News release

Long-term housing and workforce development campus for women with onsite early childhood education center headed to West San Antonio

YWCA partners with JLL PDS team to transform former convent into YWCA’s Women’s Live and Learn Center

May 14, 2024

Jessica Wozniak

Agency Leasing and Markets PR
+1 312 523 9994

SAN ANTONIO, May 14, 2024 – JLL announced today that its Project and Development Services (PDS) team was awarded the contract to manage the design and construction of YWCA’s Women’s Live and Learn Center. Located at the intersection of Castroville Road and SW 36th Street, the new center will transform the former St. Andrew’s convent into a women’s educational campus, providing housing for up to four years and support services to single women and their children.

Phase I of the development, slated for completion by September 2024, will feature 30 units of free and discounted housing for single women and their children along with childcare services. Phase II will add an on-site early childhood education facility, equipped with catering to nearly 50 children, ensuring enhanced support for its residents, along with modern offices for administrative and support staff.

With a century-long history of empowering women and combating racism, the YWCA supports approximately 15,000 individuals annually, primarily women and children. San Antonio’s poverty rate exceeds the national average, with single women-led households representing more than half of those experiencing poverty. The Women’s Live and Learn Center will address the holistic needs of single women ages 18-25 years old, offering up to four years of housing, both for those with and without children.

“In line with its mission to empower women and address community needs, the YWCA Women’s Live and Learn Center strives to provide a supportive environment where women and their children can thrive,” said Francesca Rattray, CEO of YWCA Antonio. “By offering longer-term housing, childcare services and comprehensive support programs, the center aims to break the cycle of poverty, empower women to pursue education and employment opportunities and foster a sense of community and belonging.”

The Women’s Live and Learn Center is designed to help women reconnect, restore, and empower via the combination of onsite housing and supportive services, including trauma-informed case management, workforce training, navigation to post-secondary education or degree programs, health, wellness, and mental health support, early childhood education, and financial literacy and homeownership training.

The project will be overseen by Kelli Hart, Project Manager, PDS, JLL and Andrea Gault, Vice President, Projects, PDS, JLL who will manage all aspects from due diligence, architecture, engineering, and construction. Additionally, JLL is actively engaged in fundraising efforts and collaboration with key partners.

“We are honored to be a part of this transformative initiative,” said Hart. “The Women’s Live and Learn Center represents a beacon of hope, offering not just housing but a sanctuary where women and their children can thrive. In a time where stable housing and support are paramount, this project holds immense significance.”

Contributors to the campus include the City of San Antonio, Harvey Najim, Valero, Methodist Healthcare Ministries, HEB, the San Antonio Area Foundation, the Kronkosky Foundation and the Greehey Family, with consulting support from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Grow America.

Nearly every facet of the project, spanning architecture, design, project management, general contracting and fundraising benefited from the expertise and leadership of numerous accomplished women. Notable among them are Carolyn Roman, Stephanie Maher, and Mary Bartlett from Marmon Mok Architecture. Additionally, Joeris was chosen as the general contractor, with Alexandrea Ashcraft serving as Senior Project Manager and Norah Wilkinson as Director of Retail Development.

JLL Project and Development Services is a leader in the development, design, construction, and branding of commercial real estate projects for the world’s most prominent corporations, educational institutions, public jurisdictions, healthcare organizations, industrial facilities, retailers, hotels, sports facilities, and real estate owners. Ranked No. 1 Top Development Company by Modern Healthcare, No. 3 in Building Design + Construction’s 2021 Construction Management Giants survey, No. 43 on Interior Design Top 100 Giants and No. 2 on Engineering News-Record’s 2021 list of Top 50 Program Management Firms and No. 4 on their 2022 list of Top 100 Construction Management-for-Fee Firms, JLL’s project management team comprises 8,500 project managers across 80 countries and is actively managing $99.4 billion under construction. Visit to learn more.

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About JLL

For over 200 years, JLL (NYSE: JLL), a leading global commercial real estate and investment management company, has helped clients buy, build, occupy, manage and invest in a variety of commercial, industrial, hotel, residential and retail properties. A Fortune 500® company with annual revenue of $20.8 billion and operations in over 80 countries around the world, our more than 108,000 employees bring the power of a global platform combined with local expertise. Driven by our purpose to shape the future of real estate for a better world, we help our clients, people and communities SEE A BRIGHTER WAYSM. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit