A guide to executive suites and office space to rent in San Antonio as well as general information that may be useful if you are thinking of renting offices in the city.
History & Geography
Texas’ second-largest city is also one of the most diverse and vibrant in the US. San Antonio is the seat of Bexar County and is about 80 miles southwest of Austin. San Antonio sits of the Balcones Escarpment in the southwest of America’s largest state. Named for San Antonio de Padua, San Antonio was founded in 1691 by a group of Spanish explorers and missionaries. The town was founded originally as a way to fight the growing influence of the French based in Louisiana. In the early 18th century Spain transported several families from the Canary Islands to boost numbers in the town, and their descendents can still be found in the city today. Soon San Antonio was the largest Spanish settlement in Texas, though in 1824 it was handed over to Mexico. In 1835 the Texas Revolution broke out and violence between settlers in the state and the Mexican army ensued. San Antonio was captured by the Texian army, but it was recaptured by the Mexicans in the famous Battle of the Alamo, in which all the Texian defenders were wiped out to a man. The Texian forces soon regained control of San Antonio and defeated the Mexican army. In 1845 Texas was annexed by the US and joined the Union. This resulted in the Mexican American War, during which the population of the city was reduced by almost two thirds. After the Civil War, in which Texas fought on the side of the South, San Antonio prospered as a cattle centre. In 1877 the railroad reached San Antonio, further increasing its prosperity and ending its days as a frontier town. As the 20th century dawned the city was modernized, with its streets being widened and its population booming. Today San Antonio ha a population of approximately 1.3 million and is the seventh-largest city in the US. It is also home to a thriving economy and is known as being one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in the country.
The four main bulwarks of San Antonio’s economy are tourism, financial services, government and healthcare. The city serves as headquarter for five Fortune 500 companies; Valero Energy Corp, Tesoro, USAA, Clear Channel Communications and NuStar Energy. One of the largest private companies in the US, H-E-B is also headquartered in San Antonio. Other companies which have regional headquarters in the city are Toyota, Wells Fargo, Philips, Allstate, Kohl’s, Lockheed Martin, Citigroup, Boeing and Caterpillar. Northwest of downtown San Antonio is the South Texas Medical Centre, which consists of a group of hospitals, clinics and research centres. There are also several high education institutions based in the centre. Another large employer in San Antonio is the defense industry. More than 89,000 people are employed in defense and the industry adds billions to the local economy. There are also a large amount of military bases and installations in the area which also contributes significantly to the local economy. Tourism is another major industry for San Antonio and brings in USD 10.7 billion annually to the city’s economy, as well as employing 94,000 people.
Tourism & Culture
Every year approximately 20 million tourists visit San Antonio. The city has also become a very popular destination for conventions. Every year more than 300 events are held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Centre, with almost 800,000 delegates passing through its doors every year. Among the top attractions for tourists and visitors is San Antonio’s River Walk. The River Walk is a network of paths along the San Antonio River lined with shops, restaurants and bars. It also serves to connect many of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, such as the Alamo, Rivercentre Mall, the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Tower Life Building. Of course the Alamo itself is one of the city’s must-see tourist attractions, especially for history buffs. The building has now been turned into a museum and sees over four million visitors every year. The Spanish Governor’s Palace and Menger Hotel are also popular with tourists. San Antonio is a town where the local sports teams are very popular, especially the successful San Antonio Spurs, which place out of the AT&T Arena.
San Antonio is served by San Antonio International Airport which is in north central San Antonio. It is only eight miles from downtown and therefore more accessible than many major American airports. It has two terminals and serves 44 destinations. The city itself is served by a comprehensive streetcar system which is known to be the most economic transportation system in the country, with a monthly pass only costing USD 30. San Antonio is also served by Amtrak, which calls at the San Antonio Amtrak Station. The city is also known for its many bicycle paths, more than in most US cities. San Antonio has 136 miles of bike lanes and has been designated a Bronze-Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Cyclists.
At the end of 2012 San Antonio had an office vacancy rate nudging 20 percent. This is the highest the vacancy rate in the city has been for almost two decades. The San Antonio office market gave back more property than it leased in 2012 with a negative space absorption of almost 47,000 square feet. The move of AT&T from the city to Dallas was a major factor in this negative performance. However analysts have said that the amount of empty space could attract new companies to the city, which is generally seen as business friendly.