San Antonio-area officials and a renowned local chef were part of the grand opening festivities Tuesday, Nov. 29, for The Flats at Big Tex. The apartment and townhouse community is located in the Blue Star Arts Complex in Southtown. The 336-unit community offers 6,400 square feet of ground-floor retail space, and showcases art from the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center.
It also has direct access to the Riverwalk, and a gated multi-level parking garage. Developer NRP Group and investment firm Lifshutz Companies partnered up to develop The Flats at Big Tex. Alamo Architects designed the project.
The project partners have envisioned the new Southtown multi-family community as a blend of residential and public space that boosts the area’s urban experience and fosters further community growth and engagement. District 5 City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and City Manager Sheryl Sculley were among the local leaders at the grand opening.
Construction began in May 2014 on the $50 million mixed-use development, on the former site of the Big Tex Grain Co. In 2008, the complex and the main grain elevator building were determined eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The city is providing $5 million in tax incentives to support the project, including a 15-year abatement/rebate on city property taxes, city fee waivers, water impact fee waivers, and an Inner City Incentive Fund Grant.
Bexar County also helped with the project, providing a 10-year, 40 percent abatement of county property taxes, with an estimated value of $485,747. Local leaders say this project helps to boost urban renewal in San Antonio’s central core.
“Big Tex is both commercial and residential, drawing new people and businesses to this fast-growing corridor,” said District 5 City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales in a press release. “It embraces both new and old, restoring the former Big Tex Grain Company into a fresh, modern development. Projects like this add to the fabric of center city living opportunities and increase the quality of housing options near downtown.”
The community boasts studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Square footage on average ranges from 490 for the studio apartment to 1,840 for a three-bedroom townhouse. Amenities include a fitness room, an activity room with gaming tables, a Wifi cafe and media lounge, a fourth-floor social lounge with skyline views, a resort-style pool, and two dog parks.
Visitors to the grand opening also got a sneak peek at chef Johnny Hernandez’s newest restaurant concepts — Villa Rica, which will have Mexican seafood, and Bugerteca, a Mexican inspired burger restaurant. They are scheduled to open in the retail space at The Flats at Big Tex early in 2017.