The one Texas property to make it into our top 100 taxpaying properties in the U.S. is the Northpark Center in Dallas, which commanded a whopping $17,561,005 in property taxes last year. The property that landed second place in our list of Dallas’ top 10 taxpaying properties lags $6 million behind Northpark. We thought it’s well worth taking a look at property taxes in other Texas markets and here we delve into San Antonio’s diverse top taxpaying real estate.
Alamo City’s highest taxpaying properties seem to hang out in property-type pairs—the list of ten buildings that have paid the highest property taxes in 2016 features two retail centers, two high-end hotels, two data centers and two corporate campuses.
General Growth Properties Inc. (GGP) owns both of the malls included in the list below and last year shelled out just over $10 million in property tax for both of them. However, as our research into the highest property taxes nationwide shows, there are significant differences between U.S. markets, in this respect. For example, what GGP paid for two San Antonio malls in 2016 still falls short of the $16,451,972 that the company paid for its Water Tower Place shopping mall in Chicago.
See the top 10 properties on the map below:
#1. The Shops at La Cantera – $6,090,476 in property taxes in 2016
The 1.25 million-square-foot mall was built in two phases, between 2005 and 2008. Developed by The Rouse Co. and designed by local architectural firm Alamo Architects, The Shops at La Cantera has been a standard setter for upscale shopping in San Antonio. The unique open-air environment features specialty retailers, signature restaurants and boutique-style office space. Notable tenants include Burberry, Tiffany & Co., and the first Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom to open on the San Antonio retail market.
Part of a resort community planned by the USAA Real Estate Co., the retail property is located near the La Cantera Hill Country Resort and the La Cantera Golf Club, as well as Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Chicago-based General Growth Properties (GGP) acquired The Rouse Co. in 2004 and, consequently, assumed ownership of the regional mall that commanded San Antonio’s highest property taxes for the past two years in a row.
#2. USAA Corporate Headquarters – $6,042,139 in property taxes in 2016
The headquarters campus at 9800 Fredericksburg Road was built in five phases, between the 1970s and 2001. It is so big that it does, in fact, have its own zip code. Stretching on a 300-acre lot, USAA’s McDermott Building is a whopping three quarters of a mile long. The campus totals nearly 4.2 million square feet and houses two thirds of the company’s total employees, operating in the McDermott Building, USAA Federal Savings Bank and USAA Bank Services Building. On-site amenities include a wellness clinic, two company stores, two fitness centers and five cafeterias. In 2013, the USAA headquarters became one of the largest LEED-certified office buildings in the world, when it was LEED Gold-certified.
#3. Grand Hyatt – $4,724,857 in property taxes in 2016
Originally built in 2008, the 34-story Grand Hyatt San Antonio was the tallest building to be constructed in the city during the 2000s. The upscale 1003-key hotel is located in the heart of historic downtown San Antonio, at the start of the River Walk, which is the city’s second-most visited attraction. Although the Grand Hyatt is adjacent to the 1.3 million-square-foot Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, the hotel comes with over 115,000 square feet of on-site flexible meeting and function space. Additional high-end amenities include state-of-the-art 24/7 fitness facilities, a heated rooftop pool and on-site upscale dining. The third-highest taxpaying property in San Antonio is within walking distance of the Alamodome, Tower of The Americas and The Alamo.
#4. and #7. Microsoft San Antonio Data Centers – $8,190,720 in property taxes in 2016
As Cloud computing gains ground, the need for data centers grows. And while such developments do not usually boast high employment numbers, they can run up sizeable sales- and property tax bills. Such is the case with the two data centers that Microsoft has built in San Antonio’s Westover Hills so far. Originally opened in 2008, the 427,000-square-foot facility at 5150 Rogers Road commanded $3,552,934 in property taxes last year and ranks seventh in our top 10, while its younger “sibling” center came in fourth. The 256,000-square-foot data center that opened in 2015 at 3823 Wiseman Boulevard paid $4,637,786 in property taxes in 2016.
Microsoft will not stop there—in 2015, the tech giant bought 160 acres of Texas Research Park real estate and is putting together one of the largest U.S. data centers, in San Antonio’s Westcreek market. Plans call for an eight-building development that will total roughly 1.2 to 1.3 million square feet. Construction will be carried out in four phases over a five-year period and is expected to bring in as many as 900 jobs.
#5. San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter – $4,290,192 in property taxes in 2016
Originally built in 1988, the Marriott Rivercenter is located across the Riverwalk from the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center and the Grand Hyatt, the other top taxpaying hotel on our list. The 1,001-key Marriott is the tallest building in San Antonio, after the Tower of the Americas and the tallest hotel in Texas outside of Dallas. Designed by RTKL Associates, the structure was intended to mimic the iconic twin bell towers of the Cathedral of San Fernando and the Mission Concepcion.
In addition to the first class on-site and nearby downtown amenities, the hotel connects on two levels to the Shops at Rivercenter, which feature over 100 retailers, along with several restaurants and theaters.
#6. North Star Mall – $4,094,616 in property taxes in 2016
Four decades before developing the outdoorsy Shops at La Cantera, The Rouse Co. opened San Antonio’s iconic Northstar Mall—the 1.2 million-square-foot enclosed regional shopping center features over 170 specialty stores, restaurants and upscale retailers. Easily accessible to both residents and visitors of San Antonio, North Star is located off of Loop 410 and is just 3 miles away from the San Antonio International Airport.
Of course, we cannot leave Northstar Mall without mentioning what is perhaps its most recognizable element—”The Giant Justins,” a pair of 40-foot-tall cowboy boots sculpture by artist Bob “Daddy-O” Wade, which was installed in 1980 on the I-410 frontage road.
- Data sources: PropertyShark, proprietary research; (download raw data)
- Search was based on individual parcels; for multi-parcel properties the tax values listed are representative of the main parcel;
- 2015 and 2016 tax values verified with Bexar County Property Tax Portal and Bexar County Assessor’s Office;