San Antonio: Fiesta Trails Multifamily to Replace 16-Screen Cineplex
Feature Photo: The Regal Fiesta Theaters cineplex and its parking lot are proposed to be razed to make room for an apartment complex. Image: Google Streets.
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar County) — A Houston-based commercial developer has submitted plans for a multi-story multifamily development that will require the razing of a 16-screen theater.
WRI Fiesta Trails LP, the owner of record, submitted plans to the city’s Development Services Department on Nov. 15 for Fiesta Trails Multi-Family, that being the working title for an apartment complex that will “replace the Regal Fiesta San Antonio movie theater.”
WRI Fiesta Trails LP is a special purpose entity created by Weingarten Realty Investors for the purpose of holding title to the real property.
The 68,651-square-foot theater building and its parking lot occupy a 10.4-acre lot that is zoned commercial. It was constructed in 1996 and is adjacent to another Weingarten property that is occupied by a Stein Mart and Party City.
News4SA published a report Feb. 11 that stated Weingarten circulated a letter informing the Huntington Place Homeowners Association of a proposal to demolish the theater and parking lot to make way for a 350-unit apartment complex with landscaping.
District 8 City Councilman Manny Pelaez told News4SA that he is looking into the traffic impact and whether the proposed density is appropriate for that neighborhood.
The Huntington HOA, meanwhile, is trying to use a promise of its support as leverage to get Weingarten to pay for a four-way traffic signal at the private road that gives the theater access to Vance Jackson Road.
According to city records, Development Services is requiring a traffic impact analysis. The project status is marked “under review” and no date has yet been set for a public hearing with the Zoning Commission on the change to multifamily zoning.
Aerial view of the theater property and surrounding neighborhood. Image: Google Earth.
Pelaez cautioned that the project is in its infancy, adding, “Before I make any decisions, we’ll be requiring the builder and the owner to hold town hall meetings of their own to present their project to the neighborhood and let the neighborhoods weigh in, and we’ll be monitoring all the comments that come in from the neighborhoods to make sure that we understand the sentiments that arise from their seeing this project.”
Comparable multifamily projects in the 350-unit range have been in excess of 300,000 square feet and carried a development cost of more than $30 million.
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.