San Antonio: Nix Hospital to Convert to Apartment-Condo Tower with Retail
Feature Photo (above): The main entrance to the Nix Building. The 24-story hospital closed in 2018 and was sold in December to Innjoy Hospitality. Image: Google Streets.
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar County) — Innjoy Hospitality is planning to convert the former 24-story Nix Medical Center into a mixed-use development with apartments, condominiums and street and river level retail, according to records filed with the state.
Innjoy Hospitality, conducting business on this project as Innjoy San Antonio LLC, filed a “condominium declaration” that was recorded Dec. 27. Such a declaration is required under state law when establishing a condominium development. The declaration includes creation of a condominiums owners association to establish the rights of future buyers.
The condominium portion of the project, however, is fairly small. The articles of declaration state that the number of condo units will be nine, at a minimum, and not more than 15.
According to preliminary schematics prepared by San Antonio-based 1718 Architecture LLC on Innjoy’s behalf, the project is going by the name The Nix Apartments. Innjoy, a subsidiary of OGI Hotels, is based in the Rio Grande Valley, and has offices in Houston and San Antonio.
A schematic of the ground level floor plan, as prepared by 1718 Architecture.
Other media reports have speculated that the Nix tower would be converted to a hotel. Innjoy gave some credence to that speculation by listing the Nix as a future “mixed use hotel” in its portfolio, and even suggested that it could become a Marriott Bonvoy. However, an Innjoy executive cautioned in one report that a hotel conversion was not a foregone conclusion.
The state filings and architectural schematics indicate Innjoy is moving in a different direction.
The “allocated interests” for the condominium concept specify that the square footage of the condo units will range from 1,550 square feet to 7,432 square feet.
The total square footage of the Nix is 278,839 square feet and the lion’s share (252,324 square feet) is being held by Innjoy for other uses. The floor plans from the second story to the penthouse level are all laid out for residential uses. The total number of units would be approximately 360.
The floor plans also reserve space at the street and River Walk levels for retail and restaurant uses, in addition to a lobby at the street level.
The Nix tower (center), as seen from the River Walk below Navarro Street bridge. Image: Google Streets.
The Nix has a small parking garage, just 2,112 square feet. The floor plans, however, indicate the garage will be significantly reduced or eliminate, because the parking ramp at ground level has been marked “convert to leasable area.”
The Nix tower was built in 1930. Designed by architect Henry T. Phelps, it is considered a historically significant downtown landmark. This brings it under the jurisdiction of the city’s Historic and Design Review Commission. Any restoration work or signage changes to the building’s exterior will be regulated by that commission.
Prospect Medical Holdings, a California company, had owned the Nix since 2011. The 208-bed acute care facility has been in decline for years and finally closed in 2018. Following its closure, Prospect Medical put the property on the market.
Located at 414 Navarro Street, the building sits on 0.3722 of an acre. The location is prime downtown real estate, situated at the northeast corner of the Navarro Street bridge at the San Antonio River in the core of the central business district.
Prospect Medical entered into a purchase agreement with Innjoy on Sept. 5. The parties closed on the property Dec. 27, with a $19 million loan from Green Rock Properties LLC of Houston. Green Rock was incorporated as a Texas limited liability company on Sept. 13, eight days after Prospect Medical and Innjoy shook hands on a possible transaction.
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.