Port San Antonio announced the addition of Leidos Holdings Inc., a Virginia-based information technology and engineering services company, to its innovation campus. One of the largest defense contractors supporting the U.S. government, Leidos has 43,000 employees and reported annual revenues of $13.7 billion for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021.
Port CEO Jim Perschbach said during Wednesday’s annual State of the Port address that he expects Leidos to open a facility on campus in the upcoming months. No financial details about the real estate transaction, facility size, and where it will be located were given at press time.Port San Antonio was created from the former Kelly Air Force Base, which closed in the 1995 Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) downsizing. Over 80 tenant customers, such as Air Force commands and advanced technology companies, lease… Click To Tweet
Perschbach spoke to a sold-out audience of 400 business and elected government stakeholders about the Port’s enviable problem. The largest commercial real estate property in San Antonio at 1,900 acres is running out of space despite many downtown office buildings struggling to boost occupancy rates. This demand for tenant space helped propel the Port’s business case for building a new office tower on campus.
The proposed structure will be constructed at the Port’s main entrance on the Southwest Side, at the intersection of Billy Mitchell Boulevard and General Hudnell Drive. The Port’s Board of Directors approved an agreement in April with Trammell Crow Company (TCC), a global real estate development firm, to build the office tower. The new building will help meet the Port’s demand for space.
Over the past five years, Perschbach has redeveloped Port San Antonio into an innovation hub housing aerospace, cybersecurity, robotics, and advanced manufacturing companies. In addition to established aviation tenants such as Knight Aerospace, StandardAero, and Boeing, the Port has attracted advanced tech tenants such as Plus One Robotics, Xyrec, and Astroport Space Technologies.
During the Port’s current fiscal year, which began in October, Perschbach said employers on campus had created 2,000 new jobs. According to the Texas Comptroller, the Port generates an annual local economic impact of over $5.6 billion.
Perschbach also highlighted the many workforce training and education-focused programs at the Port to help develop talent pipelines for the Port’s tenant employers.
StandardAero, already one of the largest aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul companies worldwide, announced in March its agreement with CFM International to maintain and modernize LEAP-1A commercial aircraft engines powering the Airbus A320neo line and Boeing 737-MAX series. The aviation company is launching a global training center to train up to 300 people annually in a 16-week program so they can work as engine technicians, Perschbach told Startups San Antonio.
“All these industries are intersecting with each other,” Perschbach said. “And the Port can connect these industries to the talent and capabilities they’ll need to grow. That’s why we’re refreshing the talent pool with our investments in education.”
Port San Antonio is incubating the tech workforce of the future with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education programs:
- The Dee Howard Foundation nonprofit is a leading provider of aerospace- and aviation-focused programming and resources for curriculum enrichment for local schools, including drone programs for students.
- The WEX Foundation nonprofit and Astroport Space Technologies created AREA 21 to highlight space-focused research and education for local students, including San Antonio’s pioneering work to develop technologies and systems to build infrastructure in orbit on the Moon and Mars.
- Boeing announced a $2.3 million donation to the Port-affiliated Kelly Heritage Foundation nonprofit and pledged to develop a state-of-the-art exhibit showcasing aerospace and space exploration innovations.
“The perception in our community is that we don’t have an entrepreneurial tech industry base, but we do. We’re still leasing real estate space when most CRE [commercial real estate] is drying up,” Perschbach said. “It’s because of our investment in education. We’re building at a brisk pace so employers can find talent and people can find opportunities.”
The featured image is of Port San Antonio’s rendering of its proposed office building. Image courtesy Port San Antonio.