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SAN ANTONIO-Construction crews are readying a 200,000-sf former manufacturing site for a January 2001 occupancy by Southwestern Bell Communications, which recently signed a long-term lease for the entire property in the city’s northwest submarket. The deal pushes SBC over the 850,000-sf leasing mark for sites just since last year, a real estate source told GlobeSt.com.

Paul Fagan, partner in Cross & Co. of San Antonio, says the property will be an adjunct to SBC’s Downtown headquarters. A $9-million to $11-million retrofitting is being carried out in preparation for the January move-in.

The 12.6-acre site is owned by Lazarus Property Co. of Dallas, which bought the former Datapoint Corp. headquarters in January 1999. Fagan says several prospective lessees had been looking at the site, some close to inking a deal, when SBC “got serious” about taking the entire building. “We were at the altar three or four times,” he tells GlobeSt.com. SBC had closed the lease in 90 days, says Fagan who is continuing to search for a buyer for the property.

Lazarus had bought the site from Builders Square, which had used it for a corporate headquarters from 1991 until 1997 when it merged with Hechinger’s, a northeastern-based home improvement retailer.

To date, the building’s interior has been gutted, the mechanical system replaced, and air conditioning upgrades ordered. “It’s being taken down to shell conditions,” says Fagan. “Effectively you will have a 1971 building that’s going to be brand new.” Plans also include adding a number of windows to the structure so it will look like offices instead of a manufacturing facility. The site contains 1,100 parking spots with additional on-street parking available for use.

The property is situated at the intersection of Wurzbach and Interstate 10, the busiest intersection in San Antonio. Within the next couple of years, construction will start to convert Wurzbach into a toll parkway that will connect northwest San Antonio to its northeastern boundaries. Fagan says the Interstate 10 market is now the strongest of any in the city.

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