Officials at Brooks City Base earlier this month issued $54.9 million in revenue bonds to help support numerous infrastructure projects designed to stimulate ongoing redevelopment of the former Brooks Air Force Base. The revenue bonds will fund notable projects such as the restoration of the historic Hangar 9 building and the formation of a new town center. The money will also fund the development of a new linear park. Hangar 9, built nearly 100 years ago, once housed basic training aircraft for pilots who went on to fly missions during World War I. The structure was restored more than 45 years ago and served as a home for the U.S. Air Force Museum of Aerospace Medicine. The museum was shuttered when the base closed. Officials with the city and the former base said a restored Hangar 9 – the only wooden hangar of its type left in the country – could host several community events. Hangar 9 is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Brooks City Base President/CEO Leo Gomez told local media outlets that the bonds will aid in costs related to critical capital improvements necessary to boost development at the former military base, especially on the northern and western sides of the campus. Some bond funds will be used to build a new Embassy Suites by Hilton at the former base. The planned full-service hotel, scheduled for opening later next year, will be called Embassy Suites-Brooks City Base by Hilton Hotels. It will feature 155 suites, a restaurant, fitness center, business center, full bar, a quick-serve deli market, and 8,000-square-feet of conference and event space. This six-acre project will be the first development of its kind south of downtown San Antonio.
Other bond funds will support engineering and design work associated with the $35 million extension of South New Braunfels Avenue to Loop 410. That area has seen a surge in major retail activity in recent years. Officials at the former base broke ground in late July on a $9.1 million project that will widen and upgrade Dale Erwin Drive to help accommodate people attending the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine, which will open in July 2017.
Elsewhere on Brooks City Base lies other kinds of redevelopment, such as a low-cost spay and neuter clinic, the product of a partnership with the city of San Antonio. With the rise of more business and industrial opportunities at Brooks City Base has come the growth of residential multi-family and single-family communities in the area, such as The Landings apartment complex.