Hixon Properties was founded in San Antonio in 1975. The family-owned business is focused on urban real estate and creating value in underutilized real estate. In San Antonio, this takes shape in the revitalization of some of the area’s urban core and surrounding areas, and most recently with Hixon’s The Soto development.
The Soto is part of a wave of commercial interest and momentum to the reach of Broadway between downtown and the Pearl redevelopment, a globally-recognized mixed-use project on the site of the former Pearl brewery. The Soto sits along the Broadway corridor among historically significant building redevelopments and new projects coming online. The new headquarters for San Antonio’s municipally-owned electric and gas utility, CPS Energy, sits adjacent along the river side. Just south is The Light Building, the redeveloped former home of the San Antonio Light newspaper. These new commercial players complement the existing – and ever-growing – residential population in the neighborhood, around 2,500 within 5 blocks of The Soto in 2020.
The unique mass timber structure of The Soto is striking, giving the building character and warmth not commonly found in commercial buildings. Hixon’s initial interest in mass timber was its aesthetic appeal, further supported by significant sustainability and wellness characteristics.
“We feel it marries many of the appealing features of the adaptive reuse office trend with the amenities and services of a new, Class A+ building,” said Jack Spector, President of Hixon Properties. “While in design, we anticipated that our target tenants would focus on recruiting and retaining top talent. Consequently, the building and future projects focus on the employee experience.”
Based on the employee experience priority, The Soto includes features beyond just the warmth of the wood that have shown to improve employee wellness. Chief among them is its underfloor air distribution system. This system dramatically reduces the amount of “mixing” that occurs between supply and return air when utilizing a conventional HVAC system. By limiting the mixing of air, employees breathe cleaner, filtered air directly from below their desks. The underfloor system includes personalized diffusers at each work station, so employees get to control their airflow and ultimately eliminate temperature complaints that traditional office environments deal with.
“We believe well-designed and high functioning buildings help tenants keep their talented employees. Holding on to tenants for longer has a significant impact on a company’s overall financial performance,” added Spector.
With local placemakers breathing new life into the lower Broadway corridor, they’re helping the San Antonio community keep a bright outlook through new development. Take a look at the video for an inside look at The Soto.