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San Antonio: Harris Bay Takes Over Hotel Project on River Walk

Feature Illustration (above): Concept illustration of the proposed Artista boutique hotel by Harris Bay LLC. Courtesy: Harris Bay and CREO.

Posted: 5-23-2019

by Adolfo Pesquera

San Antonio (Bexar County)Harris Bay LLC, a Granite Bay, California real estate development company, has acquired a downtown property owned by a Key West, Florida developer that had planned to build a boutique hotel, according to a San Antonio Express-News report.

VBX reported in April 2017 that Seaside Hospitality Corporation received conceptual approval from the Historic and Design Review Commission on its designs for a seven-story boutique hotel. Seaside hired Ford, Powell & Carson to produce the architectural documents for a luxury hotel that would be part of its Saint Hotel brand.

Several old one-story commercial brick buildings were on the site at the time, but Seaside had them demolished. The property, 151 E. Travis Street, is a triangular lot with River Walk frontage that is across the river from the Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk.

According to Bexar County Clerk land records, a deed was transferred April 29 from Seaside to IconicOZ Artista Fund LLC for $2,166,180. The tract is just over two-tenths of an acre.

IconicOZ Artista is a federal opportunity zone fund created by Harris Bay that could provide the developer a substantial tax break under the 2017 tax bill. Anton Bayer, Harris Bay’s managing partner, assigned property rights to the fund.

The hotel project name is also Artista.

The Express-News reported that Harris Bay plans to build a 112-room, eight-story hotel with a rooftop bar, a restaurant and some retail.

The scale and shape is similar to the triangular-shaped seven-story that Seaside envisioned. Their design was 85 feet tall and included a 20-foot-tall lobby with a mezzanine level, as well as a basement level.

The triangular lot is now vacant land. Seaside demolished the commercial buildings prior to the sale. Image: Google Earth.

The triangular lot is now vacant land. Seaside Hospitality Corp. had the commercial buildings demolished prior to the sale. Image: Google Earth.

Harris Bay plans to break ground later this year, however, the project has not yet received conceptual approval from the HDRC.

Harris Bay has invested heavily in San Antonio’s inner city districts. The company acquired almost 3.5 acres near the Alamodome in January for a mixed-use project. See VBX Jan. 7 article.

In 2017, Harris Bay began a collaboration with Efraim Varga of Varga Endeavors on his nearly 8-acre master planned mixed-use project at Essex Modern City in Denver Heights of the East Side. Harris Bay now maintains an office at 51 Essex Street, home base for Essex Modern City.

CREO, the architect providing concept designs for the hotel, is also based at Essex Street.


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By |2019-05-23T10:21:59-06:00May 23rd, 2019|Construction Preview, Feature Story|

About the Author:

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.

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