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  #101  
Old Posted May 2, 2013, 10:37 PM
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KevinFromTexas KevinFromTexas is offline
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I made a post on the mayor's Facebook page. I also sent emails to each of the city council members. You can do the same here:

https://www.facebook.com/MayorJulianCastro

http://www.sanantonio.gov/council

https://www.facebook.com/pages/City-...n/105595555287

You can also email the HDRC at this address:

ohp@sanantonio.gov
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  #102  
Old Posted May 3, 2013, 12:15 AM
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I replied to your Facebook post, Kevin. Maybe others can too.
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  #103  
Old Posted May 3, 2013, 1:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuntpuller View Post
Hopefully they will consider doing that but man this is frustrating to watch happen, right as Austin and Midland get consideration for buildings twice & three times the size of what this developer proposed. Ugh...
800 an 1200 foot buildings? Since when?
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  #104  
Old Posted May 3, 2013, 1:34 AM
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He's talking about this and this.

I'm less interested in an arbitrary height race, this should be approached as an economic competition. All of Texas' cities are in a convention hotel building boom. Plus San Antonio's hotel market stands to gain from Formula 1 being in Austin. And that Austin project is planned around a riverwalk like setting.
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  #105  
Old Posted May 3, 2013, 4:37 AM
Schertz1 Schertz1 is offline
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I attended yesterday’s commission meeting and was very surprised to find several HDRC members in favor of downtown development and this building. However, three members were much worse than imagined. Cone and Guarino are narcissistic and uncompassionate to say the least. Well, this is my take on the meeting:

The commission was actually split on this tower 4 to 4. Conceptual approval was denied only after the commission could not reach an agreement on the best way to proceed with the project. Had the session ended in a split after thirty days conceptual approval would automatically be granted, so some action from the opposing members was required to stop the project.

Conceptual approval was not denied due to impact on Alamo Plaza; the impact was minimal and the developer could easily adjust the project to further mitigate the impact. The main reason for denial was the hotel’s impact on the facade of the Joske’s building. The view, of at least two members, is the hotel is not respectful enough to Joske’s. This opinion, coming from the same group granting approval to changes at Municipal Auditorium, is really the height of hypocrisy. It is my opinion; two members came prepared to deny the project and will not grant approval in any form.
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  #106  
Old Posted May 3, 2013, 4:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schertz1 View Post
I attended yesterday’s commission meeting and was very surprised to find several HDRC members in favor of downtown development and this building. However, three members were much worse than imagined. Cone and Guarino are narcissistic and uncompassionate to say the least. Well this is my take on the meeting:

The commission was actually split on this tower 4 to 4. Conceptual approval was denied only after the commission could not reach an agreement on the best way to proceed with the project. Had the session ended in a split after thirty days conceptual approval would automatically be granted, so some action from the opposing members was required to stop the project.

Conceptual approval was not denied due to impact on Alamo Plaza; the impact was minimal and the developer could easily adjust the project to further mitigate the impact. The main reason for denial was the hotel’s impact on the facade of the Joske’s building. The view, of at least two members, is the hotel is not respectful enough to Joske’s. This opinion, coming from the same group granting approval to changes at Municipal Auditorium, is really the height of hypocrisy. It is my opinion; two members came prepared to deny the project and will not grant approval in any form.
That is absolutely ridiculous given their approval of Municipal Auditorium (an arguably more historic structure)
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  #107  
Old Posted May 3, 2013, 4:57 AM
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Yeah, it's awful what they did to the Municipal Auditorium. That was, was one of my favorite buildings in San Antonio. Seeing what they've done to it is like watching an endangered species being harvested for its organs. It's such a shame. Not to mention the Grand Hyatt which is much more detrimental to downtown San Antonio's character. Or the addition that was made to the Drury Plaza Hotel. The first major project to come across their desks with some real aesthetic qualities appropriate to San Antonio's character, and they've voted it down. I don't get it.
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  #108  
Old Posted May 3, 2013, 5:00 PM
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Overland did a damn good job in what little time they were given. I almost shed a tear when I saw the new rendering. I can only imagine what the next design will be like. This is so not over. This Wyndam will be built. The only question is how it will look.
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  #109  
Old Posted May 3, 2013, 7:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Fireoutofclay View Post
Overland did a damn good job in what little time they were given. I almost shed a tear when I saw the new rendering. I can only imagine what the next design will be like. This is so not over. This Wyndam will be built. The only question is how it will look.
It's gonna be a Wyndam?
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  #110  
Old Posted May 4, 2013, 4:14 PM
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Looks like you may be right, Fireoutofclay. This project doesn't seem to be as dead as some think.

Quote:
Oviatt told the panel he was fine with the no-decision.

And then he said it again!

“We're just fine with where we are right now with no recommendation,” Oviatt said adamantly.

Oviatt and his team began gathering their things hurriedly.

Commissioner Rodriguez then made a second motion of denial, which passed 6-2. “My intent was to get them to come back to the table and work with us,” she told the Express-News.

But it's what happened before the final outcome that was telling.

The implication, of course, is that the hotel has the blessing of City Manager Sheryl Sculley, who has the discretion to move the plans forward, presumably to City Council, if the HDRC were deadlocked.

It would explain why Oviatt's team was in a hurry to split.

Sculley still can approve the project, and has 10 days to do so, according to the UDC.

