‘Creative Office’ Space, Restaurant Coming to Southtown

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A rendering of the new office and and retail space at 1811 S. Alamo St. Image courtesy of AREA Real Estate.

A rendering of the new office and and retail space at 1811 S. Alamo St. Image courtesy of AREA Real Estate.

Two small, 1940s era warehouses on the corner of South Alamo and South Flores streets will soon be transformed into “creative” office space and a restaurant/bar, but there won’t be any music on the patio.

City Council unanimously approved a rezoning request on Thursday that will allow local developer David Adelman of AREA Real Estate to move forward with partial demolition and renovation of the structures at 1302 S. Flores St. and 1811 S. Alamo St., respectively.

“It’ll be a version of what we did with the warehouse that Rosella and Overland Partners are in now,” Adelman said in a phone interview. There will be room for at least two or three office tenants – possibly more depending on the size – and “ideally we’d have a restaurant, bar, or coffee shop. We’re still seeking tenants.”

The facade of the building at 1302 S. Flores St. (left) will be retained, but will be hollowed out to provide more on-site parking. Image courtesy of AREA Real Estate.

The facade of the building at 1302 S. Flores St. (left) will be retained, but will be hollowed out to provide more on-site parking. Image courtesy of AREA Real Estate.

The former vending machine supply company building at 1811 S. Alamo St.  Image via Google Maps.

The former vending machine supply company building at 1811 S. Alamo St. Image via Google Maps.

Council’s approval of this project, however, came with an amendment that prohibits the use of any outdoor amplified sound.

Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1) added the amendment after several people that live near the buildings, which are just two blocks west of the official boundary of the King William Historic District, voiced concerns about the potential noise that a restaurant or bar would bring.

“We’re not asking to deny a bar or restaurant, only to restrict outdoor noise,” said King William Association Executive Director Cherise Bell.

Some neighbors were also concerned about what future owners would be able to do with the new commercial zoning in place.

“We’re excited to see these industrial buildings developed, but C2 (zoning designation) outstrips what’s needed to accomplish their (the developer’s) objective,” said Walter Wilson, who lives less than 100 feet from the development. He suggested that the C1 designation, which is used for less intense commercial use, would be more appropriate and act as a better buffer between the neighborhood and commercial uses across Flores and Alamo streets.  

Parking lot and rear entry for 1811 S. Alamo St. Rendering courtesy of AREA Real Estate.

Parking lot and rear entry for 1811 S. Alamo St. Rendering courtesy of AREA Real Estate.

“We just want to avoid having to call the police. We are excited about the change, however, it should be done with respect to (the residents),” said Sergio Vides who lives on Sweet Street with his wife Naema Vides. By restricting outdoor speakers entirely, he said, the neighbors won’t have to make sure they’re turned off at 10 p.m. to comply with the residential noise ordinance.

The City of San Antonio’s Cliff Morton Development and Business Services building is directly across South Flores Street and a Salvation Army thrift store is across South Alamo. Several offices, apartments, and condos are emerging and established on what some call the “SoFlo” (South Flores) corridor that connects the Southtown Arts District to the city’s downtown and deeper Southside. It’s a neighborhood transitioning from industrial to mixed-use residential and commercial.

Adelman’s new project is a block away from Union Pacific train tracks, which brings plenty of noise on its own, and South Alamo and Flores streets are main thoroughfares for traffic including big trucks. He doesn’t think the noise, amplified on a patio, would have been an issue.

“South Alamo and Flores are major urban streets,” Adelman said. “It’s not like the residents there are signed up for a quiet neighborhood.”

At any rate, permitting is now underway for the work ahead.

“Now that we have our zoning we can hopefully find multiple tenants that will like the building,” he said. “We’ve had some tire-kickers … people don’t usually get serious about it until you do the renovation.”

Adelman purchased the building on 1811 S. Alamo St. about eight months ago from vending machine supplier H.A. Franz and Company, which was operating out of the building right up until the sale. He bought the adjacent vacant building on South Flores Street, which is on the verge of collapse, soon after.

“It’s pretty much unsalvageable,” Adelman said. “I’m surprised it hasn’t fallen over.”

The plan is to keep the facade of the building to provide a kind of buffer for the 30-space surface parking lot. Because the building is not technically inside the King William Historic District, the Historic and Design Review Commission does not have to approve the partial demolition or design.

