SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio continues to attract projects that will allow it to compete with bigger cities and still keep its historic flare.
The historic Mission Road Power Plant has been vacant for several years, and the plan is to transform it into a world-class sustainable energy innovation center.
Just two miles from downtown, along the banks of the San Antonio River, is the historic Mission Road Power Plant. Plans to revitalize the space and make San Antonio the smart city of the future are in the works.
"What opportunities are there for San Antonio to experiment and to grow into this very efficient city that can rely more on renewables," said Kimberly Britton, CEO of the EPIcenter.
Britton said the EPIcenter is a privately funded project with a price tag of $74.5 million. Once complete, the building will be open to the public to explore exhibits on clean energy.
"We’ll be looking at what’s coming next and what might a smart city of the future look like," Britton said.
Plans to have beautiful outdoor spaces are in the works. There are talks about having Friday movie nights and adding a restaurant on the property.
"You can come have a coffee after you’ve done a bike ride on the trail that’s right adjacent to us, because we’re right here on the river," Britton said.
The old Turbine Hall will be transformed into a conference center. The 20,000-square-foot space will have an auditorium on one side and a large concourse on the other for events.
Britton said project managers are making sure they are good stewards to the land right on the river. They’re exploring cost saving measures that minimize carbon footprint, such as water collection to reuse water and more natural ways to heat and cool the building.
This project is also offering a chance for new tech companies to go in and assist with programming.
"We’re looking at having a think tank, an incubator where new companies can merge in the clean energy space," Britton said.
It's a welcoming sign that San Antonio is a city on the rise as more tech companies are calling the Alamo City home.
The building will take at least two years to renovate. Plans to open the EPIcenter are set for 2021.
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