LISTING – 206 E Arsenal 78204 $435,000

206 E Arsenal St 78204

Recently remodeled 4 bedroom, 3 bath stunner just steps away from the Riverwalk in King William. Historic character remains but updated for today’s buyer. Contemporary features include: gourmet kitchen with gas cooktop, master bath with spa shower and tub, walk-in closet, and wired for sound throughout. Historic features include: stone fireplace, coffered ceiling, and original built-ins. Balcony off upstairs study has great views of downtown. Off-street parking with room for garage. Walk to HEB Corp.

Renting Downtown

***This post was originally published in August 2010 and has become one of the most read posts of my blog. Due to its popularity I’ve moved it to the landing page on my site. Please click here for the list that I keep up-to-date as a lot more inventory has been developed over the past couple of years. Places to Rent in Downtown and Southtown ***


Four years ago I moved from the northern suburbs to Milmo Lofts off S. Flores and Durango. I found it very difficult to track down an apartment as there wasn’t a formal list of places or a website that had everything listed. Also at that time I was just getting my real estate license so I didn’t have access to the MLS or really even know any good downtown real estate experts.
Fast forward four year and A LOT has changed!!! I’m now a downtown real estate specialist, friends with all the other downtown agents, and the demand for downtown living as spawned several new downtown apartment complexes.

Jennifer Hiller at the Express-News wrote this great article.

A few years ago, people who wanted to rent an apartment downtown took whatever they could find because the options were so limited.
Now, however, there’s a bigger variety of housing downtown and renters are more likely to be able to choose between small studio spaces, rental homes or large lofts — without the expense and hassle of making a big down payment on a mortgage.

“You don’t have to buy downtown. You can rent,” said Lisa Schmidt, a downtown resident and real estate agent.

While San Antonio’s downtown still is in the early stages of residential demand compared to other major cities, living downtown is drawing in more and more people who are lured by what the lifestyle has to offer.

Many of the new downtown renters are military people who have been transferred to San Antonio as part of the growth at Fort Sam Houston under the Base Realignment and Closure process, said Debra Maltz, a broker and real estate agent with Centro Properties.

“The BRAC folks have made a difference. A lot of them don’t want to buy because they know they’re here for a finite period,” Maltz said. “They’re used to living in other cities downtown. I think that’s had an effect on downtown. They like the whole concept of living in a closer-knit community, which downtown offers.”

Young singles long have been attracted to downtown rentals, but Maltz said that now empty nesters are selling larger homes and trying out urban living.

They’ll often rent for a year to decide if they like the lifestyle.

Some of the newest large rental properties include the Vistana, a 247-unit Art Deco-inspired apartment building that opened in 2009 on

North Santa Rosa and the 66-unit St. Benedict’s on South Alamo Street, a King William-area project originally planned as condos but converted to a successful rental development.

The San Antonio Housing Authority recently opened HemisView Village Apartments across from HemisFair Park.

Although a handful of the 245 units are set aside for public housing or those who qualify for affordable-housing tax credits, 184 units are being rented at market rate to the general public.

The project includes balconies, a pool, a parking garage, a fitness and amenity center, and many units with big storefront-style windows and views of the Tower of the Americas.

“We’re really proud of the look and the feel,” said Lourdes Castro Ramirez, president and CEO of SAHA.

Market-rate rent ranges from $741 for the smallest units to $1,314 for a three bedroom. And the public housing units are scattered throughout the two buildings, with the idea of creating a true mixed-income community. “It’s definitely the future of public housing,” Ramirez said. “From a financial perspective, it’s the only way you can make project work. From a social policy perspective, you have more role models and an environment where people can socialize across economic groups.”

Although it’s not in downtown proper, new rental units soon will be available at the Pearl Brewery’s new Culinary Institute of America building, just north of downtown off of Broadway. The 25,000-square-foot structure will house several restaurants and be neighbor to apartments, the Twig bookstore, a third location for Bike World and a 1,000-seat amphitheater.

But on the upper floors there are also eight apartment units, including two penthouses. Maltz said recently that five units were pre-leased. “There is a huge demand to live at the Pearl Brewery,” she said.

