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  #1301  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2008, 3:51 AM
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Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
Well, I hope now that you hail from San Antonio you can come to the next forum meet. Everyone else too of course.
Yeah!
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  #1302  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2008, 1:18 PM
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SIRKINGWILLIAM has the renderings of this project...

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/loc...big_boost.html

HAVEN FOR HOPE GETS BIG BOOST

Haven for Hope, the full-service homeless campus being built just west of downtown, is expected to receive a major boost this morning in the form of a gift for construction of its health and wellness center.

The details of the gift — who is making it and for how much — will be revealed at a news conference next to the construction site. But it is expected to exceed the $5 million gift made by Bill Greehey, chairman of NuStar Energy and one of the city's most generous philanthropists.

Greehey says the gift will be the largest to date to the nonprofit corporation formed to build and oversee the 22-acre one-stop campus, which will boast an array of services: shelter, food, education, job training, medical, dental and mental health care, legal support and more.

“God has truly blessed this project and (today's) historic announcement is further proof of that,” said the former Valero chief, who early on committed to raising $47 million in private funds for the venture.

He said the gift brings him within $10 million of that goal.

Construction on the campus is well under way, and the health and wellness center, housed in what was an old warehouse at North Frio and North Salado streets, is slated to open in January of next year. It will be named after its major donor.

The building will include medical, dental and vision services, and will be open to the surrounding community as well as for those served by Haven for Hope. It will also house Haven's intake center, the starting point for homeless people seeking help and “transformation,” the project's most important buzzword.

Across the street from the campus, the new public safety triage and detoxification center, recently renamed “the Restoration Center,” has already begun offering those services.
Opened just three months ago, the center has already saved taxpayers money by keeping those with alcohol and drug problems who get picked up for minor offenses out of jail and local emergency rooms, officials say.

“Direct savings for avoiding the use of the detention center (jail) and the magistrates court is estimated to be $330,480,” wrote Charles S. Bowker, the chief financial officer for the Center for Health Care Services, which runs the center.

That doesn't factor in operational costs, but Bowker and others predict the savings will only increase as Haven for Hope becomes operational, beginning next year.
Experts estimate that 60 percent of the homeless have untreated drug and alcohol problems. Those at Haven will spend up to six hours a day in long-term treatment at the center.

While thankful for the latest donation, Greehey also had kind words for the city and county, which are both contributing.

“This was always conceived as a public-private partnership, and both the city and the county have been incredible partners,” he said.

The city of San Antonio has committed $15 million for land, demolition costs and other purposes.

Bexar County originally agreed to give $5 million, but proposed on Tuesday, as part of its 2009 budget, to increase that amount by another $5 million to help pay the increased capital costs.
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  #1303  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2008, 8:12 PM
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Found this new rendering of the Houston Street Aloft. I wish it were full size so we could see exactly how tall it'll be.

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  #1304  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2008, 8:14 PM
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[QUOTE=sakyle04;3751759]SIRKINGWILLIAM has the renderings of this project.../QUOTE]

Thanks to you.






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  #1305  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2008, 8:35 PM
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Originally Posted by sirkingwilliam View Post
Found this new rendering of the Houston Street Aloft. I wish it were full size so we could see exactly how tall it'll be.

There's a portion of the adjacent building's roof in the lower left side of the rendering. Add about 54-60 feet for the remaining building to get the height.

I'm guessing 16 floors and about 130'
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  #1306  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2008, 9:13 PM
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HERE YOU GO GUYS!! THE PICTURE WE'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!!

Thanks SKW, i hope you don't mind i keep the address just in case I need to send something again,
i find all this stuff and don't know how to post it, but I finally figured this one out.

