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Old Posted Mar 4, 2016, 7:26 PM
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21-story hotel and condo tower coming to downtown San Antonio

21-story hotel and condo tower coming to downtown San Antonio
By Richard Webner, Staff WriterMarch 4, 2016

Developers are talking with city officials about building a 21-story hotel and condo tower on the River Walk that would redraw part of San Antonio’s stagnant skyline.

Houston-based Powers Brown Architecture has submitted plans for a tower on a 0.66-acre vacant lot at 101 Lexington Ave. across from the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. The tower is the latest bit of good news for the city’s effort to build up downtown — another developer revealed plans last month for a 30-story apartment tower on the River Walk.

The building also would be a win for the northern part of downtown, which got a boost when the Tobin Center in 2014 opened but remains marred by large swathes of parking lots.

“Done well, it could be great for responding to the success of the Tobin Center and could help to provide some great options for that area,” said District 1 Councilman Roberto Treviño, whose district would include the tower.

The tower, which is scheduled to be considered at the March 16 meeting of the Historic and Design Review Commission, would include seven levels of parking, six of hotel space and seven of condominiums, Treviño said.

“That’s good news for the urban core. We welcome more residential living,” said Pat DiGiovanni, CEO and president of Centro San Antonio. “The big question is supply and demand of hotel rooms … I’m not sure of the need for more hotels, but that’s not to say it’s not warranted.”

Powers Brown, which also has offices in Denver and in the Washington, D.C., area, has taken the lead in designing major projects in Houston recently, including two condo towers: the 33-story Arabella near The Galleria, and the 24-story Ivy Lofts east of downtown.

Representatives of Powers Brown didn’t comment on the plans for the tower.

The city has struggled to achieve the goals of the Decade of Downtown initiative that former Mayor Julián Castro launched in 2010 to attract development into San Antonio’s urban center. But officials have had a lot to celebrate in the last year.

Dallas-based JMJ Development announced plans in February to build a 30-story luxury apartment tower on the River Walk close to the Tower Life Building, and the HDRC gave conditional approval for a 24-story boutique Hilton hotel on Commerce Street along the River Walk. In January, the city unveiled the snazzy $325 million expansion of the Convention Center.

In December, H-E-B opened downtown’s first full-fledged grocery store in decades on South Flores Street. And in June, City Council approved a deal between the city, Weston Urban and Frost Bank that will lead to downtown’s first new office tower in more than 25 years.
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