Gensler announces several promotions in Texas

Gensler has announced several promotions in its Austin and San Antonio offices: Principal John Houser, Managing Director/Principal Michael Rey, and Design Director/Principal Travel Albrecht.

John is known for his attention to client needs and his problem-solving ability fueled by inspired, creative thinking. He enjoys creating spaces that are as beautiful as they are comfortable, efficient, and purposeful.

John’s passion for design originates from his interest in architectural history, engineering, and the desire to create real-life works of art in the community. His design concepts are rooted in creating unique experiences and incorporating equity for both the client and the community.

While at Gensler, he has led planning and design efforts on projects including the University of Texas at Austin Moody Center and basketball practice facility, Block 16 + Austin Convention Center, 823 Congress building repositioning, The Orchard public art installation, and the Circuit of the Americas redevelopment master plan.


Michael Rey is the managing director of Gensler’s San Antonio office. He has 20 years of architecture, business development and project management experience. He has worked on a variety of building types, spanning civic, commercial, educational, hospitality, multifamily and urban design, which includes projects such as the UTSA National Security Collaboration Center and School of Data Science, ProjectMEND headquarters, an organization that supports veterans, the Alameda Theater, a historic Mexican-American venue, the San Antonio Zoo animal hospital, and ChildSafe facility, which serves children who are survivors of abuse.

Michael’s previous roles include senior principal and VP of operations at Overland Partners, lead architect for Jacobs San Antonio, as well as launching his own firm in 2011. He has taught at UTSA’s School of Architecture and currently serves as chair of their advocacy and advisory council. He is also passionate about educating and inspiring children and is an active supporter of organizations like the Boy Scouts of America, KIPP, San Antonio Sports Foundation–Healthy Kids, and Snack Pak 4 Kids SA.

Michael received a bachelor’s in environmental design from Texas A&M University, followed by a Master of Architecture from Yale University.


As a design director at Gensler Austin, Travis Albrecht is a highly sought after resource within the firm for his design vision and expertise in sustainable design and planning. Since joining the firm in 2008, he has been involved in many of their significant projects, as well as helped foster the growth of the office.

His experience spans a vast array of project types, from commercial office buildings and mixed use to education and master planning. Some of his notable projects include: 500 West 2nd (Google Tower), Block 164 Office Tower, The Domain Northside, The Fairmont Austin, Fifth + Tillery, Hilton Austin Overhead Walkway, the Moody Center (UT basketball arena and events center) and UPCycle.

Travis is also involved in strategic planning and thought leadership on topics including digital design, design resilience, and design purpose.

Travis received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Retail asset on the San Antonio River Walk trades to Fifth Corner

JLL Capital Markets has closed the sale of South Bank, a 46,704-square-foot, high-performing retail asset located on the world-renowned San Antonio River Walk, the top tourism attraction in Texas.

JLL marketed the property on behalf of the seller, and Fifth Corner acquired the asset. Fifth Corner’s predecessor, AMREIT, formerly owned this property from 2005 to 2015.

This trade is significant as only one River Walk retail asset transaction has occurred over the last five years, and only six individual retail assets have traded since 2005.

Featuring a strong mix of food and beverage and local and national retailers, the property caters to the over 11 million visitors to the River Walk annually.  South Bank generates total commerce of over $22 million, the center is 100% occupied and boasts an average tenant tenure of 20.1 years. Original tenants include Hard Rock Café, The County Line Bar-B-Q, Paesanos, Cowboy’s Alamo City Harley-Davidson, Ben & Jerry’s and Howl at the Moon. Recent additions include Merkaba, a live-music sister concept to Howl at the Moon, and Fat Tuesday, which has returned to its original South Bank location after 17 years.

Situated at 111 W Crockett St., South Bank is set within a highly coveted retail micro-market. The tenants have access to a San Antonio’s population of 2.6 million, as well as the approximately 37 million tourists that visit the city annually. Additionally, the location of the asset benefits from the 16,877 total hotel rooms within a five-mile radius. South Bank is also supported by incredibly strong fundamentals driven by high retailer demand and development restrictions established by the RIO-3 zoning that was implemented in 2002 to protect, preserve and enhance the San Antonio River.

The JLL Retail Capital Markets Investment Sales and Advisory team that represented the seller was led by Senior Managing Directors Chris Gerard, Ryan West and Barry Brown and Associate Erin Lazarus and Megan Babovec.