San Antonio: German-English School to be Part of Nine-Story Hotel
Feature Illustration (above): Hotel drop off and lobby entrance point to the boutique hotel that is incorporating the German-English School. Courtesy: HKS.
Originally Posted: 12-2-2019
UPDATE: (Correction: This article was updated Dec. 5 to correct an error. The earlier versions misidentified the current property owner.)
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar County) — A nine-story luxury hotel that will incorporate the historic German-English School at 423 S. Alamo Street is being proposed by an Indiana-based hotel management company.
A request for approval of concept was to be presented Wednesday to the Historic and Design Review Commission.
The Historic and Design Review Commission agreed unanimously on Wednesday, Dec. 4, to grant conceptual approval on the boutique hotel project located south of the German-English School, and which will incorporate the historic school buildings. White Lodging Services Corporation of Merrillville, Indiana presented itself as the property owner and project developer.
The concept is for a nine-story hotel with approximately 275 rooms on land currently used as a surface parking lot.The developer also wants to convert the south building of the German-English School (built circa 1858) into a restaurant, and the north building into an event center.
Above: Overall site plan at ground level. Below: the overall roof plan. Courtesy: HKS.
Modifications would be made to the existing courtyard that is between the two historic school buildings. Between the tower and the south school building, there is proposed a new one-story structure with an entrance/drop-off area facing Alamo Street. It would lead into the lobby and behind that is a grand ballroom.
The HDRC’s Design Review Committee held a preliminary meeting with the architects on Nov. 12. Committee members suggested more be done to incorporate the historic structures into the hotel design.
The tower height is proposed to be from 110 to 120 feet. Staff said the height is appropriate within the context of the Downtown District. The property is also within the boundaries of the La Villita Historic District. In fact, the irregular shaped lot has a finger that extends to Nueva Street.
East elevations for the German-English School and boutique hotel. Courtesy: HKS.
HKS Architects, the project designer, describes a tower with a rooftop bar facing Alamo Street that overlooks Hemisfair Park. Behind it is a rooftop swimming pool. The tower has a slight chevron shape, giving the appearance to two wings. Beyond the pool at the ninth level are more guest rooms.
Aubrey Hartman, a vice president with the Dallas office of HKS, described the designs. In addition to the aforementioned features, Hartman said a fitness center overlooking Southtown will be included.
The ground level of the hotel will be dedicated to meeting and event space uses. Levels three to seven will be occupied by guest rooms.
Concept for the renovated courtyard of the German-English School historic buildings. Courtesy: HKS.
As presented to the HDRC, the hotel concept had no brand name and was simply referred to as “Boutique Hotel.” The White Lodging portfolio includes AC Hotel, Aloft and Marriott Courtyard brands.
White Lodging acquired the property earlier this year from Ashford Hospitality Trust, a Dallas-based company and REIT (real estate investment trust). That transaction included the acquisition of the adjacent hotel property, the Marriott Plaza San Antonio at 555 S. Alamo Street.
Concept for the rooftop bar at the ninth level amenity deck. Courtesy: HKS.
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.