San Antonio: Developer Seeks Final Approval of Mission Reach Townhome Project
Feature Illustration: Architexas rendering of the 326 Riverside townhome development, as seen from the San Antonio River.
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar County) — A local developer is asking for a Certificate of Appropriateness to build 25 two-story townhomes along the Mission Reach section of the San Antonio River.
The Historic and Design Review Commission will consider a request at its Wednesday meeting for a townhome development at 326 Riverside Drive, located within the Mission Historic District where Riverside intersections Roosevelt Avenue.
This project was given conceptual approval by the HDRC commissioners on Nov. 18, 2020. It was first described by Virtual Builders Exchange in this Nov. 30, 2020 article when the developer sought a zoning change; the zoning revision from commercial to limited intensity Infill Development Zone was approved Jan. 21, 2021 by City Council.
This project is one a 1.5-acre lot that includes two historic structures on the west side of the lot. They are to be rehabilitated as part of the project, but are not included in the application being considered by HDRC. The structures that are being spared were discussed last summer concerning a demolition application; the developer was given permission Aug. 19 to raze two buildings on the lot.
One of the two historic homes will be included in the project as a residence, making for a total of 26 residences. Eight of the 25 townhomes are proposed to have setbacks of 10 feet from Riverside, and another 11 homes will have river frontage.
Development Services Department staff raised numerous objections to the plans.
Roof forms are proposed to include facing gabled roofs, side gabled roofs and shed roofs, however, staff declared the proposed roof forms inconsistent with historic precedent and is opposed, stating, “Contemporary flat roof or shed roof forms may be considered on a case by case basis … ”
Façades with no fenestration and fixed windows, as proposed, aren’t recommended: “Fully sized windows should be incorporated into each façade. Additionally, varying fenestration patterns should be proposed throughout.”
Staff said the porches are too small and none should be incorporated into carports, as currently proposed. The proposed impervious cover, 64.4%, is not also consistent with Guidelines, staff said.
The site plan includes an internal 20-foot-wide driveway that connects with Riverside. Seventeen of the townhomes are situated off street and would depend on the driveway.
The architect is Nicholas Melde of Architexas. The developer is Peter Greenblum of Greenblum LLC. He is also head of Centro Builders LLC. Greenblum created 326 Riverside LLC to manage this project.
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.