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  #1  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2009, 6:47 AM
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sirkingwilliam sirkingwilliam is offline
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Stalled Broadway Development Eyes October Restart



1221 Broadway may someday be offices, retail and
apartments. There has been virtually no construction on it since
October 2004 because of lawsuits, other disputes and financing problems.



Quote:
Development eyes October restart

If all goes according to plan, construction on a long-stalled project on Broadway at U.S. 281 finally could resume as early as October.

The project, which was started in February 2003, has sat virtually untouched since October 2004.

But a string of lawsuits have finally been settled, clearing the way for local developer Ed Cross, through his partnership called Colina del Rio LP, to turn the eyesore into an urban mixed-use project with office, retail and apartment development called 1221 Broadway.

“We see it as the gateway to downtown,” Cross said. “It's highly visible both as you come in on Broadway and on 281. It's critical that it's an exemplary building of architecture and design, and can be the kind of project that San Antonio will be proud of.”

The project currently is made up of several concrete-and-steel building shells. When complete, the project will have 292 loft-style apartments, 76,673 square feet of office and retail space, and 533 parking spaces. Another story will be added to the four-story concrete structures, and the one steel structure toward the center of the site will serve as a parking garage.

Delays have plagued the project from the beginning.

Its original developer, George Geis, through his Villaje del Rio Ltd. partnership, stopped construction over disputes with his contractor, traded lawsuits with the contractor and then defaulted on a $26.7 million loan he received from Deutsche Bank.

The U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department was assigned the loan in June 2005, incurring the debt. Six months later, HUD sold that debt to Cross, who later foreclosed on the property and bought it for nearly $4.8 million in 2006.

Geis sued HUD in December 2005 to prevent it from selling the note to Cross, and he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

He also sued Cross in 2006 to prevent the foreclosure. Although a court ruled in Cross' favor, Geis appealed it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which denied the petition this past December.

In 2007, Cross sued Geis for allegedly practicing architecture without a license, and Cross won $1.2 million in a settlement. Geis still could appeal this ruling.

“We basically spent three years in court,” Cross said. And now, the current lending climate is proving difficult to get the project under way again.

“Capital markets for virtually all commercial real estate are very dysfunctional,” said Chad Carey, whose Regent Living company is looking to finance an apartment project farther north on Broadway. “It's borderline impossible to find capital for new projects. Both of our projects serve a unique market, and it's frustrating for both of us.”

But Cross and his partners might have found an option.

They met with HUD officials Monday to discuss financing the project. If HUD approves, the application process could be complete by September, and construction would start soon after.

Even with the lawsuits settling, there still will be some delay because of the process for applying for HUD financing. Rather than apply for financing and then finalizing his engineering, design and building plans, Cross had to have all the plans complete before meeting with HUD.

Though construction still is months away from resuming, proponents of downtown are hopeful that the project will help spur more investment in the River North area, especially with the newly opened River Walk expansion.

“It has been a bit of a black eye and needs to heal,” said Ben Brewer, president of the Downtown Alliance. “Moving that project forward and completing it would be huge. I think seeing a residential project completed would get people enthused about even more residential development in the area. There's a psychological aspect to seeing that project move forward.”
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Old Posted Jun 16, 2009, 2:55 PM
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oldmanshirt oldmanshirt is offline
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Oh man, I opened this thread thinking it was the Koontz-McCombs highrise "Broadway" project, and thinking "what the heck??"

Glad to hear they have some idea when things are gonna get started, it'll be nice to see this thing finally get finished.
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Old Posted Jun 16, 2009, 5:01 PM
BigBird9 BigBird9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmanshirt View Post
Oh man, I opened this thread thinking it was the Koontz-McCombs highrise "Broadway" project, and thinking "what the heck??"

Glad to hear they have some idea when things are gonna get started, it'll be nice to see this thing finally get finished.
That's what I thought too. That thing has looked the same since I lived in SA about five years ago, so it will be nice to see it finished.
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Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 4:06 AM
adtobias adtobias is offline
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to bad its not a high rise. to all more people to enjoy the new river front
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  #5  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 4:53 AM
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Two images of 1221 Broadway are from the perspective of the River Walk extension.
(Current photo by Creighton Welch/E-N. Rendering courtesy Ed Cross.)
Quote:
Those enormous shells of buildings at 1221 Broadway could actually start to become something in October via developer Ed Cross, through his Colina del Rio LP partnership.

For years, Cross has been in litigation with the project's former developer George Geis. You can find the details of the legal wrangling in today's Express-News article written by Sir Creighton Welch.

Cross now has the property. He just needs the money to turn those buildings into residential and retail space. He's turned to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department for financing, and that process has been under way.

The property rests right on the River Walk expansion and is within the boundaries of River North, the area targeted for revitalization.

According to today's article, the project has "sat virtually untouched since October 2004."

While the architecture of Cross' recently-completed Vistana, the 14-story apartment building on West Houston St. and North Santa Rosa Ave., is art deco-inspired, he's aiming for an "all new skin. . . industrial, urban loft-type buildings," he said.

Two weeks ago, Cross took Mr. Welch and I on a tour of 1221 and Colina del Rio's other properties in the same area. It seems like most of the properties in River North are either owned by Cross and Geis. Cross said he's done acquiring property. It's time to concentrate on making River North happen.

"We've really bought all the land we're going to buy," Cross said. "My goal has been to start on a project every year."


— Benjamin Olivo
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  #6  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 5:44 AM
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I'm excited about the new, industrial urban style that he wants to build. No more brown! Although its too soon to say that, lol
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  #7  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 2:15 PM
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Thank God for Ed Cross. He owns this and another property that fronts the River and 9th. He also owns a couple of properties on Broadway and a couple more on Alamo.
If he wants one per year, we could see (assuming they would all be residential) up to 1200-1500 new residential units in the area if his projects all end up being residential of at least 4-5 floors apiece.
These projects plus the Pearl and 1800 could add up to 3000+ residents in on the River North/Lower Broadway corridor in the next 5 years. Ed Cross wants to be the pioneer that took a chance on downtown and it will pay off for him. Emotion is what causes some people to go to great lengths to see revitalization happen, and by listening and reading about Ed Cross, you can truly see that he loves SA and that he loves Downtown.
Just another part of the greater picture, ready to catch speed in that upward spiral.
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Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 2:40 PM
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^^ Agree with miaht82 as usual...

I think I am ready to accept that the River North boom will happen as soon as 2 or 3 of these type projects come on-line. The true greatness of the neighborhood will not be in the developments that line the river (although they will get the glamour), but in the ancillary developments that occur once the river frontage has been consumed.

The neighborhood will be a true destination neighborhood (and a true success) when it can be said that living 2 and 3 blocks from the river is both desirable and possible. With this development finally looking poised to get cracking, I can honestly say that I can see the potential taking shape here...
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Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 3:57 PM
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Pearl District, version 2.0!
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