Hot property: Terry Black’s BBQ owners bought land near the Pearl — and are already getting offers

Photo of Madison Iszler
The family behind Terry Black’s BBQ in Austin and Dallas recently purchased land along Broadway, which is booming with construction.

The family behind Terry Black’s BBQ in Austin and Dallas recently purchased land along Broadway, which is booming with construction.

ARTHUR TRICKETT-WILE /Contributor

It’s only been a few weeks since the family behind Terry Black’s BBQ in Austin and Dallas bought property along Broadway, and they’re already getting offers.

The mostly vacant 1.4-acre site — nearly an entire city block — is a few blocks north of the Pearl and the bevy of high-rise offices and apartments going up around it. Residents, office workers and tourists are a short walk away.

“It’s a prime piece of real estate,” said Mark Black, who bought it with his brother Michael, sister Christina and parents Terry and Patti. “It’s been a good investment so far.”

Some of the offers they’ve received have been as much as 50 percent more than what they paid, he said.

He wouldn’t disclose what the family paid, but deed records show they took out a $5 million loan for the purchase and the Bexar Appraisal District valued it at about $2 million this year.

But the Blacks have no plans to sell.

“We want to do our own project,” Mark Black said. “We want to do something cool there. Something fun, something that kind of fits in the architectural style of the area, history of San Antonio and the Pearl. We want to do our own thing. We don’t really want to flip it.”

They envision a mixed-use development that could include offices, apartments, condominiums or a hotel. There will also be a restaurant — but it may or may not be a Terry Black’s location, he said.

Right now, they are still figuring out what would work best.

“I’m excited for all the growth over there,” Black said.

The transformation of the former Pearl brewery into a glossy mix of high-end offices, apartments, restaurants and shops along the San Antonio River set off the wave of development around it — and a rush to snatch up available property.

Credit Human’s new headquarters and an adjacent office building occupied by Bank of America and CBRE were completed within the past year, and Jefferson Bank’s corporate office is under construction.

Several apartment projects are in the works nearby, and Pearl developer Silver Ventures is eyeing more apartments across the river.

GrayStreet Partners planned to turn more than 20 acres it had amassed across Broadway from the Pearl into a massive mixed-use development dubbed Broadway East. But the local firm put most of the land up for sale last winter after a deal with a pension fund fell through, an executive said.

Other developers swooped in.

Denver-based McWhinney Real Estate Services Inc. sued GrayStreet this summer to stop the firm from selling the land to San Antonio-based Fulcrum Development. McWhinney alleged it had right of first refusal to buy the property and that GrayStreet breached an agreement by seeking to sell it to Fulcrum.

Midway, a Houston developer that GrayStreet had planned to partner with on Broadway East, also filed a lawsuit claiming that the firm breached a contract that gave Midway the right of first refusal to develop Broadway East on the site. Both lawsuits have since been dropped.

At the Pig Stand, near GrayStreet’s properties, Mary Ann Hill gets queries in the mail about buying her business.

Many are from California, though they’ve slowed lately. She leases the diner’s space, but said those making offers don’t care that she doesn’t own the property.

“They offer for the business because they know that if they buy the business, when the property comes up for sale they will have first rights,” Hill said. “I even had one from California tell me that he didn’t care, I could stay here until the property was going to be sold.”

Several brokers also stop by every few months. But Hill has no plans to sell the Pig Stand, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year, and she said her landlords don’t have plans to sell the building either.

“They’re not ready to sell and they make it very clear to people,” she said. “They’re wonderful. I would never trade them for anybody.”

Bill Lyons, who owns storied downtown restaurants Casa Rio and Schilo’s, owns property at Broadway and North Alamo streets and on the other side of the Pearl. He, too, said calls from eager buyers have declined, possibly because those looking for a bargain are too late.

“It kind of leveled out and people realized that ... you’re not going to steal it,” Lyons said. “They think they’re going to get ahead of the market and get it before the high hits and then when the high is evident, they’re going somewhere else.”

But there are buyers hunting for property to develop themselves.

“There’s going to be some of those out there I think all the time, around the catalyst that the Pearl has been,” Lyons said.

Black and his family are eyeing more property in San Antonio as well as in other big cities in Texas and across the U.S., he said.

“When we found that property on Broadway we immediately jumped on it and couldn’t be happier about it,” he said. “It’s a really cool area. I’m excited for all the growth over there.”

madison.iszler@express-news.net