U-Haul Destination No. 4: Saddle Up for San Antonio Growth Spurt

From its proud military presence to its ethnic diversity, from its vital health sciences to its downtown revitalization, San Antonio’s merits are too many to summarize.

The same can be said for the Alamo City’s continued growth and popularity.

“San Antonio right now reflects what the rest of the nation will look like in 25, 50 years,” San Antonio Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Richard Perez said. “I say that because we are very diverse: 68 percent of our population is Hispanic and the rest of the nation will reflect this in the future. This is a crucible of opportunity, and businesses are setting up and trying to cater to this mix of ethnicities.”

San Antonio comes in at No. 4 on the U-Haul Top 10 U.S. Destination Cities for 2014, rising one spot from the previous year. These rankings reflect the top destinations of one-way U-Haul truck rentals for the past calendar year. This is the highest San Antonio has been in the rankings since 2009.

alamo-foliage-Richard-Nowitz_Tag_Alamo
The Alamo (Credit: San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau)

While migration trends don’t correlate directly to a city’s population or economic growth, they are a strong gauge as to how well cities are attracting new residents.

U-Haul Company of San Antonio marketing company president Sam Molina, a born-and-bred San Antonian who has logged 30 of his 34 years with U-Haul in his hometown, noted that much of the residential expansion is occurring to the northeast and northwest of the city.

“They’re starting to build up a lot of vacant areas,” Molina said. “You would have cement holes where they excavated, and then, all of a sudden, they become retail centers – like the The Rim in northwest San Antonio. Then you have the apartments and condos that come with that.

“Of course, downtown is going through a huge revitalization, building lofts out of old, historical buildings. One was a candy factory at one time and is now lofts. An old peanut factory was converted into lofts. Downtown is being revitalized with the arts, the condos and is becoming more sustainable. You see more bicycles, more grocery stores so people can walk and don’t have to drive a car.”

San Antonio is beloved for its gorgeous River Walk, its delicious Tex-Mex food, its rustic feel and its passionate people, who shower much of their affection on the five-time NBA champion Spurs.

San Antonio’s military heritage begins with Fort Sam Houston, Brooke Army Medical Center and nearby Randolph Air Force Base, where all new Air Force recruits make their way for flight training. Many veterans opt to return and live in San Antonio.

Photos from San Antonio
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Growing healthcare, medical science, financial and energy businesses in San Antonio are helping to maintain a strong local economy and low unemployment numbers. Greater San Antonio’s unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in March, fourth lowest among major U.S. cities, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Our company is named for San Antonio’s most famous landmark, the Mission San Antonio de Valero – better known as the Alamo – and we are proud to call San Antonio home,” Valero vice president of communications Bill Day stated. “San Antonio has seen strong growth in the past several years due to the strength of the region’s energy industry, including companies like Valero.”

Student life is booming in San Antonio as well with the expansion of several universities, raising the need for more U-Haul storage options in and around the city.

“The other thing is San Antonio attracts newcomers because of housing; the cost of living seems to be little lower,” Molina said. “A lot of people that move from California sell their homes for a good price, come to San Antonio, build new and still have money left over.”

San Antonio is the second Texas city to make our countdown, but the Lone Star State isn’t done. Continue to visit myuhaulstory.com as the U-Haul Top 10 U.S. Destinations for 2014 counts down to No. 1.

Addition photo credits: River Walk (featured image) and Alamo at night (thumbnail) by San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau.

U.S. Destination Rankings

No. 10 Sacramento

No. 9 Kansas City

No. 8 Philadelphia

No. 7 Austin

No. 6 Brooklyn

No. 5 Orlando

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