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USAA to leave its downtown campus soon, but other projects point to busy future for the heart of San Antonio

The building will remain, but USAA's staff is leaving its downtown office—one of several changes slated for downtown over the short-term and long-term future.

SAN ANTONIO — A San Antonio-based company is leaving its downtown office space.

USAA tells KENS 5 it will leave its building on Convent Street and head back to its northwest-side headquarters.

This change in downtown is not the only one taking place.

Downtown San Antonio has an identity.

Richard Perez, CEO of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce has worked in the area for 15 years.

USAA leaving its downtown office was not surprising to him—but downtown real estate isn’t cooling off.

“It is a trend, just like the whole hybrid trend how the businesses are looking at how to reutilize their space, some of that is going to continue, however the downtown is a hot place,” Perez said.

According to a USAA spokesperson, roughly 500 people were assigned to the downtown office with most people working in a hybrid role. Nationally, the company says it has left 10% of its real estate footprint with an average savings of roughly $31 million.

“Like many companies, the pandemic and a shift to hybrid and remote working have changed our real estate need as we have ample space for current and future employees in our Home Office campus. San Antonio has been our headquarters for 100 years, and we will continue to grow here, bring in new talent and be a good corporate citizen in the San Antonio community," Wayne Peacock, president and CEO of USAA told KENS 5 in a statement.

While USAA is leaving downtown by the end of 2022—there’s changes all around.

Perez thinks an effort that promotes safety within downtown will bring people back.

“There is this assumption or concern with all the people downtown. But the more people are downtown the less likely you are to have those issues right, that’s number one. Number two, amenities,” Perez said.

Beyond attractions like the Riverwalk, downtown has room for growth.

The San Pedro Creek Culture Park opened this year with expansions planned in the future.

UT San Antonio is adding onto its downtown campus over the next five years.

Other ambitious ideas include converting the Tower Life building into apartments for mixed income levels, and there are talks of building a baseball stadium for the San Antonio Missions, under a new local ownership group.

“I met yesterday with a dear friend whose a very large business owner in this community, and he’s bullish on downtown. He’s looking for investments downtown,” Perez said others see opportunity in the area.

He believes buying into downtown will build on its identity to attract outsiders and insiders.

“It is happening as we speak, it’s just a matter of time, I’m saying just be patient, have faith and don’t bet against downtown,” Perez adds.

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