A petition to add several blocks to the district, including this one, is circulating throughout the neighborhood.

 

https://rivardreport.wildapricot.org

 

 

Top image: A rendering of the new office and and retail space at 1811 S. Alamo St.  Image courtesy of AREA Real Estate.

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9 thoughts on “‘Creative Office’ Space, Restaurant Coming to Southtown

  1. “South Alamo and Flores are major urban streets,” Adelman said. “It’s not like the residents there are signed up for a quiet neighborhood.”

    Here we have yet another example of a developer getting most of what they want yet being unable to resist lobbing a negative comment at the surrounding neighbors.

    Nobody likes sore winners.

    • S Alamo and S Flores are NOT major urban streets – commercial or otherwise. They are pretty quiet once the day industrial uses stop and commuter through traffic is over. Although with music blaring (kareoke!?!), it could become as if it they were major urban streets. At least it’s not at if it’s competing strolling mariachi bands – they don’t need outdoor speakers.

      If it was me, a level of residential would be added above.

  2. It’s so wonderful to see old buildings that are eyesores and are under utilized gaining rebirth. I applaud this plan!!

  3. I’m not sure if Adelman’s quote is out of context, but regardless, a lot of people have lived in the neighborhood for quite some time, prior to its current “hip and trendy” tags. They have every right to be concerned about new developments that impact them. With that said, I’m glad to see the buildings developed.

  4. Yes, I’ve lived in this small 3 x 2 blk neighborhood since 1984 and we are concerned about development. I’m all for redevelopment of the old vending machine bldg., but regardless of trains, so. Flores and so. Alamo are not busy streets in the evenings and it was appropriate to ban outdoor music at this development. Also, frankly, I’m flabbergasted that they got approval to “hollow out” the old City Paint bldg. to create a “buffer” for surface parking. The bldg. may not be salvageable, but to replace street side retail potential, in an area quickly infilling, with a facade and more surface parking seems very short-sighted. I should think that with these locations we might be expecting a certain amount of traffic to be arriving on foot. It’s always parking isn’t it?

  5. My point regarding the trains and trucks was really in the spirit of pointing out the request wasn’t completely out of context. I other words, it is not a gated community with only residential in the neighborhood, rather it has a long history of mixed uses. Just yesterday I sat in an outdoor cafe under an umbrella. Music was playing on an outdoor speaker as background and the neighboring house was 15′ away. I believe it worked. The NR designations allows zero. Seems excessive to me in context. That said, I am hopeful to find tenants who will move forward to bring their business here and not be concerned about not having the outdoor speakers. With regard to parking, I wish we could offer none and still be successful, but realistically to attract tenants we need some. Plus, there are plenty of neighbors who still don’t think we will have enough and will make their streets busier. The good news is the new City of SA parking lot at development services should be available for after hours parking which is generally when the problem with the residential overflow exists in Southtown.

    • I know that many neighbors are concerned that the streets will become busier. Many of us don’t have driveways and fear street parking will get competitive. I figure it’s the price paid for reinvigoration. Also, I’m sure that it isn’t feasible not to provide parking. I just lament that that block of so. Flores (the condos just north have no street side interface) will be basically a dead zone to pedestrians. I’m pleased that you’re moving ahead with redevelopment of the Vending Machine property. Isn’t that mid-century brick wall on the east side of the bldg. great? I’m glad I don’t live 15′ from outdoor speakers. Maybe we’ll find out people like al fresco simply with neighborhood ambient sound.

  6. Outdoor speakers equal amplified music be it a DJ or live music or …If you live near a restaurant or bar with outside speakers, you end up going over and asking that the sound be turned down and or you call the police who really do have a lot of other important work. I have had ongoing experience with this. It is a mystery to me why restaurants/cafes in particular and even bars believe they have to have amplified music including outside speakers in order to succeed. Many people do like to eat and or drink outside and be able to carry on conversations–Here’s hoping Mr. Adelman finds a tenant that will provide good food/ambiance that contributes directly to its success. There are places Bite and Bliss and Liberty Bar that have done so–and are doing so.

  7. Stinks losing potential retail space along S Flores for a parking lot! Why don’t you strike a deal with SAHA? Their large parking lot sits half empty each day and completely empty each night and weekend.

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