Brooks leads massive build-for-rent project

500-home rental development in San Antonio joining 1,300-acre campus

3201 Sidney Brooks Drive in San Antonio and Brooks' Leo Gomez
3201 Sidney Brooks Drive in San Antonio and Brooks' Leo Gomez (Brooks, Google Maps)

San Antonio’s Brooks Development Authority is diving into one of the hottest trends in real estate.

The local developer recently started construction on a 500-unit, build-for-rent project called Los Cielos, located at 3201 Sidney Brooks Drive, on the site of the former Brooks Air Force base, the San Antonio Business Journal reported

Los Cielos will be the newest addition to the massive Brooks campus, a 1,300-acre mixed-use community with about 1,700 residents, 5,300 workers and 2,500 students, the outlet reported. Brooks Development Authority president and CEO Leo Gomez expects 5,000 people will live at Brooks within the next two years.

Brooks already features several apartment buildings, an array of schools ranging from Pre-K to medical school, a hospital, manufacturing facilities and two office towers on the way – Waters Edge I and II. 

“We’ve already got market-rate apartments, and an affordable apartment development on the way. We began to understand it was time to diversify the offerings,” Gomez told the outlet. “The kind of living that is missed on the South Side when you don’t have it.”  

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Build-for-rent developments in San Antonio currently have a 95 percent occupancy, and at one point they had a 100 percent occupancy rate, the outlet reported.

“It’s for people who say, ‘It sure would be nice to have my own backyard,’” Gomez told the outlet.  

Tenants with higher-paying jobs who work in offices downtown or along Loop 410 could be ideal, he said.

Build-for-rent is a hot trend all over Texas. At least three developers are planning BFR projects in the Houston suburbs. Besides that, Austin-based Good + West Residential is looking to the Dallas-Fort Worth area for a slew of build-for-rent endeavors. 

—Quinn Donoghue

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