ULI San Antonio News



Why did San Antonio slip out of ULI’s list of top 20 markets to watch? It has the growth, the economic development opportunities and interest among investors. But even so, San Antonio has lost its spot on a list it celebrated landing on just last year.

After breaking into the Urban Land Institute’s top 20 markets to watch in 2016, San Antonio slid to 32nd place this year. The main factor discussed at the local chapter’s emerging trends luncheon today was simple — the city just didn’t have enough.

In addition to the limited number of heavyweight, high-paying companies with a presence in the city — compare it to the likes of Facebook, Apple, 3M, Google and Whole Foods Market in Austin — there are two other factors San Antonio can catch up on, the development of more Class A commercial space and building an equally talented workforce.

Tom Long, the executive vice president of business development for the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, said the perception is that San Antonio is a good place to be, but “we can do more to tell our story.”

Long was referring to the economic growth the city has continuously posted over the past few years, its strengthening workforce, impressive jumps in new development, as well as investments on behalf of both public and private entities that will continue to propel San Antonio’s expansion.

But even so, Long said the city needs — and can do — more.

“What limits us is product availability,” Long said of San Antonio’s ability to attract companies to the city. “We’re starting to see that change, but many of them need space now. We have plenty of land, but we need more product.”

That isn’t going to change over night, and the main sentiment at the forecast event was optimistic. After sharing some national statistics and trends, ULI’s Senior Vice President of Case Studies and Publications Dean Schwanke said San Antonio “is a good market to watch.”

“Texas as a whole is doing well, and while San Antonio isn’t in the top 10 yet, it’s a rising star,” Schwanke said. “We’ll see if it becomes a top 10 market in the years to come.”

As reported by Katie Burke / San Antonio Business Journal

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