Land swap to expand campus


In a land swap deal with the city, UTSA will exchange a 6.0027-acre tract of land at Hemisphere Park (Institute of TexanCultures) for a 2.077-acre tract of land located at 700 W. CommerceSt. (Cattleman’s Square Parking lot) and a 5.297-acre tractof land at 301 S. Frio St. 

Although the deal is still unofficial, UTSA President Ricardo Romo said, “We anticipate to close the deal within the next 60 days.” 

UTSA and the city are conducting environmental inspections and site surveys. Once these are finished, the deeds for the land will be exchanged. “Thisa win-win situation for both UTSA and San Antonio,” saidCharles Lampe, director of facilities planning and development.When the deal closes, UTSA will own land close to its downtowncampus, and San Antonio will own additional land at HemispherePark. Discussions about a land swap began in 2000, spurred by thegrowth at UTSA and a strong push from the San Antonio Chamber ofCommerce. UTSA will use the newly acquired lots to expand itsdowntown campus. 

The university plans to build additional buildingsto accommodate the growing student population. In a separatetransaction, UTSA is purchasing the Business Technology Center(BTC) office building. Currently the university’s school ofarchitecture leases several floors of the BTC building, located onFrio Street across from the downtown campus. 

Once the transactionis completed and the existing leases terminate, the building willbe renamed the Monterrey building, and will be occupied entirely bythe school of architecture. The cost of the BTC building isestimated at $8.2 million. Funding for the purchase will come fromrevenue bond proceeds. No student fees will be affected.

 “Our goal is to accommodate 30,000 students at the 1604 campus andanother 13,000 at the downtown campus,” said Lampe. Currently more than 26,000 students attend UTSA.