San Antonio: 138-Unit Cattleman Square Lofts to Receive Certificate of Appropriateness
Feature Illustration: Cattleman’s Square Lofts, as it would appear looking west on Houston Street, toward the VIA Centro Plaza. Image: SAGE Group.
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar County) — A local nonprofit affordable housing organization is expected to receive a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) on the final architectural designs for the 138-unit Cattleman’s Square Lofts.
Their request for a COA was put on the consent agenda of the Historic and Design Review Commission’s June 16 session, which indicates the commission has already considered the request and would prefer to approve it without further deliberation. The issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness allows a developer to begin the building permit process.
Located at 811 W. Houston Street, the project site is the former home of the Alamo Colleges District administrative offices. In addition to the office building, there is a two-story historic landmark building, circa 1894, that will be restored and incorporated into the new apartment complex. A COA for the historic building was already issued separately to allow for its restoration.
Surface parking occupies the majority of the L-shaped property, which is bounded by West Houston to the south, North Frio Street to the west, and North Pecos to the east.
Cattleman’s Square Lofts schematic site plan.
The new apartment building, at four stories and 140,000 gross square feet, would be higher than most structures in the immediate area. The developer, Alamo Community Group (ACG), proposed architectural elements to relate the massing of the proposed new construction to that of the historic structure, including a street canopy and reduced setbacks.
A flat roof is proposed. This would make the roof profile consistent with other historic structures in the Cattleman Square Historic District. Window and door openings are also to share proportions and arrangements comparable to both historic and contemporary structures in the immediate vicinity.
Exterior façade materials will include brick veneer, smooth composite siding in four- and seven-inch profiles, corrugated metal siding panels, and stucco. Vinyl window frames are to be installed throughout the new construction, and grouped windows will be separated by a mullion of approximately six niches in width and recessed approximately two inches within wall openings.
Mechanical equipment will be on the roofs and screened by parapet walls. ACG claims parking is not required, but they’re proposing to provide 20 parking stalls in two locations–to the interior of the site and to the east of the new construction.
Landscaping will be limited, but it will include the installation of street trees along the sidewalk, and some other street furnishings.
The architect noted in a project summary to the commission that the project was previously reviewed and approved for the demolition of the existing Alamo Colleges 15,174 square-foot office building–a tilt-up concrete panel structure that was erected in 1984.
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.