San Antonio opens bidding for millions in Tower of the Americas renovations

The project will be the most comprehensive overhaul of the tower since it was opened to the public in April 1968

Tower of the Americas in downtown San Antonio. (Pixabay)

SAN ANTONIO – The Tower of the Americas, the centerpiece of the San Antonio skyline since its unveiling at the 1968 World’s Fair, is slated to undergo major renovations in 2024.

The City of San Antonio is currently seeking requests for sealed proposals from contractors for $11.72 million in upgrades and repairs. Besides renovations to the rotating restaurant in 2006 and some minor work done in the 1980s, the project will be the most comprehensive overhaul of the tower since it was opened to the public in April 1968.

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According to bidding documents reviewed by the Business Journal, the scope of work includes a number of fixes on the tower’s “top house” or observation deck. Areas targeted for work include plumbing, crawl spaces, mechanical support systems and stucco soffits. Water leaks in the interior will also be addressed.

The project is two years in the making, according to Department of Public Works Assistant Director Luis Maltos. He told the Business Journal the city completed a building-code assessment of the tower in early 2020. The department initially requested $5 million after initial findings, though soon realized that more funds were needed. The city applied for the additional funds this year through a bond measure. He said most of the project’s costs will be spent on logistics.

“As you can imagine, it’s a structure that’s 750 feet up in the air,” he said. “The majority of the cost is accessing the tower.”

The contract is likely to be awarded in summer 2023, when the department plans to bring it to City Council for approval. Work is expected to start in early 2024. In evaluating proposals, Maltos said the city is likely to pick general and subcontractors based on previous experience working on similar high-rise structures.

The city’s bidding deadline is Jan. 10.

Read the full story in the San Antonio Business Journal.

Editor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between KSAT and the San Antonio Business Journal.

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