A conceptual rendering of the view of the residential tower from Commerce Street.
A conceptual rendering of the view of the residential tower from Commerce Street. Credit: Courtesy / Keller Henderson

The Historic and Design Review Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to give conceptual approval to plans for a downtown 17-story residential building situated along the River Walk.

The design of the structure has changed since local developer Keller Henderson first proposed the Floodgate in April 2016 as a 10-story building. The 17-story, 64-unit building, which features automated on-site parking and four penthouses, would be built between the Witte Building and the Esquire Tavern on Commerce Street.

Commissioners requested that segments of a historic flood wall and a fig tree be protected and utilized by the development. Henderson will return to HDRC, possibly later this summer, for final approval of the project.

Brett Rhode, director of Rhode Partners, told commissioners that a restaurant would be established on the ground floor of the building and continue down to the River Walk. The next two stories of the building are designed to be used for the 56 on-site parking spaces, the fourth floor will feature outdoor amenities, and the remaining levels will be used for the apartments. A rooftop garden will top the building on the 17th floor.

“Our idea is … to create a building that has more of an iconic presence from the River Walk,” Rhode said.

Henderson told the Rivard Report after the vote that units would be leased at market rates decided upon at the completion of the project. He described previous reports of pricing at $4 per square foot rates as a “misnomer.”

Commissioners requested that Henderson and Rhode aim to incorporate more of a historic stone flood wall that acts as a border for the River Walk-level restaurant in the redesign of the project. They made a similar request for a fig tree that’s described in HDRC documents as being situated inside the stone wall.

San Antonio Conservation Society First Vice President Patti Zaiontz was the only person to speak against the project, describing the changes to the plan as “going in the wrong direction.”

“While the original design related to the River Walk and the adjacent historic buildings, the new plan performs poorly in both regards,” Zaiontz said.

Two historic single-story properties at 139 and 141 Commerce Street will be demolished for the tower’s construction if it receives final approval.

A convenience store along East Commerce Street will be shuttered and razed.
A convenience store along East Commerce Street will be shuttered and razed. Credit: Scott Ball / Rivard Report

Commissioners also voted to give conceptual approval to a five-story multifamily structure named the Augusta at McCullough.

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Stillwater Capital designed the development to be situated on a block surrounded by McCullough Avenue, Dallas Street, Brooklyn Street, and Augusta Street. According to HDRC documents, the complex will feature a courtyard with a pool and an on-site parking garage, along with other amenities.

The documents also state that final approval for the project will not be given until the Claudius House at 819 Augusta Street and the Nesbitt House at 723 Brooklyn receive final approval for relocation.

Jeffrey Sullivan

Jeffrey Sullivan

Jeffrey Sullivan is a Rivard Report reporter. He graduated from Trinity University with a degree in Political Science.