pecan St.) and then we are working on connectivity, whether it be from Brackenridge to downtown, or some of the universities to downtown.”

Snell acknowledged early criticism that B-cycle was a program for tourists, because the bike stations were located by tourist destinations. But she said the intent of future growth will be to connect fringe neighborhoods to the downtown core.

She confirmed the near East Side — Dignowity Hill neighborhood and VIA’s Ellis Alley — are on B-cycle’s radar for expansion. And there are plans to include a station in the Westside Multimodal Center, the former International & Great Northern Railroad depot on Medina Street, which VIA is currently planning.

And there are plans to install 5-7 new stations between Blue Star Contemporary Arts Center and Mission Espada, in part paid for by a federal transportation grant.
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 05:55 AM   #53
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Some more 1800 Broadway photos

Construction (You can see the Mosaic at the very top of this picture also)



3D Renderings


https://www.facebook.com/pages/1800-...51049401608455
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Old May 4th, 2012, 01:01 AM   #54
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Two articles about some projects in River North

River North TIRZ OKs $4M in incentives
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A municipal board on Wednesday unanimously recommended to City Council that three near-downtown developments receive more than $4 million in incentives for projects that will continue revitalization of the San Antonio River's Museum Reach.

The projects — a hotel, a multi-family residential development and a law office — each abut the river and lie within the boundaries of the River North Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, or TIRZ. Those zones capture the increased tax revenue from new developments and spend that money within their boundaries to improve the area.

The proposed $31.5 million, 256-unit multi-family development is slated to receive about $2.43 million in city tax rebates during the next 15 years from the TIRZ. A grant and fee waivers from the city and the San Antonio Water System increase the total incentive package to more than $4 million.

Lori Houston, assistant director of the Center City Development Office, told the TIRZ board that such developments play an important role in the city's goal to increase housing downtown over the next decade — a major piece in Mayor Julián Castro's SA2020 long-term plan.

“We really want to incent housing in this downtown area,” she said. “The River North area is an area we need to target.”

River North TIRZ approves area’s first incentives
Quote:
• $997,743 for Embarcadero Hotel, a project of Paradigm Hotel SA Riverwalk, at 103 W. Ninth Street. This looks to be the same project that has been referred to, in documents submitted to the city’s historic board, as the Wyndham Garden River North. Click here for more.

•$2.4 million for a “River North Multifamily project,” by A.A. Seeligson, Jr. River North, Ltd., adjacent to the 1221 Broadway apartment complex. The Seeligson partnership, which includes Hixon Properties Inc., owns about 1.5 acres just south, and 1.1 acres just west, of 1221 Broadway. This is presumably the location of this project. Click here for some background on this project.

• $520,548 for an office building, 206 Arden Grove, which is owned by Martin J. Phipps, lead council of Goldman, Pennebaker & Phipps, P.C. I’ve been emailing with Phipps to try to nail down an interview. But it sounds like the building will completely be occupied by Phipps’ firm. Click here to see a drawing of the building.


Read the Express-News article for details.

These incentives seem to indicate that a move by the city in 2010 has paid off. That’s when the 1221 Broadway project was removed from the River North TIRZ to pave the way for a city incentives package worth $3.7 million. That allowed the developers of 1221 Broadway to secure its final piece of financing — a loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Some major players in River North attribute the success of 1221 Broadway as the catalyst for the Can Plant Apartments, currently under construction just north at the Pearl, and that Can Plant was the catalyst for 1800 Broadway and The Mosaic on the other side of Broadway.

It was back in 2010 that the city wanted to dissolve the River North TIRZ because it was under performing. But the new residential projects seem to indicate that it’s here to stay.

Here is the article from February, posted in the old thread, about the new residential development.

http://blog.mysanantonio.com/downtow...h-development/

This new project plus other projects recently completed and under construction in the area pushes the number of new residential units over 1000.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 04:15 PM   #55
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The Viceroy renamed "The 1010"

Not sure if word's gotten out on this yet, but the project on South Flores by SAHA has been renamed...

Judging by the new website it looks like they're going more upscale and modern, à la St Benedict's Lofts: http://www.1010southflores.com/
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Old May 12th, 2012, 09:15 PM   #56
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Looks nice

Methodist Healthcare plans $44 million expansion in Downtown San Antonio
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Courtesy of Methodist Healthcare system

Rendering of planned expansion to Methodist Healthcare System’s Metropolitan Methodist Hospital, which is located in downtown San Antonio.

Some of San Antonio’s largest hospital systems are playing a high-stakes game of chess, rolling out new development plans that could significantly reshape the delivery of care downtown.