Oh and the hole at Embassy site.. is it possible it is having underground parking like the G Hyatt?
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  #1307  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2008, 9:58 PM
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^^^^ Nice!!!
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  #1308  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2008, 11:15 PM
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Haven't we seen that aloft rendering before??
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  #1309  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2008, 7:45 AM
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Paul in S.A TX Paul in S.A TX is offline
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more density for downtown SA! nice!
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2018 S. A. Pop.1.51 million
metro 2.5 million/REGION 4.7million
San Antonio economy and largest economic sectors. Annual contribution towards GDP.
U.S. Dept of Defense $48.5 billion/Manufacturing $40.5 billion/Healthcare-Biosciences $40 billion/Finance-Insurance $20 billion/Tourism $15 billion/ Technology $10 billion.
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  #1310  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2008, 2:25 AM
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Taken by Sadeezy @ Flickr

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  #1311  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2008, 11:00 PM
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Here's a few downtown views from the 20th floor of the Vidorra and the 7th floor of the Vistana, courtesy of the E-N Real Estate blog.

Vidorra





Vistana




Original Article
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  #1312  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2008, 6:09 PM
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That's a pretty sweet view there. I think I'll buy a penthouse on the 20th floor...
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  #1313  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2008, 1:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99jeep View Post
That's a pretty sweet view there. I think I'll buy a penthouse on the 20th floor...
Write me up too.
The Vidorra views are very nice.
The publisher in that nest fest blog didn't include the views from Vistana looking east downtown though..... I bet they are nice too.
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  #1314  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2008, 1:49 AM
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That's a pretty sweet view there. I think I'll buy a penthouse on the 20th floor...
I'd have to have a view looking north or south, I think. All those parking lots north of Rivercenter are too depressing
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  #1315  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2008, 5:59 PM
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Originally Posted by oldmanshirt View Post
I'd have to have a view looking north or south, I think. All those parking lots north of Rivercenter are too depressing
I have a feeling there'll be another hotel with convention space in that lot by the Marriott after a few years. The one behind the Alamo (with building height restrictions) should be turned into a park... or at least a parking garage with a park on the roof.
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  #1316  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2008, 7:06 PM
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^^^ Really? I envision townhomes there, or a three story apartment building with parking in the middle.
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  #1317  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2008, 1:34 AM
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A big part of SA's economy has always been tourism based. That means hotels and conventions. There's not much space left for adding convention center square footage. That parking lot could be more convention hall space that could easily be connected to the mall or convention center with sky bridges and such. That was my line of thinking.

Also, just thinking about Vegas and Atlantic City... lots of hotels clustered together with sky bridges connecting them to each other and their parking garages.
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  #1318  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2008, 3:22 AM
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from thevistana.com:
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  #1319  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2008, 10:29 PM
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http://www.sanantonio.gov/historic/docs/HDRC_AGENDA.pdf

Look at pages 217 to the end. It's the art for the bridges and the underpasses of the museum reach and the medal of honor memorial on auditorium circle.
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  #1320  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2008, 1:24 PM
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from: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/loc...rand_mess.html

GRAND HYATT IS A GRAND MESS


FaulknerUSA, the company the city hired to build the Grand Hyatt hotel and condominiums at the convention center, has busted its deadline to finish the job by almost seven months and is being ordered to “substantially complete” the project by mid-October.

Subcontractors and workers have filed at least 68 liens claiming the Austin company owes them almost $13 million. FaulknerUSA and its partners also face 17 lawsuits.

Frustrated by repeated delays, the city Aug. 21 told the company to finish the last floor of the 34-story hotel by the new deadline. About 60 of the 1,003 rooms still are under construction, said Tom Netting, the Grand Hyatt's managing director.

The top eight floors of condos must at least be partly built by February.

If FaulknerUSA and its partners miss the latest deadlines, the city could find itself in the condo business.

“They made it pretty clear that they've had cost overruns on this job and that obviously it made it very difficult for them to get finished,” said Michael Sawaya, the city's director of convention, sports and entertainment facilities. “I don't profess to know the details of the health of their company. Believe me, I've tried to find out a little of that, and they're pretty protective of that.”

FaulknerUSA officials didn't return calls seeking comment.

The company's growing financial troubles are the latest setbacks for the Grand Hyatt and Alteza condominiums, a project that was envisioned as a swanky mixed-use hotel that would draw affluent residents and tourists alike.

