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Local developer Zachry Hospitality has added a five-to-six-story office building to its Hemisfair project plans, upping its overall budget from $165 million to $200 million.

The new addition is an answer to the increasing demand for more downtown office space, Hemisfair officials said.

The five-acre project will likely more than double the amount of office space in the entire project, bringing it to between 100,000 and 200,000 sq. ft. About 60,000 sq. ft. of office space was already planned to go inside the boutique hotel Zachry is building there.

Construction on the class A office building will start in summer 2018 and is expected to be completed in 2021, Hemisfair Director of Real Estate Omar Gonzalez told the Rivard Report on Friday. Construction on Civic Park and surrounding projects will be paused during the city’s Tricentennial celebrations in May 2018 and pick up again in July, Gonzalez said.

Renderings for the office building will be released on Thursday, after City Council votes on the plan.

City officials hope that the increased office space, along with the rest of the Hemisfair development plans, will reinvigorate downtown and better connect the park to nearby amenities.

“There’s so much value that [density] brings,” Gonzalez said, “and I think once things are built and you see it and can feel it, it’s going to be amazing.”

As part of its plans to develop the northwest quadrant of Hemisfair, Zachry also will build an 18-story, 200-room boutique hotel and an 8,800 sq. ft. “urban market” that will feature food stalls from about a dozen or so vendors.

The NRP Group, a multifamily developer, also has plans for the park’s northwest corner, where it is building a 380-unit apartment building.

Another residential project by local developer AREA Real Estate will bring a 163-unit apartment building to the perimeter of the park. The project includes 180 parking spaces for tenants and 238 public spaces for park visitors and at least 3,200 square feet of street-level retail/restaurant space. At least 10% of all housing units for both projects will be reserved for more affordable, workforce housing.

“This is a residential first, mixed-use development designed to enhance our urban core into a livable urban district that has developments around the open park space,” said Hemisfair CEO Andres Andujar.

Hemisfair has been working to ensure that development plans are compatible with several of the city’s long-range plans such as the City’s comprehensive plan, SA Tomorrow, and the Alamo Master Plan, said Hemisfair Communications Manager Drew Hicks.

City Council will vote on the new plans next Thursday which would allow the Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corp., which operates Hemisfair, to lease the five-acre plot to Zachry and involve the City and Zachry constructing an underground, 800-space parking garage under the development. The City, which would own the garage, would control 600 of those spots and Zachry would operate the rest.

Also pending Council approval Thursday is the creation of a new Hemisfair tax increment reinvestment zone, which means property taxes from the area could go to HPARC to pay for park improvements.

With expanded and improved parkland and mixed-use amenities drawing more visitors, residents, and workers, Hemisfair will continue to blossom over the next few years, Hicks said. The overall goal, he added, is to make it a destination for tourists and “a place for locals” – eventually turning the Hemisfair district back into a neighborhood, as it once was.

Camille Garcia, Rivard Report

Zachry Adds Office Building to Hemisfair Project