The dust, banging, screeches, and whines of heavy construction still dominate the environment when you walk into The ’68, but it doesn’t take an architect’s vision to imagine what the 151-unit, eight-story apartment building will look like in just a few months.
Local developer David Adelman’s latest offering in the heart of Hemisfair overlooking the Yanaguana Garden playground on the west seems destined to be a popular place for fans of urban living to call home.
The '68 is in a prime location in a burgeoning part of downtown, offering apartments on the upper floors with views of the city skyline and the Tower of Americas that weren’t available before it was conceived. The complex will meet Hemisfair's requirement of offering at least 10 percent of its leases as affordable housing, and Adelman’s team at Area Real Estate plans to exceed that mandate.
“Our goal is to have it be affordable for people of all incomes,” said Luis Miguel Martinez, urban development manager for Area Real Estate.
It has taken just a year to build The '68 using concrete and steel construction with no cranes because of the proximity to area businesses and the popular children’s playground right outside its doors. It’s a process almost unheard of in San Antonio because there aren’t a lot of projects like it here, Martinez said.
Area is already registering pre-leasing tours in January, with the first move-ins planned for March.
The building has an attached 416-space parking garage of which 238 spaces will be available to the public. Parking will be included in lease agreements, and Area is hoping a gym will occupy one of the four retail spaces on the ground floor, with tenants offered access as part of leases as well.
“It’s all about trying to make a better living and a better quality of life,” Martinez said.
The building will feature 68 studio units at 468 square feet that will rent for between $1,100 and $1,350 per month. It will have 61 one-bedroom apartments in three floor plans at either 555 or 597 square feet ($1,200-$1,500) and 22 two-bedroom units ranging in size from 892 square feet to corner units on the northwest side at 1,638 square feet.
Those prime locations won’t be among the affordable offerings, however, at $3,250 per month. Other two-bedroom apartments will be available starting at $1,800 per month.
Most units will feature galley kitchens, granite countertops, 30-inch sinks, 9-foot ceilings on floors 1 through 7, and 13-foot-plus ceilings on the eighth floor. The ceilings are finished instead of exposed, and the floors are polished concrete.
Each unit is designed to maximize space with use of pocket doors and sliding barn doors. The ‘68 will offer some units with smart technology, including the Ori Studio Suite, furniture that moves and reconfigures space at the touch of a button.
Plans do not include a swimming pool, but there will be an amenity deck off the seventh floor equipped with fire pits, hammocks, and cabanas for entertaining or mingling with neighbors.
The steel and concrete construction should help quiet noise from the surrounding city life and neighbors who might like to play their favorite tunes too loud.
“We don’t want to sell it tomorrow,” said Jake Jopling, director of asset management for Area. “We want it to be awesome forever.”
Area completed the Maverick Apartments at 606 N. Presa St. last year, creating luxury urban living in a high-rise setting. The Maverick is now 100 percent occupied and has been popular with professionals in San Antonio’s tech and banking sectors, Martinez said.
Martinez said Adelman designed The’68 to be appealing to professionals who want to be close to work downtown, young people, empty nesters, and families, who like the idea of being next to one of the city’s best playgrounds and all that downtown has to offer.
“You can definitely raise your kids here,” he said. Adelman "really does research. He travels. He talks to people. He takes the pulse of the city.”