Methodist Healthcare System , bracing for an anticipated sharp increase in demand for services in the center city, is preparing to make the next move on that front. It plans to break ground this summer on a major expansion of its Metropolitan Methodist Hospital, the Business Journal has learned.

Christus Santa Rosa Health System struck first, however. Last month, it unveiled a plan to relocate adult services from its City Centre campus to ...
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Old May 25th, 2012, 01:25 AM   #57
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Incentives: Are we for or against them?
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The numbers are these:

A partnership called A.A. Seeligson, Jr. River North Ltd., which includes S.A.-based Hixon Properties, plans to build 256 market-rate apartments on 3.23 acres of prime River North real estate at Avenue A and 13th Street. The unnamed project also would push the number of new digs along the I-35/U.S. 281 interchange segment of Broadway to around 1,200.

It’s exactly the kind of growth — and the rate of growth — that fits in perfectly with Mayor Julián Castro’s vision for downtown.

The project is going to cost $31.4 million to build. And the city is willing to contribute $4 million in incentives — a combination of grants and fee waivers — which is not a bag of mixed nuts by any means, but seemingly a reasonable investment given the domino effect-like growth potential in that area.

But if it’s such a great project why did two council members vote against it?

To be fair, council members Elisa Chan and Carlton Soules thought the project was a worthy one and described the developer as reputable. But Chan called attention to the other projects on Broadway that the city has assisted. Because there are about 1,000 new units due in the near future, she said, now is a good time to put the incentives on pause and understand their affect on the market.

“I think it will be prudent for the city to understand the market a little bit more,” Chan said at last week’s meeting.

Councilman Diego Bernal took an opposite stance.

“I don’t believe we can move fast enough in refilling the inner city with people,” Bernal said. “And if you look at other projects downtown and on Broadway, the benefits, the dividends, aside from that residential density, are very apparent.”
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Old May 25th, 2012, 01:29 AM   #58
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Weatherford's S.A. hub completed
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Oil field services company Weatherford International Inc. provided more details this week about the completion of its 108-acre facility in south San Antonio at Interstate 37 and Loop 1604.

Weatherford's base consists of eight buildings totaling 184,589 square feet, including a multiple service structures and a 50,000-square-foot office building. The hub houses several Weatherford divisions that will maintain and stage equipment and personnel for customers in South Texas, particularly for those in the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas, the company said.

Weatherford real-estate manager Jeff Stringer said in a statement that customer demand in South Texas was strong, and the project had been expedited.

Switzerland-based Weatherford chose PinPoint Commercial LP of Houston to develop the site.

Construction on the project began in July 2011 and move-in began on March 22.
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Old May 25th, 2012, 02:02 AM   #59
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Texas Biomedical Research Institute to expand
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A 70,000-square-foot building that will serve as a new front door to the 200-acre Texas Biomedical Research Institute campus and allow for the enhancement of existing research programs and the creation of new ones. The $26.45 million building will provide eight laboratories for the institute’s federally designated Southwest National Primate Research Center and will allow the institute to grow its research into stem cell use. There also will be space for an additional six virology and immunology laboratories and one biomedical safety laboratory.
Photo: Courtesy Illustration / SA



There's room to grow, and that's exactly what they aim to do.

The Texas Biomedical Research Institute has plans to build a 70,000-square-foot building that will serve as a new front door to the 200-acre campus and allow for the enhancement of existing research programs and the creation of new ones, said Kenneth Trevett, the organization's president and CEO.

The $26.45 million building will provide eight laboratories for the institute's federally designated Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC), which is where work concerning tuberculosis, heart disease, diabetes and AIDS is done. The expansion also will allow the institute to grow its research into stem cell use, Trevett added. There also will be space for an additional six virology and immunology laboratories and one biomedical safety laboratory.

“We've got real room to grow here,” Trevett said.

The construction of the 2-story facility, which will be named after Earl Slick, the brother of the institute's founder, is part of the first phase of the 25-year master plan that has been in the works for about a decade, Trevett said. Phase one also includes $15 million for recruitment start-up packages for 11 new researchers.

The second phase is expected to start in the next five years and will include the construction of an animal procedure holding area and renovations to about 530,000 square feet of existing buildings. Other future projects include infrastructure enhancements, more green space on the campus and a new entrance, according to the institute's 2011 annual report.

Building permits still need to be secured from the city but construction is expected to start in June with completion by late 2013, Trevett said.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 10:44 PM   #60
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1800 Broadway May construction (You can see the Mosaic at the top in the first to pictures as well)



https://www.facebook.com/pages/1800-...51049401608455
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