County to swap $15m for public park at Spurs training site

A new San Antonio Spurs training facility and human performance center in the city’s far northwest are part of a planned development revealed Tuesday that officials say will ensure the basketball franchise is here to stay.

County commissioners approved a $15 million contribution for the project and accepted the donation of a 22-acre park being developed next to La Cantera. The 1,200-acre former rock quarry located at Loop 1604 and Interstate 10 is owned and developed by USAA Real Estate.

The planned Human Performance Campus will include half a million square feet of dining, retail and commercial space, including the state-of-the-art Spurs Performance Center, a research institute, an outdoor plaza and commercial and medical office space .

Spurs CEO RC Buford says the $510 million development fulfills a dream he had of bringing together thought leaders and local institutions for a next-generation training environment that will benefit both to professional athletes and the community.

“We worked together to build a campus that would bring people from our community, from across our region, to take advantage of the elite environment that we have – through the military, through medicine, through technology. , through elite sports – and having a gathering place not only for research and development around human factors, but also for community engagement in parks, in community spaces,” Buford said.

A conceptual rendering of the Human Performance Campus. Credit: Courtesy/Spurs Sports and Entertainment

Bobby Perez, executive vice president and general counsel of Spurs Sports & Entertainment, said the development team plans to launch the project in October.

Trish DeBerry, Pct. 3 commissioner, said she appreciates the team pursuing partnerships for the Human Performance Campus that will benefit the entire community.

“But I will just repeat, it would be crushing for this community to lose Spurs,” she said. “So while we’re ready to make that investment, I need some kind of commitment from you that you’re here in San Antonio for the long haul.”

In June, ownership of the Spurs organization changed with the promotion of Peter J. Holt to managing partner and several minority investors sold to Austin billionaire Michael Dell and a San Francisco-based investment firm . The stock sale sparked rumors last year that Spurs were considering a move.

Perez said Spurs’ investment in the Human Performance Center, along with county support, ensures the team doesn’t take a quick break.

“That’s our collaborative vision over many months and many years,” he said. “This place here becomes our home and our place where we put our flag in the ground for decades. And so with this support [from the county], we think this answers this question.

Judge Nelson Wolff said there is no such thing as the Human Performance Center currently in San Antonio. “And keeping these good old Spurs here in San Antonio, getting $120 million to invest in that, is a big step toward doing that,” he said.

Buford said he’s seen more than 200 sports venues around the world, “and there’s nothing like it.”

“To have that kind of partnership with our community and to bring in a lot of the talent that’s already there, but [also] the talent he will be recruiting from our community, it’s really exciting,” Buford said.

The development will also include a public park that the basketball franchise plans to donate to Bexar County and operate through an agreement similar to the one the Spurs organization has with the AT&T Center and Toyota Field.

A 22-acre park donated to Bexar County will accompany the new development on the northwest side.
A 22-acre park donated to Bexar County will accompany the new development on the northwest side. Credit: Courtesy/Clark Condon

The park is nearing completion and will open by the end of the year, a USAA Real Estate spokeswoman said. It will include the largest dog park in the county, Perez said, and a trail system that will connect to the Valero Trailhead of the Howard W. Peak Greenway trail system.

Alex Childers, chief investment officer for USAA Real Estate, said the park space will be a “gem for the community” in an area increasingly congested with development.

“We’ve taken a very long-term approach to this property,” Childers said. “We could have sold it many, many years ago and it probably wouldn’t look as good as it does today. We’ve taken the approach here specifically in this park to really be the anchor from this corner.

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