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New company set on revitalizing Friedrich complex on east side

Is someone finally going to do something with the old Friedrich Refrigerators property on the east side? One company says they have a vision for revitalizing the area.

A Dallas-based real estate development firm says they can succeed where others have failed with a complex east San Antonio challenge.

At a Wednesday breakfast for business leaders, Taylor Boyd, a principal with Provident Realty Advisors, laid out his firm’s plans for the abandoned Friedrich manufacturing complex on East Commerce Street, which has been a wasteland in the heart of the east side for decades.

Boyd said that using a new combination of financing, they will be able to breathe new life into the complex.

Credit: KENS

Boyd said that the biggest building on the block, the 67,000-square-foot manufacturing building which is owned by another developer, with its iconic logo on top, will remain, but everything else on the six-acre site will be razed to make way for a brand new complex with 347 apartments.

"We're knocking down everything else and we're building a parking garage right in the middle," Boyd said. “We're building what's called a wrap multi-family project. That is, you build a concrete parking garage and then the units are wrapped around the parking garage.

“We had learned about everything the city was doing to try and encourage growth on the east side and we thought it was perfect for what we do every day.”

Boyd noted that the rental rates will be half market rate and half affordable, with rents ranging from $660 to $1500 per month.

The plan, Boyd said, is to save some architectural features from the current complex. Exterior fire escapes, duct work, and some signage will be saved and incorporated into the new project.

Credit: KENS


Boyd says that if an environmental study comes back clean, the deal should be sealed by July and then he would expect to break ground near the end of the first quarter of next year.

Details on several other new ventures were shared at the breakfast, sponsored by San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside.

Randy Haring talked about the redevelopment of the Merchants Ice House property while Gene Braden had details on the brand new Arena Vista project adjacent to the AT&T Center.

There was a progress report on the Essex Modern project by Jake Harris. Harris said that monthly art happenings at the complex are continuing to grow in popularity. State Representative Barbara Gervin-Hawkins provided an update on the Echo East development she is working to bring to the corner of Commerce and Spriggsdale.

To learn more about other new development projects, you can visit the official SAGE website here.

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