The proposed 20-story mixed-use tower at 1603 Broadway St. Credit: Courtesy / GrayStreet Partners

The same developer that is planning a “more approachable” mixed-use development near the Pearl is now proposing a hotel and office tower on Broadway Street more than double the maximum zoning height allowance.

GrayStreet Partners has submitted plans for a 260-foot tower at 1603 Broadway St. featuring 10 levels of hospitality space as well as underground parking and street-level retail to the City’s Historic and Design Review Commission for review and approval on Wednesday.

The building would sit at the corner of Broadway and Newell Avenue, near San Antonio’s Pig Stand in the River Improvement Overlay (RIO) 2 district, where development is strictly regulated.

The RIO-2 district is bounded on the south by 4th Street and Lexington Avenue and on the north by Josephine Street and U.S. Highway 281, and made up of small single-family neighborhoods surrounded by higher-density and commercial structures. Structures in this district cannot exceed 10 stories or 120 feet, according to the Unified Development Code (UDC).

The case file shows that HDRC’s Design Review Committee on March 13 stated, “While the southern tower’s height exceeds that allowed by the UDC, staff finds that given the structure’s distance from the San Antonio River, no harmful shadows will result from its construction. Additionally, there are structures in the immediate vicinity and located at the Pearl that provide the precedent for structures of multiple levels in height. Staff finds that the Broadway corridor is an appropriate corridor for additional height.”

The committee also approved demolition of the two-story, circa-1918 Thomson Electric Company structure currently occupying the site.

Among the City’s recommended changes to the conceptual plans were reducing the impact on pedestrians by improving landscaping and pedestrian walkways, and changing the proposed building cap to feature a more distinctive design.

Last year, the City’s Zoning Commission voted unanimously in favor of proposed zoning changes that would allow for the major mixed-use development GrayStreet is planning on 23 acres of land in Government Hill across from the Pearl.

Those plans call for apartments, condos, single-family homes, restaurants, bars, retail, offices, parking, and green space to occupy a former San Antonio Independent School District property.

At the time, GrayStreet Development Director Peter French described the coming development as “more approachable,” with rent and retail prices below those of the high-end Pearl.

Just north of the proposed GrayStreet hotel site, Pearl developer Silver Ventures is currently constructing two office buildings – one that is a 10-story tower and another with six stories and a 950-space parking garage.

In 2016, GrayStreet acquired the historic Light building at 420 Broadway St. from the Hearst Corporation.

French told the Rivard Report Monday that company officials would be “holding comments until we’ve made more progress with our approvals.”

Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is a journalist and writer in San Antonio, and a business reporter for The Rivard Report.