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VelocityTX Lands City Grant for “Innovation Center” Redevelopment

Xconomy Texas — 

San Antonio — [Updated 2/19/19, 2:30 p.m. See below.] VelocityTX is getting a $750,000 grant and another tax incentive from the City of San Antonio for its redevelopment of a large industrial space that VelocityTX plans to turn into a three-building “innovation center” for tech, life sciences, and other businesses.

VelocityTX, which is the innovation arm of nonprofit business development organization Texas Research and Technology Foundation, is rebuilding the complex in four phases over the course of 10 years, and says it plans to spend $227 million on the project. The organization plans to begin the work in 2019 by adding an incubator as a part of its first phase, and has already had one life sciences business commit to joining: BioBridge Global, a San Antonio life sciences nonprofit that operates multiple subsidiaries focused on regenerative medicine, such as cellular therapy and biomanufacturing. One subsidiary, GenCure, is leasing up to 21,000 square feet of space in the facility. [Paragraph updated with information about the complex’s first tenant.]

The $750,000 grant is to be distributed over the course of five years, and to be used toward the redevelopment. VelocityTX may also benefit from a program the city council also approved today, which sets aside taxes to encourage economic development. VelocityTX says it is worth up to $5 million over seven years.

In 2020, VelocityTX plans to develop a three-story building with office space and a food hall. Future plans include the construction of a military medical research facility, a hotel, a 400-space parking garage, and a six-story office building with a community space. Eventually, the group believes it can create about 665 jobs.

The buildings are located just east of downtown San Antonio, a few blocks away from the Alamo. VelocityTX first announced its plans for the complex in late 2017. TRTF created VelocityTX earlier that year to provide capital, mentorship, access to manufacturing facilities, and other resources to startups and early-stage companies in San Antonio. Since then, it has started numerous programs for businesses and entrepreneurs, including bringing businesses from Latin America to San Antonio, creating early-stage business programs, and launching initiatives that help startups find funding, among other work.