Key West Hotelier to Open Luxury Saint Hotel in Downtown San Antonio
Texas Construction News from Virtual Builders Exchange
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar County) – Seaside Hospitality Corporation was granted on Wednesday conceptual approval by the Historic and Design Review Commission for a seven-story boutique hotel at 151 E. Travis Street.
Seaside Hospitality is a Key West, Florida-based small hotel chain that renovated historic buildings in downtown New Orleans and “Old Town” Key West into luxury hotels under the Saint Hotel brand. The owner, Mark Wyant, also maintains an office in Dallas.
The proposed hotel has 60,000-square-foot (excluding basement) and features 100 rooms, a restaurant at street level and a 20-foot, double-height bar/lounge and lobby at street level. The double height section includes an overhanging interior mezzanine.
The existing site is a narrow triangular lot, just two-tenths of an acre, with single-story brick retail structures that were built circa 1952. The Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) review found the structures are not of historic significance and suitable for demolition.
The new building design has an exterior cantilever feature that is over the public right of way on the Riverwalk level. The OHP requested more information on how the overhang would affect the pedestrian experience on the Riverwalk to assure pedestrians will not be negatively impacted.
This is to be a stick-built structure, 74 feet high, of podium construction, with 18 guest rooms on levels two through seven. Below the lobby is a basement level that starts at the building line on the street side and ends just beyond an elevator shaft that is being placed midway across the floor plan.
The floorplate area of the lobby level is 6,900 gross square feet. Levels two to six have 7,990 gross square feet each, and the seventh floor has 6,100 gross square feet.
Ford, Powell & Carson proposes that the exterior materials (façade composition) include a recessed base of brick, a mid-section of stucco and spandrel glass, and a recessed capital of brick.
The architect proposes a number of changes that affect pedestrian circulation. On East Travis Street, Reed proposes reducing the width of the existing sidewalk to allow for a vehicular drop-off location. From the Riverwalk, Reed proposes the installation of a pedestrian entrance to the hotel through an existing stone wall.
“Facing the Riverwalk, the applicant has proposed to incorporate (an) outdoor patio and seating space,” the OHP report added. The patio area must include landscaping.
Of the building scale, OHP said that Seaside Hospitality proposes human scaled floor heights, materials such as brick … a human scaled entrance canopy, and human scaled window openings.
“On the Riverwalk façade, the applicant has proposed glass curtain walls that feature approximately 18 feet in height and span a large percentage of the façade.”
Separate sections of the curtain walls are to be separated by brick. City staff found this inconsistent with the city code and recommended the incorporation of additional façade elements to separate the façade both vertically and horizontally.
The building has no parking structure. For final approval, the developer will need to produce a viable plan for off-site parking.
The Saint Hotel chain uses the slogan “Play Naughty, Sleep Saintly.” It is known for its eclectic interiors.
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.