By Camelia Bulea, Associate Editor
The San Antonio City Council really wants to keep HVHC in the city. It recently approved a $4 million incentive plan that would relocate the headquarters of the company behind Eyemaster from a North Central San Antonio facility into the IBC Centre downtown.
This relocation is actually part of a bigger plan, the consolidation of 15 optical retail brands into the single brand Visionworks. In exchange for the city’s incentives, HVHC would have to take down a large space in the IBC building that remained vacant after AT&T relocated to Dallas. The company would also have to relocate a total of 265 jobs and add another 85 jobs in the downtown center. Moreover, the company would pay a minimum annual average salary of $50,000.
HVHC will occupy 112,000 square feet of office space, about one third of the total IBC Centre surface, which is divided into two buildings.
The agreement between HVHC and the city council was closed under the Chapter 380 Economic Development Program Grant Agreement. The agreement was created in order to prevent the relocation of large corporations from the city. A big blow for the San Antonio downtown submarket took place in 2008 when AT&T moved its headquarters to Dallas. With this relocation, the company vacated nearly 300,000 square feet of space in the IBC Centre in a period when the office market was dealing with increasing vacancy rates.