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The picture of Stone Oak today stands in sharp contrast to the view a decade ago.
Checked by the real estate and savings and loan crisis in the late 1980s, the now-defunct San Antonio Light declared it one of the top 10 failures of the decade, recalls Brad Parman, son of then-developer Dan Parman.
Today, following a several-year-old resurgent housing boom, developers are applying the "if I build it, they will come" approach to commercial properties. So far, the technique is paying off. In fact, developers predict that the building will continue into the foreseeable future, with projects from small professional office buildings to campus facilities in the works.
Michael Espensen, a development consultant who is working primarily in Stone Oak, says the small-tenant market -- which includes small professional offices for mom-and-pop-type tenants, insurance, real estate, dentists and other small businesses -- predominates in the area. This market, he contends, is following the tremendous housing boom under way in the area.
"As long as they continue to build houses (in Stone Oak), there will be demand for the small-tenant market -- because they service those residents. I don't see an end to it," says Espensen. Involved in office leasing in the Stone Oak area since 1986, Espensen says business picked up strongly in 1993 when housing took off.
"More roofs means more offices are need to service those residents," he says.
Indeed, Stone Oak's market profile to date is clearly defined by 1,500-to 2,000-square-foot office space. However, the success of the small tenant buildings has been echoed with new buildings housing larger tenants and several campus situations. WorldCom operates a half-million-square-foot campus in Stone Oak just off U.S. Highway 281. Not far away, Clear Channel Communications Inc. has plans for a 360,000-square-foot building that will employ nearly 3,000.
Brad Parman, now a real estate agent with Delta Properties, recalls that when his father announced the development in 1980, he had just joined together four ranches totaling 4,380 acres. Additional land later added to the project brought the …