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San Antonio: Convenience Store Project by Mission Concepcion Under Review

Feature Illustration: The front and rear elevations for the proposed convenience store to be constructed at 703 Mission Road. Source: City of San Antonio (HDRC) public records.

Posted: 1-18-2022

by Adolfo Pesquera

San Antonio (Bexar County) — A proposal for a new convenience store to be built next to Mission Concepción will be considered Wednesday by the Historic and Design Review Commission.

The Office of Historic Preservation (OHP), which reviews all demolition requests, is insisting a wall mural be spared from the building that would be razed. City staff also had other objections to the new building designs.

Nizari Ventures LLC, the owner, wants to tear down an old convenience store at 703 Mission Road. The location is cater-corner to the northwest boundary of the colonial era Spanish mission.

In its place, the owner is requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness of the final designs for a 6,505 square-foot commercial building. It would include a 4,501 square-foot convenience store with a commercial kitchen and seating for patrons wanting to eat indoors.

The remainder of the building is be a shell for a future tenant or other use. The exterior, however, makes no accommodations for a reproduction of the mural.

“El Barrio On My Mind” mural at 703 Mission Road. Source: COSA public records.

The new building is a one-story structure with flat roof and parapet. The exterior materials proposed include stucco, stone, metal canopies, aluminum windows and storefront systems.

This is a design-build project by FT Builder Services of San Antonio.

The existing 2,550 square-foot structure was built in 1967 as Kotara’s Ice House. It changes owners after 1976 and in April 2000 a mural titled “El Barrio On My Mind” was commissioned by the city’s 1999 Neighborhood Improvement Challenge Program. It covers the south elevation.

OHP staff assessed the property in December and concluded that the detached canopy where the fuel pumps are located and the stone-clad commercial structure do not contribute to the Mission Historic District. But they recommend that the owner present options that preserve, relocate, or recreate the mural on site.

The proposed site plan (left) and aerial view of the existing site.

Other issues the HDRC is to raise, based on OHP recommendations, include location of the new building. Nizari Ventures proposes locating the building on the west end of the lot, with four fuel pumps under a canopy and parking lot with 21 spaces to the east by Mission Road and Mitchell Street.

“Staff finds the setback from Mission Road to be appropriate. However, … (the building) setback from E. Mitchell should be greater than the front setback of the neighboring structure to the west,” the report states.

They also noted that there is not an adequate landscape buffer, which should be at least 20 feet, between the parking lot and the street. The proposed buffer along Mission Road is 15 feet.

“A detailed landscaping plan that is consistent with both the Mission Historic District Design Manual and the UDC should be submitted to OHP staff for review and approval.”

Nizari Ventures proposed two façades–one of 133’ and the other of 48’ to be uninterrupted with no changed in massing, fenestration or façade arrangement. OHP objected to this because the district design manual states any façade style should not exceed 50 feet in length.

VBX Project ID: 2022-0677

Floor plan of the proposed 703 Mission Road convenience store.