The talk of the night during the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Outlook Conference was all about growth.
Although San Antonio certainly didn’t make it out of the national recession unscathed, it did put the city in a unique position to quickly recover.
The Chamber of Commerce therefore determined areas of growth that are expected in the upcoming year, which include real estate, health care and bioscience, sports tourism, investment, business retention and expansion, and information technology.
• Henry Cisneros, the chairman of BioMed SA, remarked that the medical sector, in particular, will make up nearly 20 percent of the gross domestic product over the next 20 years. The medical sector currently makes up about 12 percent of the GDP in San Antonio.
• The healthcare and bioscience fields are big employers in the city, employing nearly one out of every seven San Antonio workers.
• Even with poor job growth as of late, the economic outlook report showed the local job growth market rebounding by fall 2010.
• Other signs of growth are in the research sector, as the University of Texas at San Antonio and the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research recently received more than $270 million for research; and research, of course, leads to new jobs.
• The sports industry will also continue to shine in San Antonio throughout 2010, particularly because of the tournament-level golf courses, the new amateur sports complexes and the upgrades to the athletic facilities of the UTSA. The amateur sports facilities of Houston recently received an $80 million expansion.
• The San Antonio commercial real estate market – in particular, San Antonio office space – is expected to hold its own during the upcoming year. In fact, the economic outlook report noted that both the San Antonio office space market and the San Antonio industrial market have held strong, and rents have been left nearly unchanged.
• Unlike the San Antonio office space market, the San Antonio retail market has suffered, and may continue to suffer in the months ahead. Although the larger, regional malls continue to do well, the smaller retail centers are now sitting empty, and will probably remain that way for the next few years.