The Brooks Development Authority just ended a multiyear search for a partner to build its fifth housing development, a planned mixed-use project featuring residential apartments and retail space.

New state filings indicate that Brooks, a public-private partnership with the City of San Antonio, has teamed with Houston-based Morgan Group to construct Caroline at Brooks, an eight-building complex of multifamily and mixed-use tenants. The project is slated to go up at 7910 S New Braunfels Avenue in September 2024, according to a filing with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

Shovels are expected to hit the ground this week, and the $84 million project is expected to yield 373 apartments as well as ground-level retail and live-work units. Apartments will range from 614 to 1,660 square feet, with rental rates starting around $1,100 per month.

Once complete, Caroline at Brooks will be one of the larger developments to land at Brooks since the Air Force ceased operating at the facility in 2011. The Brooks Development Authority was formed in 2001 in a partnership with the city, state, and federal authorities as part of a broader economic development plan to revive the property.

The development’s architect is Austin-based Davies Collaborative, a design firm that has worked on several multifamily projects in the city including Foster Road, The Salado at Red Berry and Tradehouse at Bulverde.

Jason Hauck, a Morgan Group development manager, told the Business Journal that San Antonio’s high quality of life and Brooks’ ability to attract businesses were central to its decision to join the project. The company has developed multifamily projects in six states, with a heavy presence in Texas’ largest cities.

“The leadership at Brooks is visionary and the growth mindset continues to manifest new high-quality developments,” he said. “Brooks has done a tremendous job recruiting businesses … all of which provide a strong economic backbone to the area.”

Brooks’ Chief Strategy Officer, Connie Gonzalez, said that talks with Morgan had been ongoing for several years, and that after bringing The Kennedy Apartments — developed by Cleveland, Ohio-based NRP Group — to the area in 2017, they aligned on a project that is “higher density, higher caliber.”

“This is not only apartments,” she said in an interview. “They are also including live/work units and what’s going to be the future ‘town center.’ I think the vision from the Morgan Group and their team is really what won us over in wanting to finalize this development.”

She added that market rate multifamily recruitment is central to the Brooks strategy, given the strength of employment in the region. Of the four other multifamily projects that where shepherded by the Development Authority that rent at market rates, they all maintain occupancy rates of more than 95%.

“That’s even more of a reason why we knew that there is and will continue to be a demand to explore more multifamily,” she said.

The organization is in talks with other developers to advance similar projects. Those growth plans also include the potential for senior living and other affordable projects that will make up a smaller percentage of the area’s housing makeup.

The project will be funded through an ongoing local partnership between Morgan and Bitterblue Investments, the private equity subsidiary of local developer Bitterblue. Hauck says that while the tightening real estate market is something to keep a close eye on, the San Antonio area is one of the company’s highest performers.

“I expect the strong foundation of growth in San Antonio and distinct need for housing to sustain high-quality developments like this over the long-term,” he said.