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  #1  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2008, 5:28 AM
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sirkingwilliam sirkingwilliam is offline
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{SA} The Town Center at La Cantera - 178 Acre Mixed-Use Adjacent to The Shops

The Town Center at La Cantera


This is the phase III I was talking about. Though it is bigger than I thought and is actually going to be marketed separately from The Shops as a new development in La Cantera. Although phase I of Town Center will not have a high-rise component, eventually it will.

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Latest La Cantera project is mixed-use Town Center

Web Posted: 03/27/2008 11:08 PM CDT

Creighton A. Welch and Melissa Monroe
Express-News Business Writers

Last week, USAA Real Estate Co. unveiled its expansion plans for Phase II of The Shops at La Cantera. This week, the new projects continue to roll out.

USAA Real Estate Co. announced today that it is taking its 1,700-acre La Cantera development to the next level, and soon will start building The Town Center at La Cantera, a 178-acre mixed-use development along Interstate 10 and Loop 1604.

"This is the future of long-term development in the U.S.," said James Loyd, executive managing director at USAA Real Estate Co.

The first phase of the project, on about 40 acres, will have 500 loft-style apartments built on top of 200,000 square feet of neighborhood retail space, plus nearly 1 million square feet of office space and a 200-room boutique hotel.

Details about the developer and brand of hotel were not released. The first phase is expected to take five years to complete.

"The significance of the project is that it's a continuation of bringing retail and office and providing that commercial development to an area that has had a pent-up demand for quite a while," said Kimberly Gatley, senior vice president and director of research with NAI REOC Partners, a local real estate firm. "They're really servicing a need that has been there for some time."

The Town Center will focus on walkability and will have several parking garages rather than huge surface lots. Each building is expected to be Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design certified for green building.

"If you look at it in terms of the environment, it should have a much less negative impact than other projects," Loyd said. "Due to our financial strength, we can afford to do this right, and will do it right."

Development in La Cantera has been unfolding slowly over the years, beginning with such landmarks as Six Flags Fiesta Texas and the Westin La Cantera Resort.

"It has always been kind of a long-term vision and focus for us," said T. Patrick Duncan, president and CEO of USAA Real Estate Co.

In 2005, The Shops at La Cantera opened as an open-air retail village with a Texas Hill Country architectural theme. High-end retailers at the center include a Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Tiffany & Co. and Anthropologie — which are all a first for San Antonio.

"Pointing to the hugely successful Shops at La Cantera, the next natural step is to have further development that complements all of that," Gatley said. "They're really going for this 24-hour lifestyle center, and the apartments are a big component of that."

In the last three years, The Rim shopping center has risen across the highway with midscale retailers such as Best Buy, JCPenney and the hunter's paradise of Bass Pro Shops. The Rim also is expected to have several hotels added to the mix in the next several years.

Just north of the La Cantera property, a Dutch company has broken ground on éilan, a 120-acre development that eventually will have about 1,400 apartments, 200,000 square feet of office space, a 150- to 200-room hotel and spa and 30,000 square feet of retail space.

More hotel developers are scouting the area around Interstate 10 and Loop 1604 for spots because of the increased activity from The Shops at La Cantera and The Rim, said Doug Sutton, executive vice president of San Antonio-based Source Strategies, a hotel consulting firm.

Sutton, who's familiar with the proposed boutique hotel at La Cantera, said there's a lot of interest from many hotel brands wanting to be in the area.

In addition to a new Staybridge Suites and Drury hotel under construction near La Cantera, Sutton said, he's heard talks about a possible Sheraton Four Points and Embassy Suites.

"Historically, that area used to be just a good stopping point," he said. "It's a different economy now with The Shops at La Cantera, The Rim and Bass Pro."

Sutton cautioned that he didn't think the area could support too many high-end hotels. He added hotel developers still have to compete with hotels downtown — typically the prime spot for visitors.

The office component at The Town Center at La Cantera should be successful because of all the residential development that's taken place in the outskirts of San Antonio, Gatley said.

"You have some very affluent neighborhoods around there, and it makes it a very easy commute to have office buildings," Gatley said. "The people who live out there are the decision-makers in the city."
http://www.mysanantonio.com/business...8.2f0a402.html

Last edited by sirkingwilliam; Mar 28, 2008 at 5:57 AM.
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Old Posted Mar 28, 2008, 5:53 AM
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sirkingwilliam sirkingwilliam is offline
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This is seriously going to be a really large development if 40 acres (first phase) of the 178 total is going to have 1.2 million square feet of commercial space, 500 residential units and 200 hotel rooms.
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Old Posted Mar 28, 2008, 6:04 AM
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sirkingwilliam sirkingwilliam is offline
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There's a website for this registered by USAA on January 17, 2008.

www.thetowncenteratlacantera.com
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  #4  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2008, 6:51 AM
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  #5  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2008, 7:24 AM
TXlifeguard TXlifeguard is offline
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My neighborhood is getting its own FAKE DOWNTOWN!! Sweet.

In all seriousness, sounds cool, but I call BS on T. Patrick Duncan and his ambiguous statement, "It has always been kind of a long-term vision and focus for us."

