Brooks is growing every day and that means big changes on the South Side

As more businesses are choosing Brooks as their new location and residents are choosing to make the South Side their home, the Brooks Development Authority is determined to ensure that growth occurs in a responsible way, whether that means attracting businesses that bring quality, high-paying jobs or bolstering the local economy with San Antonio-based restaurants.

Another aspect of the responsible growth occurring at Brooks is the effort to protect the environment. When development and urbanization takes place, water quality, management, and flood mitigation are often affected. As a result of increased concrete and pavement, more sediment flows into waterways, flooding occurs, and less stormwater runoff goes to watering the vegetation. Low-impact development (LID) projects help mitigate this issue by implementing thoughtful and site-specific design to better direct stormwater runoff, which aids both water conservation and quality.

A Focus on the Environment

New and existing developments at Brooks are using LID features in partnership with San Antonio River Authority. Three Brooks projects were chosen for the River Authority’s Watershed Wise Rebate program. Through this program, rebates between $15,000 and $100,000 are provided for the construction of responsible stormwater features.

Southerleigh BrooksOne of the Brooks projects that SARA chose for the rebate program is the construction of Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewing at The Greenline opening this fall. The parking lot and dog park currently in construction will utilize bioswales, which are landscape elements designed to remove debris from stormwater runoff.

In addition to the rebates awarded, Brooks is working with the River Authority on a stormwater master plan for the entire campus that will include a flood prediction system. Design and development standards are being updated throughout to ensure that all the changes made in the future have minimal effect on water quality and that residents and those who work in the area are less affected by potential flooding.

A major contributor to flood control is The Greenline at Brooks. More than just a park, visitors can come and enjoy the South Texas sunshine at the park, but they may not realize that it essentially serves as a 43-acre floodplain. The banks of the waterway act as a barrier to catch overflowing water before it floods neighboring businesses and homes.

Solar-Powered Sustainability

Mission Solar EnergyContinuing the mission to use environmental responsibility throughout the campus is the use of solar energy, beginning with
Mission Solar Energy, a company that designs and assembles solar modules at its headquarters at Brooks. As neighbors to Mission Solar, in-development businesses at Brooks are using Mission Solar panels on their buildings.

Cuisine Solutions, the world’s largest sous vide plant, is currently in development at Brooks and will use Mission Solar panels on its parking lot carports. The upcoming VIA Transit Center at Brooks will not only feature Mission Solar panels like Cuisine Solutions, but also bioswales in its landscaping.

Brooks is taking this new initiative seriously and going as far as creating a tool that grades existing developments and upcoming development plans on sustainability in an effort to encourage businesses to incorporate LID features.