San Antonio: H-E-B to Add 10-Level Parking Garage to Campus Headquarters
Feature Illustration (above): FPC concept rendering of the parking structure and pedestrian bridge, looking south/southwest from Flores Street at Cesar Chavez Boulevard.
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar County) — H-E-B is requesting concept approval of its design for a 10-level parking structure that would be constructed west of South Flores Street at its campus headquarters.
The Historic and Design Review Commission will take a vote on the designs tomorrow. The structure includes 10,000 square feet of office space.
The proposed garage will have nine levels of above ground parking and one level underground. It is designed to accommodate 928 vehicles.
In addition, like the parking structure the H-E-B constructed recently north of East Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard at Dwyer Avenue, the grocery company proposes a pedestrian bridge that would span South Flores Street. It has an arched design similar to the existing bridge.
Two new curb cuts are to be made on the west side of the street to provide access to and from the garage, and H-E-B proposes improvements to the pedestrian realm by widening the sidewalk, and planting trees, shrubs and other landscaping.
The proposed garage would have an overall height of 107 feet, which is 11 feet taller than allowed by the development code and the difference will require a variance from the Board of Adjustment.
Schematic sketch of the east elevation of the proposed parking garage/office building. Courtesy: FPC.
Screening elements are included. This will be done by the installation of vertical gardens at various locations and the installation of metal louvers. The human scale standards are also being met by separating the façade through the use of façade panels, and by incorporating a rooftop trellis type shade structure that includes solar panels.
The steel and concrete construction will be covered predominantly with D’Hanis tile.
H-E-B owns most of the half block west of Flores, everything south of the La Quinta Inn & Suites located at the southwest corner of Cesar Chavez and Flores. The new structure would occupy a surface parking lot that is north of the culinary school building, 601 S. Flores St., at the northwest corner of Flores and El Paso Street.
The project site encompasses a two-story office building at 605 S. Flores St. In addition, a third building complex, 529-541 S. Flores St., stands where H-E-B planning to set up its construction staging area; that would also have to be demolished. Those buildings were constructed of brick in the early half of the 20th century.
The project site (in red) includes a two-story office building that must be demolished. A second building complex (left in yellow) is to be torn down to make room for the construction staging area. Image: Google Earth.
In May, M&M Contracting Ltd. submitted an application for the demolition of two commercial structures. It states in part that the Office of Historic Preservation “letter of approval indicates that H-E-B is demolishing four buildings: 529-531-541-605.” As of today, the permit had not yet been issued.
Another change in the works is the expansion of the courtyard that exists on the north side of the culinary school building. The courtyard would be extended to the west in the form of an herb garden.
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.