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Turner Construction helps spur growth on West Side

San Antonio Business Journal - May 20, 2011 - by Tricia Lynn Silva

Turner Construction Co. has signed a lease for a 50,000-square-foot warehouse facility at 1114 West Commerce St., on San Antonio's West Side.

The building will serve as a staging area/satellite office for employees on one of Turner's latest projects - which calls for upgrading all of the mechanical and electrical systems of the Bexar County Adult Detention Center, which spans some 300,000 square feet.

The lease strategically puts Turner's employees right across the street from this $28 million project. The lease also could bolster efforts to breathe new life into the West Side.

Late last month, city officials held the first in a series of meeting regarding economic development on the city's West Side. Speaking with the Business Journal in the May 6 issue, Ramiro Cavazos stated that the big obstacle in the area's economic development has been a lack of limited investment.

Enter Turner Construction.

While Turner's lease on the West Commerce building is for approximately two years, it could be extended, says David Schnitzer of Venture Commercial Real Estate LLC, which represented the landlord on the deal, and is marketing the building for sale or for a long-term lease. Turner, for example, can exercise its options to extend the lease.

Turner could also opt to buy that building - a prospect that Schnitzer describes as the "best case scenario."

It's not a far-fetched idea. Indeed, Turner Construction is looking at other projects in the area, according to Mike Kaiman, who serves as the vice president and general manager for Turner's Central Texas office, which is headquartered in San Antonio.

The West Commerce building will allow for a very cost- and time-efficient method for delivering the project, Kaiman says.

The West Commerce building, adds Kaiman, was a better alternative to leasing office and construction trailers and moving those to the area.

Kaiman points out that at least for the duration of the Bexar County detention project, Turner will have a presence in this submarket - and a number of "folks buying lunches and breakfast" and other services in the area.

The main office for the Central Texas Division is located at 14607 San Pedro, in North Central San Antonio.

Hole in the doughnut
Schnitzer has another description for Turner's new digs: "It's the hole in the doughnut."

The facility is located in the center of two large-scale, public works projects: Bexar County's detention center and the new Westside Multimodal Transit Center in the works by VIA Metropolitan Transit.

The latter project calls for creating a terminal for VIA's bus rapid transit line. The center will boast 17 bus bays to support VIA's regularly scheduled bus service and will have access to Amtrak. Intercity bus and local taxi service will also be available.

"Sometimes the toll way goes through the family farm," Schnitzer says. "(The Turner building) is in the path of development out there."