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G.W. Mitchell Construction unveils new HQ, plans for the next 60 years in San Antonio




'We were just about busting at the seams at our Broadway location, but haven't quite

filled up here.  '

by Ramzi Abou Ghalioum

photos by Gabe Hernanedez



Throw a rock in any direction and you're likely to hit a multigenerational construction company in San Antonio.

But if you ask Bill Mitchell, the company his grandfather founded is among the oldest and most storied in the city.


For 102 years, G.W. Mitchell Construction has worked on some of San Antonio's most

famous landmarks, including the McNay Art Museum and the expansion of Hemisfair

Arena, which housed the San Antonio Spurs from 1973-1993.


The 2021 Family-Owned Business award honoree led by Mitchell, who is the company

president and represents the third generation of family leadership, recently celebrated

the unveiling of its new North Side offices at 1926 Gulfmart St. 


"Like everybody, when Covid-19 first hit, we didn't know how it was gonna affect us. We

didn't know what would happen in the construction industry," Mitchell told the Business

Journal. "But pretty quickly realizing that we were an essential business, it didn't really

slow us down much."


Since then, things have only accelerated for the company. Mitchell said the firm is

currently taking on anywhere from 10-15 projects at a given time. He said last year's

interest rate hikes haven't slowed business down, only forced a pivot.




"We're seeing a shift in what's out there, for multiple reasons. Offices aren't being built as

much anymore — especially speculative," Mitchell said. But the company has had

successes building retail automotive projects for the likes of Cavender, McCombs and

many others around the region. It also builds health care facilities.


"We've done hospital work for virtually every chain in San Antonio, but recently there's

been more clinics," Mitchell said.


The company, which also specializes in historic reconstruction, is partnering with the

Alamo Trust on the Texas Cavaliers Alamo Education Center. Slated for a summer 2025

opening, the center will adapt the former Alamo Hall and Annex into "a world-class

learning environment that makes the Alamo experience accessible to all," according its

website.


And the company continues to grow. After a 60-year stint at St. Mary's, the company

scaled up to an expanded location on Broadway where it spent another six years — and

continued expanding.


The new building, which saw a 13-month construction turnaround time, is part of an

effort to consolidate G.W. Mitchell and Pella, a window and door business also owned

Bill Mitchell, president of G. W. Mitchell Construction, speaks with the Business Journal at the company’s new office building on San Antonio's North Side and operated by Mitchell and his family.


"A few years in, we recognized the business was continuing to grow, and Pella, which

was also continuing to grow, outgrew its Blanco Road facility as well," Mitchell said. "And

so it just made sense for us to build one facility where we could combine the two

businesses into one location."


Although each venture is unrelated to the other, Mitchell said the geographic

consolidation makes it easier to attend to matters between the two companies. Both G.W.

Mitchell and Pella boast a 10,000-square-foot footprint in the new space, and share a

22,000 square-foot warehouse of which Pella claims the lion's share.


A ground-up construction allowed G.W. Mitchell to incorporate quality-of-life

improvements into the bones of the building, Mitchell said.


"As far as the office goes, we love the the new, innovative space. We got to design it and

obviously build it and that just allowed us to do whatever we wanted to bring into this

space," he said. "We did things like hot water loops, where hot water comes out of the tap

virtually immediately.


While he initially intended to create a bullpen with cubicles, Mitchell said the company

instead added walls and doors to each workstation so that each employee has their own

8x8' office.



"There's nothing wrong with open concept, but you don't have any privacy and you're

hearing the people next to you, which can disturb your concentration," Mitchell said.

"We said no, let's go ahead and put walls in. We just made the decision to go the other

way and I think people really like it."


While supply chain issues initially hampered G.W. Mitchell's ability to secure a

transformer and meter cans, those issues were ameliorated. Supply chain hangups also

impeded the company's ability to implement covered parking for their employees.

Mitchell said that would be coming in January.


The new space, which is about 50% larger than their previous space, creates room for the

company to grow.


"We were just about busting at the seams at our Broadway location, but haven't quite

filled up here," Mitchell said.


He said the company is getting ready to tackle new projects in the first quarter of 2024.

"We see some work coming up that should potentially drive us to hire some more folks in

the next couple of months," he said.



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