The City Council under then-Mayor Ed Garza chose FaulknerUSA in December 2004 to build the hotel after years of failed plans with other suitors, largely because it committed $77 million of its own finances to the project. The remaining $208 million was funded through bonds backed by the city.

The Grand Hyatt partly opened more than a month past its Feb. 6 deadline. Hotel officials were worried it wouldn't be ready in time for guests scheduled to stay there during the NCAA's Final Four basketball tournament April 5-7.

The city began fining FaulknerUSA $70,000 a day after it broke the deadline. Since then, the company has paid $1.6 million in fines.

The latest agreement with the city releases FaulknerUSA from penalties if it meets the new deadlines, which require the company to finish the hotel rooms, the entire exterior and some interior finishes on the condo portion.

The company doesn't have to complete all of the condos.

The delays leave potential condo residents wondering what they've gotten themselves into.

“A couple months ago, I sold my house for a nice chunk of money — less than I would have — because I thought I was going to move in this fall,” said Patti Stewart, who has signed a contract for a condo. “So I don't know what's really going to happen. I'm just kind of waiting. I haven't heard from them in a month.”

Stewart is renovating a warehouse in Alamo Heights so she has a place to live.

Buyers put 10 percent down on condos ranging in value from $300,000 to $3.3 million. So far, the hotel has pre-sold about half of the 147 planned condos.

Stewart paid a $74,000 deposit — money that's in escrow and would be returned if the condo deal collapses.

“I was probably one of the very first ones to buy,” she said. “First it was spring, then it was summer, then it was going to be September, now December. I know in my contract they have to be finished by April 2009.”

Sales representatives for Faulkner are telling potential buyers the condos will be completed by January or February.

But the unsettled liens on the property may keep FaulknerUSA from conveying clear titles for the condos. Without a title, buyers could drop out of the deals and get their money back when their contracts expire.

“The lien is filed against the property, so in order for the developer to sell one of those condos, which is part of the property, the buyer and that buyer's lender are going to require that those liens be released,” said Scott Farrimond, an attorney with Stumpf Farrimond in San Antonio.

One company with a lien is Burditt Tile & Stone of Cibolo, which claims FaulknerUSA owes it for $185,970 for tile work on hotel bathrooms.

“For a small company like us, it's a large amount,” owner Polly Burditt said. “We've been checking back down there and we haven't even been able to get hold of anyone.”

Burditt says there hasn't been much discussion about settling the liens.

“What concerns us more than anything is the nonpayment to subs and suppliers that are local and family-run companies,” said Doug McMurry, executive vice president of the San Antonio chapter of the Associated General Contractors. “The fact that they aren't getting paid is causing a significant hardship. It's just awful.”

Under the agreement with the city, if FaulknerUSA defaults, another entity would step in to finish the project. If that entity — Hotel Investments LP, composed of New York-based Marathon Real Estate and FaulknerUSA — is unable to fulfill the agreement, the city would take over.

If that were to happen, Sawaya said, the city would find another company to spearhead completion.

“I think the parties involved have been working toward a successful resolution and we're really optimistic that they get this finished — both the hotel portion and the condominium — by the end of the calendar year,” City Manager Sheryl Sculley said.

The most important element, she said, is that the hotel is operating and making its required debt-service payments on bond revenue used to help fund the hotel portion of the project. If the hotel were unable to make the debt-service payments, the city would be forced to dip into its hotel occupancy tax revenues.

In the second quarter of 2008, the Grand Hyatt had $9.5 million in revenue, for an average of just over $104 a night per room, said Bruce Walker, president of Source Strategies Inc., a local hotel consulting firm. That ranks the hotel 176th in the state of Texas.

In comparison, revenue per room during the same quarter at other downtown hotels was $203 at the Watermark Hotel and Spa; $162 at the Hotel Valencia; $150 at the Hilton Palacio del Rio; and $136 at the Marriott Rivercenter.

Netting said the Grand Hyatt's occupancy has been about 70 percent.

“We're in pretty good shape,” he said. “We're happy with the results. Most of our challenges are within the first few couple months, and it's running as a normal hotel now.”
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