• 1617 E. Commerce St. , San Antonio , Texas
• 500,000 sq. ft.
• constructed 1923–1955
• listed on the National Register of Historic Places
At almost 500,000 sq. ft., the Friedrich Complex is comprised of a series of structures and additions built for Friedrich Refrigeration Company, a manufacturer of commercial refrigeration and room air conditioning equipment. The facility varies in height from one to six stories and is constructed primarily of heavy timber and concrete, with either wood or steel truss work. The intricate facility evolved over a 32-year period to accommodate manufacturing functions to keep pace with changes in refrigeration technology. Some of the Friedrich products included brine coolers, the “Floating Air” counters and Friedrich home air conditioning units, which were phenomenally successful. Production was consolidated to another site on IH 35 in 1981 and the Commerce St. plant was closed permanently in 1990.
Recognizing the redevelopment potential for the abandoned Friedrich Plant, John Miller and local partner Eugene Simor purchased the complex in March 1999. Over the past several years they have completely cleared the buildings of the tons of trash, debris and discarded equipment that accumulated in the facility over the years; have made certain repairs to preserve the buildings or slow the rate of decline; have commenced architectural & engineering plans that address the site development; and finally have completed 15,000 sq. ft. of space for immediate occupancy to demonstrate the lease potential for the building.
The adaptive reuse plan for Friedrich will create a mixed-use urban community with a significant office component that is accentuated with loft residences, retail / restaurant component and special event spaces. Approximately 50,000 sq. ft. is dedicated to ‘people spaces’ via interior portals, courtyards and roof decks.
Financing is proposed to include a combination of HUD Section 108 financing, a $1,500,000 Brownfield Economic Development Grant (BEDI), property tax abatements, Historic and New Market Tax Credits and TIRZ/TIF financing.
The Friedrich facility is located adjacent to The Carver Academy (www.thecarveracademy.com), founded by former Spurs player David Robinson, and also the Carver Cultural Center (www.thecarver.org).