Leo Gomez
Brooks President and CEO Leo Gomez said there is a “very healthy pipeline of prospects” for the former military base.

The recent decision by the Czech Republic’s OKIN Business Process Services to establish its U.S. headquarters at Brooks represents the biggest economic development win for the former military base and one of the largest deals ever in South San Antonio.

And the longer-term payoff could be even more substantial if Brooks can leverage a neighboring asset, those tasked with transforming the 1,300-acre site said.

Improved access to Stinson Municipal Airport a few minutes away is among the amenities Brooks is pitching, and officials expect that the general aviation facility, coupled with the endorsement from OKIN, will position the area for more significant economic gains.

“It’s an incredible asset for the future of Brooks. It’s why one of the city’s bond package projects includes extending one of our newest roads westward and connecting to Stinson,” Brooks President and CEO Leo Gomez said. “It’s important that we have general aviation opportunities for executives from the tenants at Brooks and for interested stakeholders to be able to come into Stinson and be at Brooks literally within minutes.”

Meanwhile, Brooks has about 500 acres of real estate available for development.

“There are still plenty of opportunities, and we have a very healthy pipeline of prospects,” Gomez said.

One way Brooks officials will look to leverage the OKIN win is with their pitch to prospects searching for office or corporate headquarters space.

“This will help us with that,” Gomez said.

OKIN has committed to creating at least 1,400 new jobs at Brooks. The company’s majority owner, Michal Jelinek, said that count could exceed 1,500 jobs.

“This represents the epitome of what we’ve strived for — a marquee employer for this sector of San Antonio,” Gomez said, noting that the last company to commit to creating as many jobs in South San Antonio was Toyota Motor Corp. more than a decade ago.

Local officials are confident that, because of OKIN’s reputation and international reach, other companies will take note of Jelinek’s decision to invest in Brooks.

“His own words to me were that ‘Brooks felt right,’” Gomez said. “This decision, along with a couple of other successes we’ve had, truly validates our strategy for development.”

Article originally published here: Brooks CEO: How OKIN win, Stinson Airport can spur more deals