Courtesy / Aqualand Development and CBL & Associates Properties Inc.
The Southside of San Antonio is one step closer to being home to a multi-use development that many are comparing to the Pearl.
With a 6-0 vote and no discussion, the Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC) Wednesday gave conceptual approval to the $300 million Lone Star Brewery redevelopment project, an effort that’s poised to revitalize the long-vacant brewery and the surrounding Southtown neighborhood.
The project’s developers, San Marcos-based Aqualand Development and Tennessee-based CBL & Associates Properties, envision rehabilitating the site as a bustling commercial, entertainment, and residential hub while preserving many of the brewery’s historic attributes and structures.
The site plan includes three multi-family housing developments each with parking, retail and office spaces, a hotel, a park connecting to the Mission Reach, and a 10-screen Cinemark movie theater. An additional 1,600 parking spots will be available for retail and entertainment guests.
As the project continues to take shape, the developers will have to return to HDRC for final design approval. Construction is set to begin in the summer of 2017, with a Phase 1 opening anticipated for late 2018.
With the green light from HDRC, developers will rehabilitate the brewery and cannery buildings and demolish parts of each structure, including a non-historic warehouse space, a garage, and a loading dock. Six smaller accessory structures also are slated for demolition, including a mural that once portrayed bits of San Antonio history. The Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) recommended saving the mural, but City staff found its demolition for the Lone Star project appropriate considering its current state of graffiti-ridden disrepair.
The developers have to meet a few small provisions laid out by HDRC, including ensuring that the new design for the existing pond in the park area of the site portrays its original shape.
The rehabilitation of Lone Star Brewery, which was established in 1933 as Sabinas Brewing Company and reopened in 1940 as the Lone Star Brewing Company, has generally been met with support from the City as well as residents in the Lone Star, Roosevelt, King William, and Lavaca neighborhood associations.
The Zoning Commission unanimously approved a rezoning request by the Aqualand and CBL developers Tuesday, making the 32-acre property an infill development area where a variety of residential, entertainment, and commercial projects can be implemented.
Some residents and zoning commissioners raised concerns about potential noise from events disrupting the surrounding neighborhoods, a lack of sufficient parking, and traffic congestion. Regarding noise, CBL Senior Director of Development Jennifer Greer said Tuesday that while events likely will occur at the brewery, they will not disobey the City’s noise ordinance.
“We want to be great neighbors,” she said.
Developers are confident that the three residential parking units and an additional 1,600 spots at the site will prevent parking from spilling into the nearby neighborhoods. They are also working with the City on infrastructure improvements around the brewery.