San Antonio: Affordable Multifamily Project Incorporates Historic Building Restoration
Feature Illustrations: Early concept renderings by SAGE Group of what Cattleman Square Lofts could look like.
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar County) — A west end downtown property that was formerly the administrative offices of the Alamo Community College District is in the hands of a nonprofit affordable housing organization that is planning a 140-unit apartment complex.
The property includes a historically significant two-story building that will be preserved and renovated. According to media reports from 2020, the historic building is intended to become the lease office, with a learning center. It will also include two apartment units. In February, City Council approved a right-of-way encroachment permit for the supporting columns of the building’s balcony.
The project title, Cattleman Square Lofts, takes its name from the west end district where it resides. The 1.57-acre L-shaped lot was purchased by Alamo Community Group (ACG) in October 2019, according to Bexar County records.
As currently envisioned, the unit mix would be approximately 36 studio apartments, 78 one-bedroom apartments, and 26 two-bedroom apartments. However, the project is still in early stages of design and a concept has not yet been presented to the Historic and Design Review Commission for approval.
The architectural firm SAGE Group has been participating in the design process. Early concepts of the project describe a four-story complex that extends from the lot boundary between the property and a McDonald’s restaurant to the east, then up to the corner of West Houston Street at North Frio Street to the west. It would be facing the 800 block of Houston Street.
ACG is controlling the real estate through a subsidiary, ACG Cattleman Square Lofts GP LLC. An important component of this site to ACG is its close proximity to the VIA Centro Plaza, which is VIA Metropolitan Transit’s main public transit hub. This would provide future residents easy access to much of the central city.
The project has an estimated cost of between $23 million and $26 million. In October 2020, the San Antonio Housing Trust entered into a memorandum of understanding for the issuance of $15 million in tax exempt multifamily revenue bonds to help cover construction costs. In February 2021, City Council agreed to distribute “up to $1.2 million” in federal assistance funds. The ACG is still working with on other agencies to complete the needed capital.
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.