H-E-B is making a big investment in the Alamo City's burgeoning tech scene. On Wednesday, August 7, San Antonio's hometown grocer announced it is building a massive, five-story technology center in downtown San Antonio, a move that will create hundreds of new jobs and streamline tech operations inside the company's headquarters.
Construction on the 150,000-square-foot building, which will be a part of H-E-B's Arsenal campus, will begin in 2020 and is tentatively scheduled to open in summer 2022, according to a news release. The San Antonio hub will dwarf the technology office H-E-B recently opened in Austin. That office, housed on the city's east side, clocks in a relatively paltry 81,000 square feet.
Where it will be similar to Austin, however, is in the design. With San Antonio firm Lake Flato at the helm, the new office will be decidedly modern in form and function, complete with "open collaboration areas, individual work spaces, and meeting rooms equipped with advanced technology and video conferencing capabilities." It will also use elements from the current Arsenal campus to visually connect the buildings.
Following construction, the hub will house about 1,000 of the company's tech employees, known as partners. Currently, explains H-E-B, the employees are spread in different locations throughout the city.
“The San Antonio tech center will become part of the new front door to our Arsenal campus, just as H-E-B Digital is creating a new front door for our customers online and via mobile shopping experiences,” says Jag Bath, H-E-B chief digital officer, in a release.
As Bath alludes to, the company has made a push into the digital retail space over the past few years, beginning in 2017 with the launch of H-E-B and Central Market curbside service. In 2018, the retailer bought Austin-based Favor, an app and delivery service.
Along with the new hub will come 500 highly skilled new jobs, the company says, mostly in the technology sector. In the press release announcing the news, both Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Rackspace co-founder Graham Weston applauded H-E-B's growth in the tech sector.
"One of our region’s greatest strengths is our willingness and eagerness to serve others, and H-E-B consistently leads the way in this respect,” says Weston. "Another thing we do exceptionally well as a region is celebrate. Today, we should all celebrate H-E-B. Five hundred new tech jobs in our community is the type of commitment that sets us on an entirely new path.”