“We are still reviewing the proposal and our options,” said Lori Houston, director of the Center City Development Office.

The meeting Wednesday may have offered a preview of the decision.


Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/business...#ixzz2SLDNlQU9
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  #111  
Old Posted May 4, 2013, 5:29 PM
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This is good to see. This is usually the case with large developers. They have already made inroads with the main decision makers and know that a denial at commission level is simply a minor roadblock. If the city wants this project, it will happen...and from the look of that article...it looks like that may be the case.

I think the redesign was tastefully done and will transform that area for the better. When i'm in SA for Christmas, we always go to St. Josephs for midnight mass....will be exciting...hopefully...to see a large tower being constructed next door.
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  #112  
Old Posted May 7, 2013, 1:25 AM
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You wanna talk about overshadowing....DAMN!! If you can't tell, the Alamo is at the bottom right corner of this rendering, which is taken from the south facing north. Ovbviously this didn't happen, but I find it interesting that over a hundred years ago there were people who wanted to honor the fallen by building something twice as tall and twice as close to the Alamo. I know that a monument and a hotel are hardly the same thing, but DAMN!!

from http://www.mysanantonio.com/entertai...#photo-4187703

alamo on bottom left of this renderering, from http://www.drtl.org/research/alamo5.asp

Last edited by Fireoutofclay; May 9, 2013 at 7:53 PM.
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  #113  
Old Posted May 13, 2013, 12:47 AM
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I'm more of a lurker. Haven't posted in a long time. However this is huge news. I am surprised no one has posted this. This project has received tentative approval from the city manager, who has final say over the HRDC. This project is moving forward it seems.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/default/...pt-4508657.php

Blasted by critics and the city's historic review board, the Joske's hotel project has been given new life by City Manager Sheryl Sculley, who came out in support of the project late last week.

Sculley's backing, however, is contingent on reducing its scale, as envisioned by the developer: a hotel and time share that would reach more than 20 stories above the historic Joske's building at Rivercenter mall.

On Friday, Sculley informed the mall's owner, New York-based Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., that she approves of the concept of a hotel at the site but that its architects must return to the Historic and Design Review Commission for another go-around.

In a 6-2 vote May 1, the commission denied plans for the high-rise at Alamo and Commerce streets, calling its height inappropriate, given its proximity to the Alamo.

As city manager, Sculley has the final say on the HDRC's recommendations.

---

In her letter of approval, Sculley sided with the second option, which would reduce the smaller tower by two stories and increase the larger tower by one story. It also stipulates that the additions be set back 16 feet from the Joske's cornice line.
----

So it looks like the tower may actually INCREASE in height in it's final design. This is the option the city manager, who has final approval, favors. This would push the project to over 400' in my opinion. This is truly a game changer for SA.
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  #114  
Old Posted May 13, 2013, 2:45 AM
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Thanks for sharing! It kind of scares me now, I love the tower just as it is I hope they don't radically change the design.
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  #115  
Old Posted May 13, 2013, 2:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jaga185 View Post
Thanks for sharing! It kind of scares me now, I love the tower just as it is I hope they don't radically change the design.
It sounds like they are decreasing the height of the smaller tower and increasing the size of the large tower. This would bring the larger tower to around or over 400'. At least that is the recommendation of the city manager, and she has final say.
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  #116  
Old Posted May 13, 2013, 3:23 AM
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Good to see the project moving forward. I hope the final design is still beautiful.
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  #117  
Old Posted May 13, 2013, 3:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireoutofclay View Post
You wanna talk about overshadowing....DAMN!! If you can't tell, the Alamo is at the bottom right corner of this rendering, which is taken from the south facing north. Ovbviously this didn't happen, but I find it interesting that over a hundred years ago there were people who wanted to honor the fallen by building something twice as tall and twice as close to the Alamo. I know that a monument and a hotel are hardly the same thing, but DAMN!!

from http://www.mysanantonio.com/entertai...#photo-4187703

alamo on bottom left of this renderering, from http://www.drtl.org/research/alamo5.asp
That is a very good argument against the people who are against this hotel. The height that I had found for the monument was 802 feet. That thing was proposed in 1912. It wouldn't have been surpassed in height in Texas until 1982 when the Chase Tower in Houston was built. It would also still be the tallest monument in the US.
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Last edited by KevinFromTexas; May 13, 2013 at 4:02 AM.
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  #118  
Old Posted May 13, 2013, 3:47 AM
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Originally Posted by jaga185 View Post
Thanks for sharing! It kind of scares me now, I love the tower just as it is I hope they don't radically change the design.
I doubt the tower design changes much aside from being taller.

Last edited by sirkingwilliam; May 13, 2013 at 9:46 PM.
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  #119  
Old Posted May 13, 2013, 7:18 AM
Schertz1 Schertz1 is offline
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Other than height the tower will not change. Two floors removed from the base (lower tower) increases the tower one floor. The group presented two alternatives in addition to the original and all three towers, except height, were the same. The alternative plans only seek to minimize disruption of sightlines from Alamo Plaza.

Unless the city really wants a complete revision.

Last edited by Schertz1; May 14, 2013 at 4:04 AM. Reason: Express article
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  #120  
Old Posted May 13, 2013, 7:38 AM
adtobias adtobias is offline
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Is there no land downtown that can be developed rather than using older building to revamp them?
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