Spurs orga­nization offers employees incentives to live downtown

Apar­tments, homes must be in target area

By announcing it will begin offering its 350 employees financial incentives to live in and around downtown, Spurs Sports and Entertainment becomes one of the first employers in San Antonio with a program to encourage urban revitalization.

“We have a vested interest in our urban core,” said Rick Pych, president of its business operations.

Pych said employees will be eligible for $3,600 to rent, covering first and last month’s rent and renewing the lease, or $4,800 to buy a home.

“It was huge. It almost completely covered closing costs,” said Andrea Mann, who began working for Spurs Sports and Entertainment a year ago.

Mann said she was able to buy her rental home in the King William Historical District.

Pych said, “We’ve heard from our employees. Their preference is for the most part to live near the AT&T Center, to enjoy downtown and what downtown has to offer.”

He said the target area is bordered by Woodlawn Avenue to the north, I-90 to the south, South Zarzamora to the west and W.W. White Road to the east.

The program is modeled after the city’s two-year pilot program in which 17 employees became first-time home buyers last year.

However, unlike the city’s incentives that come from the general fund, Spurs Sports and Entertainment’s incentives come from its budget, according to Bobby Perez,  SS&E senior vice president and general counsel.

Pych said the timing for the program couldn’t be better, given the apartment boom on and off Broadway and other areas near downtown.

“But it’s also a little more expensive to live downtown than out in the suburban areas,” Pych said.

He said that’s where the incentives can really help his employees, who are still eligible even if they already live downtown.

Pych said the spirit of revitalization is not limited to young urban hipsters.

He said, “I happen to be a downtown resident, six years, so there’s hope for us older people as well.”


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