I'll explain. A mall had been on the drawing table for La Cantera since the 80's when the whole development was conceived. However the shops were conceived as a traditional mall. No one then would have dared to suggest, much less build a 'Shopping Center' *gasp* (open air, actual exposure to the elements, etc.) Shopping Centers were so 1960's. In the go-go 80's malls were all the rage! About this time, some sharp developer realized that 'Shopping Centers' occupied a smaller footprint and generated twice the profit and were easier to get in and out of. A few more dollars on finishes and a rebranding from 'shopping center' to 'lifestyle center' and POOF- a new(old) concept was brought to SA. They say timing is everything, and unfortunately for The Shops, the 'lifestyle center' concept was quickly eclipsed by a newer fad; the mixed use 'lifestyle center' - which is the privately owned fake downtown (Sugar Land Town Square, The Domain, etc; ) shops with office buildings and people living on top of the shops. Ironic that shopping has returned to its Main Street Roots; except in a Disney-esque sort of way (privately owned, devoid of character, sanitized, rule-bound, and over priced.) A place for us to spend money at a fake, sterile version of something that already exists, but is way too scary/inconvenient/boring in its original incarnation for most people.

I guess my rambling point is this; if T. Patrick Duncan and the USAA Development crew were so in the know, the entire Shops concept would have been constructed in the mixed use lifestyle center concept. It's the hottest thing going right now. Unfortunately for them, the foundation had already been poured by time they figured out what was going on around them. Is it their fault? I dunno. But don't make statements about this oddly shaped corner parcel wedged between the creek, Fiesta Texas and freeway interchange as some crown jewel of the development. If it was - it would be were the Shops Phase I is now. They just didn't think of it at the time. I guess if I was in charge of the La Cantera development and didn't see it coming, I'd be re-writing history too.

THAT HAVING BEEN SAID...

I'm glad to see it coming though. Mixed use something is better than mixed use nothing. It's just about 20 years too late for me. We'd have killed for all this development out here when I was a freshman at UTSA in 1994. Back then our choices to eat near campus were limited to the Pizza Hut behind campus or a 15 minute drive to Sombrero Rosa's at I-10 and Wurzbach - cause thats pretty much all that was out here. Our living choices were limited to a few craptastic apartment complexes (Chase Hill, Las Colinas) within walking or biking distance. So I welcome the plastic goodness of it all.
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Old Posted Mar 28, 2008, 7:48 AM
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sirkingwilliam sirkingwilliam is offline
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Lifeguard, I think you misread that comment. He was talking about the development of La Cantera being a long-term vision not the look of the retail portion. Also, I think they knew exactly what they wanted with The Shops at La Cantera (phase I).
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Old Posted Mar 28, 2008, 12:54 PM
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Here in KC, on the Kansas side, they have a "lifestyle" center called the Legends at Village West, and the last time my wife and I went there, I made the exact same observation as TXlifeguard. I told my wife, "this is basically just a pre-fabbed downtown out in the middle of nowhere!"
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Old Posted Mar 28, 2008, 2:00 PM
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I'm just glad to hear that there are apartments going over retail in this part of town....I'm really hoping this will start a trend bc as of right now I really can't think of anything of this kind in the SA metro area (correct me if I'm wrong)
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Old Posted Mar 28, 2008, 10:31 PM
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Construction on Phase I of The Town Center should begin soon.
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Old Posted Mar 28, 2008, 11:36 PM
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Old Posted Mar 29, 2008, 4:18 AM
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Old Posted Mar 29, 2008, 6:11 AM
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Phase I of The Town Center at La Cantera


Complete site plan of The Town Center. Also, The Shops at La Cantera. Phase I (completed 2005) and phase II (under construction) to be finished fall of this year.


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Old Posted Apr 15, 2008, 3:42 AM
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This area is shaping up to be a destination for tourist. Unlike the Sugar Land Town Center and the Domain in Austin, this area has Six Flags and UTSA which makes it an unique area. With the Landmark, LaJoya, Eilan and The Rim, this will be one of the greatest areas in the country. S.A. is really on the rise.
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2008, 5:09 AM
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This sorta thing gets all the press and amazingly urban places like River North don't.

Sigh
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2008, 6:52 AM
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Yeah, I wish RiverNorth had things on this grand of scale. *sigh* in time
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2008, 1:07 PM
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It looks alright. I do agree with TXlifeguard that it's essentially a fake downtown. Sort of like Austin's new Domain shopping center. While the place is nice, and is pedestrian friendly and inviting, you still have to drive to get there. But I suppose these types of developments are better than what was built in the past. At least it encourages people to get out and walk.
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Old Posted Apr 19, 2008, 5:21 AM
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Better detailed site plans:



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Old Posted Apr 28, 2008, 4:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaga185 View Post
Yeah, I wish RiverNorth had things on this grand of scale. *sigh* in time
River North will probably have to go to that downtown review committee that keeps anything too nice from happening. We need this to be a grand area for people who don't like all buildings to be brown.
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Old Posted Apr 29, 2008, 7:13 AM
TXlifeguard TXlifeguard is offline
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Had an interesting conversation with someone affiliated with the Legacy group/project in Dallas the other day. Told me that they are having to retool their marketing to go after specific types of people (those in their 20's, retirees, etc) instead of blanket marketing to fill apartments and condos in these fake downtown developments. It seems that not everyone wants to/is happy with living above a Banana Republic, and it takes a certain type of individual to appreciate that lifestyle. Specifically the noise, people essentially in your front yard at all hours, and in some locations of these developments, your home/apartment/condo smelling like coffee all the time because you live above Starbucks. Can you imagine the smell if you lived above/near PF Chang's or a BBQ joint? lol.
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Old Posted Oct 29, 2008, 9:52 PM
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Any updates/renderings/site plans available? Work is finishing on phase II of the shops. Anyone know when we can expect to see groundbreaking?
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