Texas Construction News from Virtual Builders Exchange
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar Co.) – The Historic and Design Review Commission approved the designs on two separate multifamily projects planned for the historic King William and Dignowity Hill districts.
Seventh Generation Design Inc., the architect for the City Center Lofts project by Houston-based Terramark Urban Homes, presented for conceptual approval on Wednesday plans to construct three new three-story townhome buildings that would consist of 24 residential units with a total of 18,162 square feet. Total area is 0.758 acres.
The square footage mix of units breaks down to six each of 965 sq. ft., 840 sq. ft., 652 sq. ft. and 570 sq. ft.
The site in Dignowity Hill includes five contiguous lots on two blocks that face Cherry Street, Center Street and Swiss Street. There are remnants of concrete foundations and concrete porches of structures that have been demolished that would have to be cleared.
The developer has proposed using brick facades and designs that are similar to historic buildings in the neighborhood. Exterior materials are to include brick, cast stone and contemporary metal elements. Exterior brick color options include buff, terracotta and yellow. Staff recommended buff and terracotta.
“Each townhome building features four one-bedroom units on the ground floor, each with a primary entrance and stoop that faces the street. Open staircases that lead to the second floor units also facing the street,” an Office of Historic Preservation staff report by Katie Totman said.
“The applicant has proposed an average plate height of 30 feet for each townhomes building. The majority of the structures in the immediate vicinity are commercial or industrial and vary in heigh. Staff finds that the proposed height is consistent with guidelines.
“The applicant has proposed a contemporary interpretation of brownstones found in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. Although brownstones are not typically found in San Antonio, staff finds that the context of the immediate vicinity lends to the appropriateness of the design.”
The site plan provides for 45 parking spaces (24 of them covered) for residents and visitors. Most of the parking is placed between and behind the buildings to screen them from passersby.
King William’s ‘Cedar at Pereida’
Coming back for final approval and a Certificate of Appropriateness was architect Jim Bailey of Alamo Architects on the redevelopment of properties once used by the Children’s Shelter of San Antonio. These lots are now owned by Stephen Yndo, an experienced King William District developer.
Plans Cedar at Pereida, as the development has been named, are to construct two buildings. One would consist of four 2,500-square-foot townhouse units with attached two-car garages. The other would consist of ten 1,800-square-foot townhouse units with attached one-car garages.
An existing historic structure, the Solon Steward House at 114 Cedar Street, will be relocated to 311 Pereida, a paved lot that was used by the Children’s Shelter as a playground and is partially fenced in by a limestone wall. A component of the request is permission to move the house, however, it will not be renovated as part of this project.
HDRC Vice Chair Michael Guarino explained that the Solon Steward House became part of the project at the request of King William Association and himself. Guarino had been in talks with San Antonio Independent School District since the early days of a planned renovation and expansion of nearby Bonham Elementary School; the Solon Stewart House is on the campus.
The school district refused to renovate and find a reuse for the house. When the Yndo project arrived, Guarino got the developer to include the house in his project.
“The house was not well treated, but there are lots of houses in King William that haven’t been well treated that made pretty spectacular comebacks, and we’re hoping this is one,” Guarino said.
The Children’s Shelter building, constructed in 1970, will be demolished as it is considered a historically “non-contributing” structure.
The proposed townhomes are three stories in height and will face Cedar in the 100 block.
“The proposed structures will feature a similar roof form, pitch, overhangs and orientation as that of the existing structures found along Cedar,” OHP staff stated. Building materials will consist of “a standing seam metal roof, fiberglass windows and doors, Victorian metal shingles, stucco, lap siding, steel railings and fencing and cedar fencing.”