It is hard to imagine why a 200-acre parcel of vacant land at one of the busiest intersections in the city sat on the market for more than five years.

But now that San Antonio-based development group Blackburn Properties has closed on the acreage at Potranco Road and Loop 1604, founder and CEO Paul Blackburn is moving on plans to deliver the next power center to the high-growth area — and fast.

Those initial plans include roughly 500,000 square feet of retail, as well as 55 acres set aside for a mix of multifamily and single-family residential development.

And with some of the strongest demographics in the city — rising population and income levels, accelerated residential and commercial construction, job growth, as well as a high number of millennials — interest among retailers has already surpassed the developer’s expectations.

“It’s the density and quality of the trade area, the site’s location at a hard corner. … The land wasn’t ready for retail 10 years ago, but now it is,” Blackburn said of the initial demand.

Endura Advisory Group Associate Vice President Eric Lundblad said the property, which is being marketed as The Shops at Dove Creek, has already received about 65 percent worth of pre-leasing commitments for its retail space.

The Shops at Dove Creek will be almost 5 miles south of the Alamo Ranch power center, which is 5 miles south of the 851,342-square-foot Bandera Pointe, which itself is 5 miles south of The Rim and The Shops at La Cantera.

See a pattern?

There is also a common thread among retailers that have established a presence along those northwestern retail centers, and with Blackburn’s plans to add another one to the mix, it will give them a chance to travel down Loop 1604 to target growth in far West San Antonio.

“It’s the next logical intersection that can accommodate a power center, and the next logical step for retailers that have set themselves up along West Loop 1604,” the developer said.

While neither Blackburn nor Lundblad provided any details as to which retailer has expressed interest in leasing at The Shops at Dove Creek, Blackburn said tenants would be “typical of a power-center lineup,” which usually include a mix of national, regional and local franchises. In looking at the retailers that lease space in the three power centers north of the future Dove Creek property, chances are good that some of the larger users will include Target, Lowe’s, Kohl’s, Gold’s Gym, Ross, Spec’s and Ulta, given that they have a presence in two or more of the nearby retail properties.

But with a similar tenant lineup, Blackburn said he is putting more thought into making sure the property fits into the surrounding area. With the help of Villa Park Architecture, the local developer said he wants to “take the time to develop a cohesive development and carry a common theme architecturally.”

Blackburn said he’s also planning to hold onto the property long term, which is significant, since about 99 percent of his retail portfolio is outside San Antonio and has been built to sell.

“I anticipate it to be a solid asset that’s consistent with other retail properties in the area,” Blackburn said, adding that it will be a lender-financed project. “The goal is to develop a well-planned, well-designed mixed-use development in an underserved area.”

And once construction starts in spring 2017 and starts to deliver the initial phases of retail space a year later, that underserved classification will no longer apply.

Story by Katie Burke via the San Antonio Business Journal. Read the original article here.

San Antonio businessman B.J. “Red” McCombs (left), Dr. Bill Henrich, President of UT Health Science Center, and Marty Wender, Owner of the Charles Martin Wender Real Estate and Investments (right), share a laugh during the Texas Headwinds breakfast in the Plaza Club at the Frost Bank Thursday morning.

In the 1980s, he envisioned a thriving community west of IH-10 and then proceeded to make it happen, creating the Westover Hills development, helping San Antonio to secure SeaWorld and facilitating the construction of Texas 151. Eight months ago, Wender narrowly escaped death when he lost consciousness in his home’s steam shower, suffering burns that covered more than 20 percent of his body. McCombs sees Wender as one of a small number of community leaders who propelled San Antonio into the modern era; someone who helped transform a river city built around tourism and the military into a sprawling metropolis with an economy sufficiently diversified to withstand the 2008-09 recession.

Wender had been part of that effort, but after developing the Crown Ridge subdivision, north of Fiesta Texas, in 1981, he decided that the north side’s rocky terrain and proximity to the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone were problematic. McCombs knew that White would be visiting San Antonio the next day for a luncheon, and he persuaded the governor to visit the area surrounding the projected SeaWorld site — which was a desolate cow pasture at the time. Three decades later, the reverberations from that brief gubernatorial visit are hard to miss in Westover Hills: six data-center facilities, residential growth, Alamo Colleges’ Northwest Vista campus and the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa.

Persistent rain in portions of Texas has made August 2016 the wettest August in more than a century and equal to the rainiest ever, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday by the state climatologist’s office at Texas A&M University. The average rainfall for San Antonio in the month of August is just under three inches. San Antonio experienced a eleven inch deluge.