San Antonio: Houston Developer Proposes 4-Story Multifamily Building in Midtown
Feature Illustration: Concept elevations for the four-story apartment building, as it fronts the 300 block of West Grayson Street side. Courtesy: Urban Gensesis.
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar County) — A Houston-based real estate developer is proposing a four-story multifamily building to be constructed off North St. Mary’s Street.
The Zoning Commission on Tuesday heard a request to convert a 1.17-acre tract from Infill Development Zone 2 to Infill Development Zone 3. The difference would allow density on the site to increase from 50 units per acre to 113 units.
District 1 Zoning Commissioner Summer Greathouse, taking into account objections raised by neighbors, arranged a two-week continuance to give the developer and neighbors time to meet at the District 1 office in hopes of working out their differences.
The proposed site went through a zoning change just last June, when City Council approved a conversion from a density limit of 36 units/acre to the current 50 units/acre. That project was capped at 58 units.
At the April 20 session, counsel for the developer, Ashley Farrimond of Killen, Griffin & Farrimond, said the concept had changed from a product that would have two-bedroom units to one that only has one-bedroom units.
The project presented last year was titled SoJo Commons by SoJo Urban Development and it involved the placement of four buildings on the same site, all of them being four stories. VBX reported that effort in this May 20, 2020 article.
Since then there was a change in ownership and a new plan was unveiled by the current developer, Urban Genesis LLC. The project is located on a block that fronts the 700 block of East Locust Street to the south and the 300 block of West Grayson Street to the north. It is less than a block east of North St. Mary’s Street on the West Grayson side.
Concept floor plans of the ground level parking and second level residential. Courtesy: Urban Genesis.
Rather than four buildings, the new site plan consists of one building that occupies the entire site. In order to mitigate neighbor’s concerns about traffic, Urban Genesis designed a ground floor plan that limits vehicular access to Grayson Street.
Farrimond noted that there would be no on-street parking issues because the ground floor is a parking garage that will accommodate 122 vehicles and 126 bicycles. She also tried to squelch neighborhood rumors that there would be crazy pool parties and a general atmosphere of noisy after-hours activities.
“This project will have no amenities,” Farrimond said. “The focus is really just a community where people live. The amenity for this project is the area.”
By that, Farrimond meant the location is already a massive entertainment district where future tenants are walking distance to the North St. Mary’s Street and Pearl district nightlife.
The proposed building is primarily four stories in height. However, the east and west sections of the building drop to three stories, a design feature that is intended to make it conform to neighboring structures.
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.