Photo: William Luther /San Antonio Express-News
A portion of the original Big Tex grain silos were left as architectural enhancements as the once-commercial site was renovated into apartments. A real estate firm from Chicago recently purchased the apartment complex.
A real estate firm from Chicago has purchased the $70 million Flats at Big Tex apartment complex, a major component of the redevelopment of the southern stretch of the San Antonio River.
The Accend Companies, a firm that specializes in operating high-quality apartment complexes, bought the 7.5-acre, 336-unit apartment complex late last month from local developer James Lifshutz and national company NRP Group, according to county property records published this week.
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The purchase price wasn’t disclosed, but the two properties comprising the complex were valued at a total of about $70.2 million this year by the Bexar Appraisal District. Accend’s subsidiary, Accend Big Tex LLC, borrowed $51.8 million from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce to buy the property, property records show.
A spokesperson for NRP Group declined to comment. Lifshutz and Accend principal Jeff Szorik didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Flats at Big Tex, which opened in spring 2016, has been one of the biggest development projects to be built along the Mission Reach stretch of the River Walk since it was completed in 2013, transforming that stretch of the river from an austere drainage channel into a destination for joggers and cyclists. A few other apartment complexes are in the works, including one by NRP.
But the area’s largest and most anticipated project, the rehabilitation of the Lone Star Brewery as retail, offices and apartments, is in limbo after the partnership that planned to redevelop the brewery collapsed. NRP has sued the brewery’s owner after a deal to build an apartment complex along the river there fell through.
The Blue Star Arts Complex, an arts hub operated by Lifshutz a short walk north of Big Tex, has also been a catalyst for other development in the area, including bars, restaurants and an organic grocery store.
The Big Tex complex includes high-end amenities designed to attract younger urban dwellers, including a resort-style pool, fitness center, social lounge and two dog parks. The rents range from about $1,135 to $1,805 a month for a one-bedroom, according to its website.
Accend has invested in San Antonio before — in late 2016, it sold a $19 million apartment complex on Wurzbach Parkway.