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San Antonio: St. John’s Square Project Receives Go-Ahead from HDRC

Feature Illustration (above): View of the St. John’s Square 8-story mixed-income residence from East Nueva and St. Mary’s streets. Courtesy: Mark Odom Studio.

Posted: 2-6-2020

by Adolfo Pesquera

San Antonio (Bexar County) — An eight-story, mixed income residential building located near downtown’s La Villita received its Certificate of Appropriateness on Wednesday from the Historic and Design Review Commission.

Located at the southeast corner of East Nueva Street and South St. Mary’s Street, St. John’s Square will be built over what is presently a surface parking lot owned by St. John’s Lutheran Church.

VBX first reported on this project March 2019 when the initial designs by Mark Odom Studio were being considered for conceptual approval by the HDRC. The developer, Weal Development, was reportedly negotiating a 99-year ground lease with the church at that time.

The total building area is 249,698 square feet and the project has an estimated construction cost of about $53 million and a total development cost of more than $67 million. Weal Development selected Cadence McShane Construction Co. as general contractor.

Since March 2019, the San Antonio Housing Authority was brought into the project as a co-developer and Weal Development, represented by Dennis McDaniel, applied for a 4% housing tax credit from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. 

The TDHCA board’s decision is still pending, according to their website. However, a decision should be forthcoming this month.

Site plan of the ground floor. Courtesy: Mark Odom Studio.

“St Johns Square is a proposed 80/20 market rate/affordable housing development to be located in the heart of downtown San Antonio,” Weal Development stated in its TDHCA application. “The project is a joint venture between Dennis McDaniel of Weal Development, LLC and the San Antonio Housing Authority. St. Johns Square will be a ‘wrap’ product with 8 stories of parking and residential space. 

“There will be a total of 252 residential units. Of these, 54 will be affordable to households earning 50% or less of the Median Income. The remainder of the units will be leased at market rates. Of the 54 affordable units, 50 will be reserved for SAHA clients who are participating in the Move to Work program.”

This Type IB Construction of precast concrete will cover a 1.314-acre site. When completed, it will include a retail space at the St. Mary’s/Nueva corner, and an eighth floor gym and amenity deck with pool at the southwest corner. Studio units facing the alley to the south will overlook a narrow green strip that’s being referred to as the “backyard.”

The building height will be 93 feet to the penthouse roof, 87 feet to the parapet wall. Exterior materials include large format masonry, brick masonry, architectural façade panels, composite façade panels, and black metal windows.

The project was anticipated to reach the construction stage this month, according to a November 2019 architectural barriers project filing with the state. It is expected to reach substantial completion by early spring 2022.

The north side elevation provides a scale comparison of the 8-story building to St. John’s Lutheran Church and Nueva and Presa streets. Below the elevation rendering are samples of the proposed exterior materials. Courtesy: Mark Odom Studio.


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By |2020-02-06T16:06:52-05:00February 6th, 2020|Feature Story, Industry News|

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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