W.Scott Bailey November 12, 2019
Embrey Partners Ltd. has begun work on a mixed-use project near Alamo Heights that will include a new headquarters for the San Antonio-based company. While the project, called 7600 Broadway, is expected to have a catalytic impact, driving investment further north along the corridor, the company’s CEO, Trey Embrey, said it almost didn’t happen.
The development will include more than 200 high-end residential units and 53,000 square feet of office space. It’s slated for a 4-acre triangular tract — bordered by Broadway Street, Nacogdoches Road and West Nottingham Drive — that was previously home to an aging condominium community and a retail building.
Broadway Street, which Embrey said “is and has been San Antonio’s grand corridor,” is undergoing significant change from downtown to midtown. And he sees no reason to believe that change won’t continue moving north.
“We see our project as an opportunity to plant a flag, to rejuvenate an area that’s the gateway to Alamo Heights,” he said.
Still, it took major convincing by Embrey Partners’ executive vice president of development, John Kirk, to get to this stage. Kirk approached Embrey roughly four years ago with his idea for the site. But pulling it off required convincing 66 condo owners to sell so the land could be cleared.
Even as Embrey “shut it down,” Kirk refused to give up on the idea.
“He kept working on me,” Embrey told me, “telling me his vision for what could become of that property. He had the tenacity and the vision.”
Embrey officials ultimately bought the condo buildings and the adjacent lot for what will be one of the company’s most expensive projects to date. It took what the CEO characterized as a “herculean effort” to get this far.
While the company, which has a portfolio of projects under development worth nearly $2 billion, sells about 75% of what it builds, Embrey views this project as a long-term play because of the huge potential. He thinks it will spur development along Broadway Street.
“This is one of those projects that we have targeted to hold long term,” Embrey said. “It’s irreplaceable real estate. When our project is completed, it’s going to be an icon, helping reestablish the history and also the future of Broadway.”