Global companies remembering San Antonio for more than just the Alamo
Texas continues to be one of the fastest-growing states in the country, with an inflow of people relocating from other parts of the United States as well as across the globe. A sizable percentage of those new residents are college graduates attracted by the career possibilities. The presence of some of the top universities in the country has paid dividends in the form of a highly educated workforce in and around the large metro areas, and, increasingly, the San Antonio area.
One of the fastest-growing regions is the Austin-San Antonio Innovation Corridor along Interstate 35
The route is playing an increasingly important role in Texas, as 80% of all Mexican exports pass through the Lone Star State, while 75% of those exports travel up Interstate 35 through Austin and San Antonio. Trade between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada has been increasing exponentially, leading to a rise in opportunities for businesses throughout the 90 miles from San Antonio north to Georgetown along I-35. The cities of Austin, perhaps best known in business circles as a tech hub, and San Antonio, a major player in the military and biotech sectors, are 74 miles apart with I-35 connecting the two cities. The Texas Water Development Board has projected the population of the Austin-San Antonio corridor, made up of 13 counties, will balloon from 4.27 million in 2014 to 5.71 million in 2030.
A direct result of all of this growth has been a dramatic increase in this geographical area’s appeal to some of the best-known companies in the world.
New facilities and expansion projects in the San Antonio area
- Microsoft recently acquired Chevron’s data center, a 150,000-sq.-ft. office/data center property, Stream Data Center, at 5200 Rogers Road in far west San Antonio. The suburban office telecom building was built in 2009.
- Ernst & Young selected San Antonio for its Client Service Delivery Center, with plans to spend a minimum of $8.5 million to build a 54,000-sq.-ft. facility at the recently-developed Farinon Business Park in the Northwest submarket. The company, a major financial services firm, currently has 200 workers downtown, and may add up to 600 jobs at its planned location. Incentives from the city, county and state helped San Antonio beat out Atlanta and Jacksonville, Florida, for the top spot.
- Google Fiber Texas LLC has built its fiber optic network in the Westover Hills neighborhood of San Antonio. The company began construction on 4,000 miles of fiber optic cable in April 2016, with the Alamo City the 12th city in which Google Fiber has launched gigabit speed—or 1,000 megabits per second—internet. In comparison, the average internet speed in the San Antonio metro area during 2014 was 18 megabits per second. That is slightly below 23 mbps seen in the Houston and DFW areas, and well below the 48 mbps reported in the Austin-Round Rock metro area.
- USAA announced that it will be expanding into four additional floors at One Riverwalk Center, creating room for more than 400 additional employees in the building. Employees are expected to move into the renovated space by the end of 2018. Once complete, USAA will occupy eight floors and have more than 600 employees in the 18-story tower.
- HOLT CAT, construction equipment manufacturer, and one of San Antonio’s long-time employers, is building a new 85,000-sq.-ft., $20-million headquarters facility, slated for completion in Q4 2017, in hopes of further promoting development on the city’s east side.
- The University of Texas at San Antonio is investigating changes to its downtown campus to begin to position itself as a top-tier, urban and Hispanic-serving institution. With UTSA’s main campus located in far Northwest San Antonio, the downtown location could afford itself to the opportunities of new technology and entrepreneurial activity spurred by the university’s young people and their new and creative ideas. These new prospects would work in bringing together the bigger picture of greater economic development for the Alamo City.
San Antonio International Airport to land more flights
San Antonio would like to jump on the opportunity to take advantage of the congestion at so many other airports in the U.S. Both AirCanada and Volaris have commenced new nonstop service to Toronto and Mexico City, respectively. The airport has the space, now it is just a matter of airport leadership and the business community to promote San Antonio to numerous airlines throughout the globe. Expanding air access could be a win-win for global carriers, travelers and the local economy.
Port San Antonio cybersecurity, logistics and manufacturing
San Antonio is home to the second-largest concentration of cybersecurity experts in the nation. Over 1,000 of those professionals are based in Port San Antonio. Cybersecurity operations at the Port are anchored by the national headquarters for the 24th Air Force, also known as the Cyber Command. In addition, private-sector and other cybersecurity firms have created new career opportunities at the Port, including network and intelligence analysts, engineers and programmers.
San Antonio may not be the first city on the list for the next tech hub in the country—the city withdrew its bid for Amazon’s second headquarters—but it is a place where cybersecurity and other technology-driven companies are thriving. In addition, as San Antonio continues to get recognition as a cybersecurity industry hub, along with the proximity to military and government organizations, many local names in technology have also been working to promote a startup ecosystem in San Antonio for all types of technology companies.
Sources: San Antonio Business Journal, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, San Antonio Economic Development Foundation.
Director of Research
tel 713 275 9618