A 22-year transformation from former Air Force Base to mixed-use community

Brooks, a former Air Force Base, has seen stunning transformation into a vibrant community where you can live, work, learn, play and stay. In July 2002, the 1,308-acre campus was conveyed to Brooks Development Authority, one of only three authorities across the state of Texas, and has since completed more than $1.2 billion in investment, to date, with another $425 million in development underway.

The original mission was for Brooks to serve as a research and technology park, and DPT Laboratories was the first to expand by locating its 258,000-square-foot research and manufacturing facility at Brooks, enabling the company to retain pharmaceutical and biotechnology jobs in San Antonio. Following the addition of Brooks President & CEO Leo Gomez, in May 2013, the Board of Directors revamped that mission to serve as an energetic mixed-use community to attract jobs supporting those in the surrounding community and high-paying jobs. Brooks is on track to fulfill that mission and vision, which is supported by the 28% increase in household income across the Brooks Regional Center (7,500 acres), since 2016.

“Witnessing the notable evolution of Brooks, firsthand, has been remarkable,” says Brooks Board Chairman, Jim Campbell. “A number of tough decisions have been made over the years, yet we continue to attract regional, national, and international investments. Brooks is a model for how decommissioned bases across the country can be transformed and serve as a hub of economic development.”

Home to 1,700 residents, today, the growing community offers a variety of residential options to include apartments and single-family homes. Currently underway is the first, for-sale residential community, Southlake at Brooks, and a 490 unit single-family, for-rent neighborhood, Los Cielos. In addition, The Morgan Group is building two more multi-family projects adding another 750 units. Now, there are nearly 1,700 residential units available with more than 1,200 units underway.

“Brooks is an anchor for growth across the southeast region of San Antonio, and we serve as a tool to realize a more prosperous community,” said Brooks President & CEO, Leo Gomez. “With quality of life being a priority, we’re achieving regional prosperity by adding quality housing options, improving infrastructure, and adding high paying jobs nearby.”

Additional significant employers include Mission Trail Baptist Hospital, five international companies: Mission Solar with roots in South Korea, Nissei America, Inc. of Japan, OKIN Process of the Czech-Republic and French-based companies Bakerly and Cuisine Solutions. With a $200 million capital investment, Cuisine Solutions has the highest investment across the growing campus for the world’s largest sous vide plant. Today, the Brooks campus has more than 5,300 jobs with more than 1,000 being added over the next few years.

As a designated Opportunity Zone, Brooks has attracted nearly 500 Million in Opportunity Zone investments resulting in projects like Amazon, Los Cielos, Soli Organic, and the regions first Class A Office Buildings, WatersEdge I and II. Opportunity Zones are an economic development tool promoting investment in distressed areas across the country. Their purpose is to spur economic growth and job creation in low-income communities, like the Brooks region. Also under construction is Brooks Global Crossing, a spec light industrial facility totaling 813,000 square-feet.

Today, the Brooks campus has more than 5,300+ jobs, 1,700+ residents, and 2,500+ students. The projected population in the coming years is more than 6,500+ jobs, 3,300+ residents, and 5,000+ students.

After inheriting dilapidated roads, $130 million has been invested in horizontal infrastructure with the most recent being Inner Circle to Research Plaza and Research Plaza to South Presa, which helped secure one of Brooks’ newest tenants, Bakerly. Brooks recently submitted a proposal for $25 million out of the USDOT RAISE grant for Sidney Brooks (West), the main east-to-west corridor and hub for housing, businesses, and schools. Awards are expected to be announced in June 2023.

As Brooks continues to attract more businesses and jobs, building a workforce pipeline remains top of mind. Today, more than 2,500 students learn at Brooks across four campuses: Brooks Academy of Science and Engineering, Compass Rose Legacy, CAST Med, and the University of the Incarnate Road School of Osteopathic Medicine. Once the schools complete their current expansion, the student population is expected to exceed 5,000. Also, the Brooks campus is within the San Antonio and East Central Independent School Districts, and since 2016, the region has seen an increase of 8% more students graduating high school.

Moving forward, Brooks will continue to play a role in regional investment. Negotiations are underway to purchase the former Republic Golf Course for a partnership with Arboretum San Antonio, a 501(c)(3). The arboretum is expected to attract about 600,000 visitors, annually.

Development underway at Brooks:





Brooks’ regional economic impact is more than $1.05 billion, annually, and is expected to support more than 17,000 jobs in the region by 2040. Brooks has another 250 acres of available land to develop.