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Adelman gets Green Light on Hemisfair Project

Texas Construction News from Virtual Builders Exchange

Posted 1-28-2016, 2:45 p.m.

by Adolfo Pesquera

San Antonio (Bexar Co.) – City Council, acting as the Hemisfair Park Public Facility Corp., approved on Thursday a development sublease between the Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corp. (HPARC) and AREA Real Estate LLC for a 1.1-acre tract adjacent to the northeast corner of Yanaguana Garden.

David Adelman, principal of AREA real estate, was selected by HPARC as the preferred developer after a competitive search. HPARC was established by city council in 2009 to manage the redevelopment of Hemisfair. A master plan was created by HPARC and approved in 2012 by coucnil that identified several P3 mixed-use vertical projects.

Adelman was one of five respondants to an RFQ and this would be the first P3 project. The sublease agreement requires that AREA Real Estate be granted a 45 year lease in return for the design and construction of 163 mixed-income residential units, a 418-space parking garage of which 238 would be for the public, 3,200 square feet of ground floor restaurant and retail.

Fifty percent of the mixed-income units must be priced at 80 percent of the county’s median income. HPARC must also realize $155,000 in annual returns, commencing with the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

In his comments to council, Adelman said it was his goal to build something that visitors to the park would admire a century from now.

“It’s going to be a world class project inside of a world class park redevelopment,” Adelman said.

Asked by councilmembers about the architectural designs, Adelman said his architect–David Lake of Lake|Flato–borrowed heavily from the Crockett Street block at the San Antonio River, with emphasis on the Casino Club Building.

“We mirrored a lot of those elements,” Adelman said, adding the Lake commented on how so many projects seen today look like “run-on sentences” in their repetitiveness.

“We’ve broken it up into three building elements, even though it is actually one monolithic building. To do that takes time and a little bit of extra effort,” he said.

Councilman Rey Saldaña asked Adelman to address the mixed-income component and in response he admitted it was a challenge to design something great that would also be affordable.

“Those two don’t necessarily go hand in hand,” he said.

Nevertheless, he expressed confidence the affordable component would enable entry level workforce personnel who work downtown (those earning wages in the $30,000s to $40,000s) to obtain leases.

Another consideration of the development is that future tenants would be able to walk or bicycle or use public transit to work and home.

“We’re really hopeful we’ll attract people that won’t have to drive to work,” he said.


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About the Author:

Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.

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