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San Antonio: Multifamily Developer Revives 2018 Proposal for Southtown Market Rate Project

Feature Illustration: The concept site plan for The Probandt Apartments, a proposed 310-unit, four-story market rate residential building to be constructed at 400 Probandt Street. Image: Davies Collaborative.

Posted: 11-15-2021

by Adolfo Pesquera

San Antonio (Bexar County) — A four-story apartment building project located in Southtown that was first introduced in 2018 will go before the Historic and Design Review Commission this week.

The project architect, Austin-based Davies Collaborative, is requesting conceptual approval of their designs for a single multifamily structure with an enclosed pool and a separate enclosed courtyard.

The proposed new structure will be 52 feet in height and have 310 market rate apartment units wrapped around a multi-level parking garage.

As reported in a May 2018 VBX article, this project was initially presented to the Zoning Commission in the spring of 2018 on a petition to change the 4.2-acre site from industrial to multifamily use.

The request was initially rejected because the density level was thought by a majority of the commission to be too high at 400 units. In June of 2018, the rezoning was approved on condition that the density would be reduced to no more than 80 units per acre.

The proposed site has been a recycling center for decades. It’s been operated by Federal International.

Partial view (above) of the west elevation of The Probandt Apartments. Image: Davies Collaborative.

In 2018, OHT Partners (Oden Hughes) was the sole developer identified with this project. There was little progress made on it through the rest of 2018 through 2020, however, and upon its revival OHT Partners is now affiliated on this venture with Jimmy Nassour, an Austin real estate attorney/land developer.

Nassour appears on this project through Cabot-Chase Ltd. OHT Partners appears on this project through OH Probandt Investments LLC.

In its project summary, OHT Partners identified the project name as The Probandt Apartments. OHT said, “The project will redevelop an existing, active trash and recycling facility which will help revitalize the corridor and catalyze future development. Unlike the prior projects in the immediate area, Probandt Apartments will not be the beneficiary of any tax abatement program meaning the full cost of the project will be shouldered by the developer.”

The building will be a 4-story, wood-framed, Type VA building with a five level pre-cast parking garage, The OHT summary said. It will include 8,000 square feet of interior amenity space, two outdoor courtyards, and a resort-style pool.

“The project architecture was designed to complement and preserve the historical character of the City of San Antonio and adjacent King William neighborhood. Vast amounts of brick paired with the board and batten panel system helps unify the elevations with the neighborhood vernacular.

“The project plans to pay homage to the historical aesthetic of San Antonio with a terracotta-style brick. Finally, the large amounts of glass paired with the balconies for every unit help create a strong streetscape scene for the development.”

The project site falls within the River Improvement Overlay District #4, which aims to protect the view corridors coming off the San Antonio River. It is shielded to the east by the Flats at Big Tex apartments across the railroad, and the vast majority of The Probandt Apartments will not be visible from the river.

In addition, there is a significant grade change–approximately 17 feet–between Probandt Apartments and the San Antonio River trail, further reducing the visibility.

As a result, the project will primarily only be able to visible on its northwest and west elevations from Probandt Street.

Upon its review of the conceptual approval request, the city’s Development Services Department staff made the following comments:

  • The existing site features a number of industrial structures and warehouses. A demolition review for these existing structures has not yet occurred.
  • The applicant has proposed a sidewalk parallel to the right of way on Probandt.
  • The parking structure will be wrapped by residential units on each side and will be accessed by vehicles from Probandt.
  • The applicant has proposed numerous architectural elements that promote a human scale, has divided the façade into various building modules and generally has expressed building modules.
  • The proposed façade segments are separated by both vertical and horizontal banding, variations in materials and textures, awnings, balcony recesses and varying façade planes.
  • Roof Form–The submitted perspective renderings note that the hipped roof form will not be visible from certain angles due to the height of the proposed parapet walls. Staff finds that the applicant should study the reduction of the height of the ridge line at each hipped roof form or submit line of sight studies that show that hipped roof forms and their ridge lines will not be visible from the right of way.
  • The proposed materials include both white and red brick with a running bond, aluminum storefront systems, fiber cement board and batten siding, fiber cement panels and fiber cement lap siding.
  • Signage–The applicant has noted the location of a blade sign to be located on the Probandt façade.

VBX Project ID: 2018-4D1B


adolfo@virtualbx.com

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By |2021-11-15T14:00:50-06:00November 15th, 2021|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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