H-E-B plans to build a five story building on its San Antonio campus downtown and fill it with 500 new technology-based employees. The 150,000 square foot facility will also consolidate workers from across the city under one roof. The building could accommodate 1,000 employees.
“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,” said Jag Bath, H-E-B Chief Digital Officer, in a statement.
The company has more than 5,500 e-commerce employees spread across the company and its 400 stores, according to its website. H-E-B has moved increasingly online, expanding its curbside and delivery services. It recently announced a pilot automated delivery vehicle.
The grocery chain headquartered in San Antonio chose Austin for its 81,000 square foot Innovation Center and the hundreds of tech jobs that went along with it. Many saw the move as a snub to its home city while others saw it as a practical business move. Austin has more than twice the number of technology workers.
“It’s great for San Antonio’s burgeoning tech district,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg about the new building, “It shows that San Antonio indeed has a growing tech workforce that we’ve taken strategic action to facilitate.”
The city’s growth in technology employees has slowed in past years, according to the annual reports put out by real estate investor CBRE. Industry advocates said the introduction of 500 technology jobs would change that trajectory.
“I think this is one of the things that needs to happen to change that trajectory on a consistent and permanent basis. We really need large scale investments like the HEB tech center,” said Dax Moreno, chief talent and recruitment officer for TechBloc.
A big investment like this, he said, can convince other companies inside and outside the city to look at San Antonio to stock their technology jobs.
Construction is scheduled to be completed summer 2020.