San Antonio: Concept on 10-Story Broadway Office Tower Pending HDRC Decision
Feature Illustration (above): The Alamo Street (east elevation) of the proposed Jefferson Bank tower at 1990 Broadway. Courtesy: HKS.
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar County) — The concept designs for a 10-story office tower project controlled by the chief officers of Jefferson Bank is expected to receive conceptual approval Wednesday from the Historic and Design Review Commission.
The project, 1990 Broadway LLC, has been almost one year in the making and a committee composed of HDRC commissioners and city staff met twice with project architects earlier this month to critique the designs.
1990 Broadway LLC was formed in June 14, 2018, according to state records. Several days later, the new entity acquired 12 of the 13 lots that comprise that 1900 block of Broadway between Broadway and North Alamo Street. The north-south boundaries are East Grayson and East Josephine streets.
The ground floor concept site plan for the Jefferson Bank tower. Courtesy: HKS.
Last summer, media reports described the project as a 12-story tower, but it’s since been reduced to 10 stories.
The owners of 1990 Broadway LLC are Steven C. Lewis, Jefferson Bank’s chairman; Paul McSween, the bank’s president; and Vincent L. Bordano, the bank controller and a senior vice president.
Jefferson Bank is a San Antonio-based community bank with headquarters at 1777 NE Loop 410. The headquarters will be relocated upon completion of the tower.
The architect is HKS and Jefferson’s officers are also working with Milam Real Estate Capital LLC, a San Antonio real estate investment firm that also develops office and retail properties.
The portico (main lobby entrance) to the bank, and north corner retail space. Courtesy: HKS.
HKS sought a height of 176 feet. City Council approved a zoning change that created a “development node” allowing a height within the development zone of up to 180 feet. Staff said the proposed height is appropriate since the tower won’t be in the immediate vicinity of the San Antonio River.
The structure will step up on height, with the 10-story tower restricted to the north half of the block. The main entrance and most prominent façade will face Broadway and feature an arched masonry colonnade from Grayson to Josephine.
In addition to the varied height, HKS proposes a transition in base and tower section materials that are “drastically different architectural styles and forms.” The difference gives the appearance of two different buildings and staff recommended HKS modify the materials to better integrate them into a cohesive design.
Two retail spaces will bookend the bank lobby. The retail tenant facing Broadway will have 4,700 square feet. A retail space at the corner of Broadway and Josephine will have 3,300 square feet. A third retail space is situated at the corner of Alamo and Grayson and has 4,000 square feet.
The proposed transition of materials from the base to the tower. Courtesy: HKS.
HKS proposes accessing the parking structure within the building from Josephine and Alamo.
Several commercial and residential buildings must be removed to make way for foundation work, and they have been administratively approved for demolition. The only existing building that will remain is the Still Golden Social House at Broadway and Grayson, as it was not acquired by the bank officers.
The Broadway elevation (above); and a street level view of the arched colonnade (below). Courtesy: HKS.
Staff Notes on the Concept:
Sidewalks will be provided along each street, as well as small plazas and patios.
At the street level, the applicant has proposed to incorporate outdoor patio, plaza and seating space.
The applicant should provide a detailed landscaping plan when returning for final approval.
The applicant has proposed canopies and storefront glazing systems. In addition to these, the applicant has proposed column moldings at the pedestrian level to relate to the human scale.
At the base, the applicant has separated the façade and has included elements such as awnings at openings and storefront systems to relate to the human scale.
The applicant has implemented a series of mullions and façade panels that feature varying depths. Additionally, the applicant has proposed slight recesses in façade panels.
The applicant has proposed materials that include limestone cladding and contemporary glazing for the tower massing.
The applicant has proposed a rooftop pergola system which serves as a distinctive cap.
The proposed Jefferson Bank tower (1) joins a large number of projects that are in progress in or near the Pearl Brewery district, most of which have been previously reported in VBX. Alamo Colleges (2) is completing work on its new administrative headquarters and student campus. Silver Ventures, developer of the Pearl Brewery district, is constructing an office tower complex (3) that will be anchored by Credit Human Federal Credit Union. GrayStreet Partners is constructing a hotel/office tower (4) at the northwest corner of Newell Avenue and Broadway. Silver Ventures starts reconstruction in May on the historic Boehler/Liberty Bar (5) at Grayson Street and Avenue A, and is nearing completion on the Brewery South Apartments (6) south of Newell and east of Camden Street. Silver Ventures last year acquired two adjacent properties (7 and 8) for future development. GrayStreet Partners also acquired several blocks east of Broadway (9-12) for future development.
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.