Rivera Apartments to Fill Broadway Gap

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Rendering of what the Rivera apartment complex will look like on Broadway Street. Image courtesy of Good Fulton & Farrell.

Construction continues on the Rivera apartment complex at 1130 Broadway St., adding 302 rental units to a growing housing base in San Antonio’s urban core along the Broadway corridor. Named for the Mexican artist Diego Rivera, the four-story apartment complex will have a clean, Cubist style and offer high-end efficiencies, one and two-bedroom units.

Its proximity to the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) played part in naming the project, formerly known simply as 1130 Broadway when construction crews broke ground in summer 2014. Austin-based developer Argyle Residential will start pre-leasing units in November and the project is expected to be complete in March 2016, according to Managing Director John Burnham.

Burnham estimates the 420 sq. ft. efficiencies may go for around $900 per month, 810 sq. ft. one-bedrooms around $1,600 per month. A big selling point, he said, will be the 8,000 sq. ft. of community space, including a pool, rooftop deck, on-site laundry, a gym, and indoor/outdoor spaces for meetings and parties.

Site map of Rivera complexes, 1130 Broadway St. Image courtesy of TBG.

Site map of Rivera apartment complex, 1130 Broadway St. Image courtesy of TBG.

Burnham also has been working with Broadway Ellwood on the proposed four-story, 150-unit residential and mixed-use project on the corner of Broadway and Austin Highway in the declining Alamo Heights commercial corridor. The project has been substantially scaled down from its original six-story, 240-unit design to appease a surrounding community where some are averse to change and wary of multifamily development.

The project will now be under review by the City of Alamo Heights’ design, planning and zoning commissions. It’s been more than a year since plans were abandoned by Dallas-based Alamo Manhattan, the original developers for the Broadway and Austin Highway project.

Working closely with the City of San Antonio’s Center City Development and Operations (CCDO) department, the permitting process for Rivera took a total of six months.

Argyle Residential Managing Director John Burnham

Argyle Residential Managing Director John Burnham

The CCDO has several incentive packages and programs to encourage infill development around San Antonio’s urban core, including tax rebates, fee waivers, and staff to help developers navigate the processes.

Even in Austin, Burnham said, “usually just to get your building permit it takes 10 months or more.”

“It’s like night and day,” Burnham said.

Nearby projects like the Mosaic, 1800 Broadway, 1221 Broadway, and The Can Plant Residences at Pearl have taken advantage of similar City incentives.

While Rivera is Argyle Residential’s first residential project in San Antonio (the Broadway-Austin Highway project may be its second), it is a Cypress Real Estate Advisors Company which partnered with other developers on 1800 Broadway.

“That project introduced us to the infill market in San Antonio,” Burnham said. “What we weren’t sure of was the effective rental rate … but 1800 exceeded everyone’s expectations.”

So he began to take a serious look at property in the area in early 2013. Argyle closed on the 1130 Broadway property, formerly a Dodge dealership, in April 2014.

Rivera construction site  looking northeast from Jones Avenue.

Rivera construction site looking northeast from Jones Avenue.

“We are all beneficiaries of what Kit Goldsbury did at the Pearl. It’s ground zero for the Broadway corridor,” Burnham said. “They proved there was a demand for in-town, or almost downtown, living. Now it has a life of it’s own.”

In order to receive the City tax rebates and fee waivers, developers must adhere to certain sustainable and urban design principles. The most visible example of this at Rivera will be the separated bike lanes.

“We will effectively redo the street in front of our development,” he said. 

Rivera construction site  looking north from Jones Avenue.

Rivera construction site looking north from Jones Avenue.

Rendering of what the Rivera apartment complex will look like from Jones Street. Image courtesy of Good Fulton & Farrell.

Rendering of what the Rivera apartment complex will look like on Jones Avenue looking north. Image courtesy of Good Fulton & Farrell.

Argyle is working with Dallas-based architectural firm Good Fulton and Farrell and Austin-based TBG landscape architects on the design.

While much of Broadway Street has a three-foot wide bike lane and/or striping, on-street parking, trash, and other debris often impairs a cyclists’ path. Companies like Argyle that are developing or redeveloping along Broadway will eventually create a patchwork of substantial bike facilities and more walkable paths.

During the design phase of Rivera, the now-abandoned streetcar project was still on table, which proved to alter the street layout a few times, Burnham said.

There will also be large parking structure on site for Rivera residents but the main entrance will be located off of Alamo Street in order to minimize disturbance to bike and pedestrian traffic on Broadway.

“We’ll be rebuilding 12th Street,” he said. “That will allow connectivity from Broadway to Alamo (streets).”

Argyle does not own the two commercial buildings on the corner of Jones and Broadway across from Maverick Park – another amenity for Rivera residents. But there is 2,800 sq. ft. of retail space within Rivera that could thrive as many different types of businesses: a restaurant or small grocery store, for instance.

Rivera on Broadway represents a “step-up” in terms of overall apartment amenities compared to others in the area, Burnham said. He expects tenants of all ages will be interested in the community-based lifestyle that the Rivera and similar complexes encourage.

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12 thoughts on “Rivera Apartments to Fill Broadway Gap

  1. Maybe there isn’t such a boom in the properties as it is ( and I mean the apartments 😀 ) but there is a boom in the renting as it comes this way. Mainly because no one would try to gap it and there is much greater chance for making money even the HS and the http://badajozcentro.adaix.com/ confirmed it in a way.
    Cheers.

  2. Can you expand on the separated bike lanes mentioned in the story? How will they be separated? Is it for bike traffic going both directions?

  3. Is there demand for that? Pretty tight microcosm that is not here there or anywhere. Would dig to know tenancy rates.

  4. 90%+ occupancy at pretty high rental rates. There’s a reason all of these people want to build in this area.

    Keep in mind, it seems like a lot to have 1500-2000 new units built around here, but if the same number were built in a few projects out on 1604 it would be unremarkable.

    We might be talking about the number of people living in a more urban environment in SA going from 1% to 2%, which is a big increase, but also a drop in the bucket. Rents may level out with more product coming online, but there are still more people that want to live in cool places near Pearl than there are places for them to live.

  5. Words like “appease” and phrases like “adverse to change” reflect a very suspicious marketing bias in this “report.” This project made sense to me until I noted these and other not so subtle biases designed to dismiss critical commentary. Now I wonder why the need to “sell it” if it is a inherently good idea that addresses a need? Hmmmm

  6. Wow! San Antonio is certainly changing. I never thought I would see the day that developers would name a building after a renown communist!

  7. Hurray! More concrete canyons on Broadway. The Austinization of San Antonio continues tout de suite.

    The comment about making the main entrance on Alamo as to not disturb the cycling traffic on Broadway is laughable. Alamo Street is (currently) a safer cycling route than it’s parallel neighbor, Broadway.

  8. Kinda pricey. You can rent a whole 3 bedroom house closer to downtown for about what they want for the 1 bedroom.

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