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San Antonio: Urban Brownstone Development ‘City Center’ Phase 2 Gets Design Approval

Feature Illustration (above): Concept rendering of a corner unit three-story brownstone in the City Center East Side development. Image: Terramark Urban Homes.

Posted: 5-22-2020

by Adolfo Pesquera

San Antonio (Bexar County) — More than four years after it was first introduced, the East Side urban brownstone development known as City Center received its Certificate of Appropriateness on the final designs for phase two.

The Historic and Design Review Commission consented to the C-of-A request Wednesday. City Center is a two-block development and the brain child of Terramark Urban Homes.

Terramark began the review process on City Center in the fall of 2015. VBX first reported on it in this Jan. 20, 2016 article, The original concept faced numerous obstacles and underwent many revisions. During a later round of review, VBX reported on the changes in this Nov. 15, 2017 article.

The Phase 2 landscape site plan for City Center.

In a March letter submitted to the city, Terramark recalled that in Feb. 2017, City Center received conceptual site plan and massing approval from the HDRC. In November of 2018, the first phase of City Center received final approval to construct 8 homes.

“The first 8 homes are currently under construction and will be  completed in Fall 2020,” said Ricardo Arjona, lead designer for Terramark. “Terramark Urban Homes proposes to build 18 new homes in the next phase of City Center consisting of three duplexes and three fourplexes, located in the Dignowity Hill  Historic District.”

The development is located where the 400 block of Center Street intersects with the 100 block of North Cherry Street.

Each duplex & fourplex contains three-story, three-bedroom units, with entrances on all street sides. Every unit is approximately 1670 square feet with two enclosed parking spaces, Terramark said.

Aerial view of the City Center site. Phase 1 construction can be seen in progress to the left of Swiss Street.

“The proposed architectural design seeks to bridge the gap between the immediate surrounding industrial context and residential Dignowity Hill neighborhoods, by re-introducing the “brownstone/rowhouse” typology found in historic districts around the country.

“The brownstone typology typically uses materials such as brick, cast concrete, horizontal siding, metal, and stucco. These can be also be found in the San Antonio area allowing the opportunity to use the same San Antonio material palette.

“Stoops, balconies, large windows, and landscaping engage the street to support the continuation of the streetscape and increase foot traffic. Brick details, corbeled cornices, and various architectural elements draw inspiration from historic precedents in the area and generate complexity in the façades.”

The proposed design shows a different façade to each townhome giving diversity to the streetscape.

Elevations for Building 6, a fourplex.

Related Images

Construction Preview
By |2020-05-22T16:54:07-05:00May 22nd, 2020|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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