San Antonio: Merritt Development Group Goes for C of A on 8-Story Downtown Hotel
Texas Construction News from Virtual Builders Exchange
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar County) – Merritt Development Group is seeking a Certificate of Appropriateness for an eight-story hotel that must incorporate parts of a historic Masonic building that was also formerly the Bexar County Courthouse.
The hotel project at 114/118 Soledad Street was previously heard in July 2016 for conceptual approval of the architectural plans and comes back to the Historic and Design Review Commission this afternoon for individual consideration.
Merritt Development also received permission in December to demolish the Solo Serve Building, which occupied a portion of the proposed construction site, and begin construction of the foundation. In addition, efforts were undertaken to preserve the lower 11-foot stone wall along the San Antonio River that was part of the historic Masonic building and courthouse.
The stone from that wall will be reused to feature contemporary openings and historically related openings.
According to state architectural barrier records, Merritt Development is building a Hampton Inn & Sutie Home2 Suites by Hilton at an estimated cost of $22 million. The building will have 213 guest rooms and a basement level. Amenities are to include a breakfast pantry, fitness center, guest laundry, outdoor pool, retail space at street level and at river level.
Since the project was last considered, the developer has sold a portion of the site that was not going to be developed. There was discussion at the time that it would be converted into a small park, but with the sale that issue is moot.
With respect to the structure’s treatment of views, an Office of Historic Preservation staff analysis notes, “The section of the Riverwalk currently features somewhat of a canyon effect given the location of multi-height structures along the river on both the east and west sides. The applicant has proposed to setback the structures massing and has incorporated setbacks and offsets within the structure’s façade.”
The proposed setbacks preserve existing views of the river north of the site from various vantage points south of the proposed new construction, staff said.
There will be public access from Soledad to the Riverwalk. At the Riverwalk, there will be a stone patio adjacent to the public right of way.
Separate paving materials clearly distinguishable from the adjacent patio paving materials will be used. Paving materials include tile, irregular formed concrete and concrete pavers.
Riverwalk site plan. Courtesy of Bounds & Gillespie Architects.
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.