SAN ANTONIO – It seems like you can't turn a corner without seeing construction.
San Antonio is growing and changing before our very eyes.
One of the areas filled with cranes and new development is the Broadway corridor.
One of the newest buildings on the way is called the Soto.
It’s a first of its kind building here in the Alamo City, one that hopes to bring in new talent, help the city’s climate action plan, and help set the area up for future success.
“This is the first mass timber mid-rise building in Texas. And it's really one I think we're the fourth mass timber building of this size in the united states. This really is quite new,” John Beauchamp, the chief investment officer at Hixon Properties said.
If you drive down Broadway, you’ve probably passed it hundreds of times, and you may have noticed the glass walls, or the timber wood.
“This wood is engineered wood, so we're taking young trees, small trees, and then they're piecing those small pieces together to make big, massive blocks,” Beauchamp said.
Beauchamp grew up in San Antonio and said this building is part of the future of the city, all six stories and 150,000 square feet of it.
“We love the aesthetics and we know there's a lot of competition being built in San Antonio right now. And so we like differentiating ourselves with the look,” Beauchamp said. “But on top of that, the sustainability story is real, the timber structure actually has a carbon negative footprint.”
Carbon negative means the building is removing more carbon from the air than it emits. Basically, it’s not only good for the environment, but it is also compensating for other not so environmentally-friendly buildings.
“I think it says we're a current city for modern and forward thinking,” Beauchamp said. “It says that San Antonio is on the map of sustainability.”
As we took our tour of the building, one thing that was pointed out was the air conditioning and heat systems. They are in the floor.
“It's very efficient. And so air is now allowed to work with the way physics wants that air to work. Cold air comes out as it heats, it rises,” Beauchamp said.
When it comes to the Soto being an all-timber building, not only does it set a precedent for sustainability in San Antonio, but it also could have huge implications on the future of the Broadway corridor.
“We know that the type of tenants that are interested in this building are interested in recruiting and retaining talent. And for today's workforce, that young talent wants to know that they're in a sustainable building,” Beauchamp said.
Hixon Properties is working with the Cavender family to refurbish the entire area -- eight and a half acres of land.
“Imagine the Broadway corridor with office buildings on either side of the street, with residential towers, with retail. You’re going to have a great city. You need great people, talent. You need great places. We’re working on a great place,” Beauchamp said.