San Antonio: Multifamily Projects Slated for Near East and West Sides
Feature Photo (above): The San Antonio Housing Authority and 210 DG multifamily project site, viewed from Laredo Street looking north. Image: Google Streets.
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar County) — Harris Bay, a Roseville, California-based land developer, has assembled a block of real estate lots immediately south of the Alamodome for a mixed-use project that could include multifamily, a hotel and microbrewery.
A land use amendment request is pending before the Planning Commission at its Wednesday session.
Harris Bay’s proposed development is bounded by South Cherry Street, Iowa Street, Virginia Boulevard and the railroad tracks that run north-south and parallel to the Alamodome. It also includes a small triangular lot that is adjacent to the East Cesar Chavez Boulevard railroad overpass bridge.
Harris Bay put this block right of the railroad tracks under contract for a mixed-use development. The Alamodome can be seen to the north. Image: Google Streets.
In its entirety, the site encompasses 3.47 acres and includes the home of the Lone Star Carriage Company and their horse stables, and many single family residences that would have to be demolished or relocated.
The project is proceeding under the ownership of HB Properties I LLC, whose registered agent is Anton J. Bayer. Mr. Bayer is a founding partner of Harris Bay.
The application asks that a cluster of contiguous or adjacent lots be converted in the city’s land use plan from “light industrial” to “mixed use.”
Harris Bay’s proposed mixed-use project site. Courtesy: City of San Antonio.
The staff analysis states that, “The land use amendment is requested in order to rezone the property … to (infill development zone) with uses in (commercial 2), multifamily (not to exceed 350 dwelling units), bar, micro-brewery, beer garden, and hotel in order to develop a mixed use development on underutilized and industrial property.”
This would be Harris Bay’s second major development in San Antonio. In 2016, Harris Bay partnered with local developer Efraim Varga to do a high-end mixed-use project on about 8 acres in Denver Heights, just four blocks south of this latest project.
Located southwest of the intersection of Cherry and Carolina Streets, Essex Modern City–as it has been named–has not yet broken ground. The plan is to invest between $75 million and $150 million for a development that will include market-rate condominiums, live-work units, creative office space, and ground-floor retail.
Conceptual illustration of the Essex Modern City development. Courtesy: Harris Bay
SAHA & 210 Development:
SAHA submitted a request to the city’s Development Services Department to change from commercial to mixed-use, a 3.8-acre tract located at the confluence of Alazan Creek and Apache Creek on the near West Side.
The Planning Commission is scheduled to hear on Wednesday a request to amend the Guadalupe Westside Community Plan to change the land use from “community commercial” to “infill development zone” with multifamily uses not to exceed 200 units.
According to a staff analysis, “This is consistent with the Guadalupe Westside Community Plan’s goal to consider mixed use developments which promote compatibility through design guidelines and encourage pedestrian activity on the street.”
SAHA owns the land, which has 200 Tampico Street as its address. Its boundaries are the two creeks to the west, Tampico Street to the north, the South Pecos la Trinidad frontage road of Interstate 35 to the east, and South Laredo Street to the south.
There has been intense multifamily development activity, mostly at market rates, just east of the expressway, where Laredo Street changes name to Cevallos Street. New apartment developments have been popping up along or near Cevallos all the way to the San Antonio River.
The project site is a tract that is part of an old industrial district that for years was home to many meat packing and produce businesses.
There is a brick office/storage warehouse facility of about 9,600 square feet, built in 1953, that has been vacant for years. There is also a 37,976-square-foot asphalt parking lot. The building and surface parking will have to be demolished to allow for a new apartment development.
Tim Alcott, SAHA’s real estate and legal services officer, is the property owner representative on the application.
Michael Wibracht, managing partner of 210 Development Group, is the co-applicant. The law firm Kaufman & Killen Inc. is acting as outside legal counsel.
210 Development specializes in adaptive reuse of urban sites for infill multifamily development. Ongoing projects include the Vitré Apartments, a 242-unit complex with 5,000 square feet of street level retail on the West Side site of the old Toudouze Market, 120 Leona Street; the restoration of Billy Mitchell Village at Port San Antonio; and conversion of the historic St. John’s Seminary campus off the Spanish Missions trail, 222 E. Mitchell Street, to mixed-income multifamily.
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.