August 28, 2020

The Soto, Texas’ first mass timber office building, now complete (slideshow)

San Antonio Business Journal

By Mitchell Parton
Reporter at San Antonio Business Journal

Construction of Texas’ first mass timber office building is now complete.

Chief Investment Officer John Beauchamp of developer Hixon Properties told the Business Journal that work at The Soto is finishing up, with landscaping being installed now.

“The construction fence should come down by Labor Day,” Beauchamp said. “At that point, we’re open for business.”

The development at the corner of Eighth and Broadway streets has been led by a partnership between Hixon Properties Inc. and the Cavender family, which previously owned a Cavender Cadillac dealership on the site. Lake Flato Architects and BOKA Powell LLC designed the the building, with Byrne Construction as the general contractor and JLL handling marketing/leasing.

Sachsenburg, Austria-based Hasslacher Norica Timber and Abbotsford, British Colombia-based StructureCraft supplied and prefabricated the timber. StructureCraft explained the benefits of the mass timber construction to the Business Journal in October, noting that the material is fire safe and sustainable.

“The big picture here is that we’re bringing a wonderful asset to San Antonio that puts us as a landlord, and us as a city, in a great position as tenants consider the future of office space,” Beauchamp said.

The building’s design features a raised floor with air distribution underneath, which Beauchamp said was initially meant to keep the ceilings pristine, but now the health benefits of the filtration system will be a key differentiator during the pandemic.

“I think it will be interesting to see how the market reacts to a healthy building post-pandemic,” he said.

Beauchamp declined to comment on the building’s leasing status, rent pricing or project cost.

The Soto is the first phase of an 8.5-acre development by Hixon, which will consist of modern architecture with uses including office, residential and retail.

“We are deep in design of the second phase,” Beauchamp said. “The project will be an entertainment area with an open courtyard, food and beverage concepts, and amenities that will complement the Soto and surrounding properties.”