Upcoming state-of-the-art facilities at Port San Antonio will advance projects of national importance in space-based manufacturing, aerospace and other leading edge technologies.
Construction of the large spaces will create important opportunities for small businesses across the region.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS — A vertiport to host passenger and cargo electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs), a modern multi-story office building (the first of its kind in southwest San Antonio), and a research complex that will include a simulated lunar terrain lab are among the ambitious development plans at Port San Antonio that will further grow the region's profile as a global innovation destination.
The new facilities will support an array of operations hosting thousands of additional workers who are advancing nationally-important projects in fields already thriving on the Port's vast campus: aerospace, space-based manufacturing, cybersecurity, energy, robotics and other applied technologies.
Conceptual views of the three development projects were unveiled today by Port President and CEO Jim Perschbach as he spoke to a gathering of several hundred area businesses, community leaders and public officials — a special event organized by the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SAHCC). Perschbach indicated that, beginning this summer, the organization will engage architects, engineers and other development professionals to refine the scope and design of the facilities, which will start breaking ground in 2023.
The expansive growth plans will accelerate Port San Antonio's already significant momentum as the region's leading technology hub and a major economic engine that is connecting people with life-changing pathways in their careers, education and as entrepreneurs.
"There are exciting opportunities for our community right now to participate and lead in the advancement of technologies that are making the world a safer, more productive and more resilient place," said Perschbach. "Everyday human flight though electrically-powered aircraft, power generated in space and transmitted wirelessly back to our planet and the application of robotics to transform a wide range of mature industries are just some of the new frontiers that are already becoming reality. To ensure that San Antonio is in the driver's seat and gets to write many of those chapters, we will move quickly to deliver strategic, first-of-their-kind spaces where talented people across our community will lead the next technological revolution."
"Our vision is to create a unique and vibrant community where people can build their futures," said Port Board Chair Chris Alderete. "For the past century, this campus — home of the former Kelly Air Force Base — did just that. It was a place where generations of men and women built their futures as they wrote chapters in the history of aviation. Now, through our Tech Port strategic vision, we are providing similar opportunities to today's and upcoming generations of San Antonians during a new dawn of breakthroughs."
Conceptual rendering of the upcoming vertiport / fixed-base operator at Port San Antonio, able to accommodate traditional winged aircraft and a new generation of passenger electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVOLs).
Conceptual rendering of the upcoming research complex at Port San Antonio; the domed structure to the left illustrates a laboratory with a simulated lunar terrain to advance research in space-based manufacturing and related technologies.
Conceptual rendering (southward view) of an upcoming multi-story office building near the Port's main entrance at General Hudnell Drive.
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The planned facilities represent hundreds of millions of dollars in additional investments by the Port. The organization is focused on ensuring the participation of enterprises of all sizes from across the region. During today's event, area businesses in related fields, including construction, architecture, engineering, trades and the array of corresponding suppliers and other service providers, were told to be on the lookout for multiple opportunities to submit proposals.
In partnership with SAHCC, today's presentation was followed by an information session where area businesses could register to receive updates on the development plans ahead and related procurement opportunities. Additionally, the two organizations will host a series of information sessions for area enterprises to obtain more details on how to do business with the Port.
“The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was thrilled to have hosted Tech Port Vision 2022 alongside our partners at Port San Antonio,” said SAHCC President & CEO Marina Gonzales. “This next phase of innovative development at the Port is a huge opportunity for our San Antonio business community, and we look forward to seeing these projects take shape.”
The upcoming workshops will be held in the Port's headquarters building located at 907 Billy Mitchell Boulevard, San Antonio, TX 78226. Dates and times are:
- June 27 — 4:00-5:30 p.m.
- July 19 — 5:30-7:00 p.m.
- August 2 — 9:00-10:30 a.m.
Admission is free of charge to any interested business. Pre-registration is required via the SAHCC website; virtual streaming options will be available for those who cannot attend in person.
In the past four years, over 5,000 new jobs have been created at the Port. As a result, the campus is now home to more than 80 employers and their nearly 16,000 workers who hail from throughout the region.
Many of the new jobs have been accommodated thanks to 680,000 square feet of additional facilities completed by the Port during that span. They include two secure office buildings (Project Tech Buildings 1 and 2), two large industrial flex buildings that have accommodated robotics and cybersecurity growth and a K-12 public charter school.
Recent expansions were capped off last month, when the Port inaugurated Tech Port Center + Arena — a 130,000-square-foot innovation facility that includes a 3,200-seat entertainment and convention space, a prototyping lab, a food hall, a LAN gaming center and the upcoming new home of the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology (SAMSAT).
All profits from events, food amenities and other sources at Tech Port Center + Arena are directed to the Port's Kelly Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit that utilizes its funds to support an array of innovative educational and workforce development programs to help young people and adults connect with career opportunities being created on campus.
Above: Project Tech Building 1, completed in 2018 (left) and Project Tech Building 2, completed in 2021 (right). Both facilities were built speculatively by Port San Antonio and are now fully leased, accommodating cybersecurity and other secure operations.
Below: Launched in May 2022, Tech Port Center + Arena in the heart of the Port campus is an innovative destination like no other — able to host an array of uses, including concerts, technology conventions, product launches, educational activities and more. Far below: in May, the arena, which is the largest space in the nation purpose-built for esports, hosted a major Overwatch competition with thousands of on-site spectators and many more who watched the game online thanks to the space's extensive live broadcasting capabilities.