SAN ANTONIO - Today, Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston hosted a ground-breaking for a new $54 million shopping center which is expected to better serve military service members, retirees and their families.

The new 210,000-square-foot Exchange shopping center is planned for completion in early 2020.

"The Exchange is family serving family," Exchange Central Region Senior Vice President Anna Iosefo said. "We are honored to be a part of Fort Sam's family. We cannot wait to serve this community with a new modern shopping center our Nation's military deserves."

The new facility will replace the current Exchange at the base which was built in 1971. It will include the main Exchange, a mall with a dental clinic and pharmacy, and a food court with eight restaurants.

The shopping center is a joint venture among the Exchange, the Air Force and Army Medical Command. According to a press release, the Exchange, not the American taxpayer, is funding 94 percent of the project.

Roughly 263,000 authorized shoppers in the greater San Antonio, and 100 percent of the Exchange earnings go to support service members and their families. Two-thirds of Exchange earnings support Army Child Development Centers, Youth Programs and Fitness Centers, Air Force Outdoor Recreation, school lunches for Warfighters' children overseas and combat uniforms. The remaining earnings support improving the shopping experience, including new shopping centers like the one at Fort Sam Houston.