The Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC) approved the final designs for a nine-story hotel on the River Walk Wednesday, which will allow developers to demolish the long-vacant Solo Serve building.
Plans for the hotel with a river-level restaurant and street-level retail space from Austin-based Merritt Development Group and hotel developer Vista Host received conceptual approval from the Commission in July.
Once the building is demolished, only a historic 11-foot brick wall facing the River Walk will remain of what was once the Bexar County Courthouse. The Solo Serve general store was constructed in the 1920s. While it is a local historic landmark, the structure has "lost significance," according to the Office of Historic Preservation.
The northern 25% of the Solo Serve property will be retained by its current owner, Service Lloyds Insurance Co. The developers plan on creating a temporary public park until plans for that portion of the lot are solidified.
Plans for an AC Hotel by Marriott on the site were scrapped last year after Dallas-based Woodbine Development Corporation couldn't make the 21-story hotel sit well with HDRC or investors.
Several major hotel, housing, and office projects have cropped up all over the urban core in recent years as a part of downtown's ongoing revitalization. Construction will soon start on the new 23-story Frost Bank tower on Main Street, a 19-story mixed-use apartment complex is planned down the river, and an 18-story boutique hotel will break ground in 2017.