Architect Jim Poteet, a longtime resident of King William who is known for his modern renovations of historic properties, said that for a long time it seemed that home and condo owners were the only ones living downtown. “I think the rise of rental is the thing that’s now bringing people downtown to test the waters. As a format it can be apartments, lofts, faux lofts or condos,” Poteet said.

And more rentals make sense as part of larger economic trends, he said. “I think the economy has shown people that homeownership, that urge to buy a house or to have a house as the cornerstone of your financial portfolio, was overstated. It feeds into a rental trend,” Poteet said. “It’s all to the good for downtown. We need all kinds of housing. We need ownership. We need infill projects. We need rental.”

And if people want to rent a more traditional home, there’s the historic King William and Lavaca neighborhoods, which have some rental homes and smaller offerings, such as garage apartments. Maltz recently rented a new contemporary house that’s tucked into Lavaca.

“You see infill housing a lot in Houston and Dallas. I think it’s wonderful that we are starting to see it here,” Maltz said. “It’s so expressive and so urban.”

Some of the places where you can rent downtown:

12welve 2wenty1 Loft Apartments – 210.354.1212

235 E. Commerce Apartments

Majestic Towers/Brady Bldg Apartments, 222 E. Houston St. – 210.224.1144

Pearl Brewery, 306 E. Grayson St.

Vistana, 100 N. Santa Rosa Ave. – 210.226.5638

720-724 N. Saint Mary’s Apts.

Blue Star Residences and Lofts, 1410 S. Alamo St. – 210.225.6743

The Brackenridge at Midtown, – 210-822-2500 (Opening January 2014)

Cadillac Lofts, 317 Lexington Ave. – 210.223.5638

Calcasieu Building Apartments, 214 Broadway – 210.472.1262

Can Plant Residences at Pearl, 503 Ave. A

Casa Lavaca, 502 Eager St.

Cevallos Lofts – 866.295.0250

Dielmann Lofts, 710 S. Medina St. – 210.223.1178

Exchange Building, 152 E. Pecan St.

Granada Apartments, 301-11 S. St. Mary’s St. – 210.225.2645

HemisView Village, 401 Santos St. – 210.212.8808

Losoya Building, 221 Losoya

Marie C. McAguire Apartments, 211 N. Alamo St. – 210.477-6378

Maverick Apartments, 606 N. Presa St. – 210.886.9555

Metro House, 213 4th St. – 210.271.0051

Milmo Lofts, 319 S. Flores St. – 210.223.1178

Morris Apartments, 128 E. Main Plaza – 210.225.3188

Palacio del Sol, 400 N. Frio St – 210.224.0442

Refugio Place, 300 Labor St.

Reuter Building, 217-219 Alamo Plaza

Robert E. Lee Apartments, 111 W. Travis St. – 210.354.1611 email: robert_e_lee_apts AT prm DOTCOM

Soap Works Apartments, 500 N. Santa Rosa Ave. – 210.223.9500

The Madison, Madison at Beauregard streets – 210.544.5416

Tobin Lofts, N. Main at San Antonio College Campus – 888-696-3145 (You must be a student of any higher education institution in the US.)

Toltec Apartments, 131 Taylor St.

Town Center Apartments, 601 N. Santa Rosa Ave.

Villa Hermosa, 327 N. Flores St. – 210.477.6611

Whitherspoon Building, 601 N. Alamo St.


Source: Downtown Alliance

Historic meets slick design with a pleasant outcome

My client and I were featured in this recent Express-News article about incorporating contemporary design during renovation of historic properties.  The photo above is of 611 Mission St in King William.  Juan has recently renovated it with a very contemporary kitchen and bathrooms.  It is currently for sale.  Visit my Facebook Business Page ( ) or King William Realty’s website ( ) for more information and photos.

By Jason Buch

From the joining of two unexpected, seemingly opposite mates, great pairings can happen. How about Sonny and Cher, bacon cupcakes or Labradoodles?
Well the home design world is adding another great, albeit unexpected pairing to the list: historic home shells with über-modern interiors.

The effect appeals to those who appreciate the charm of an older home in an established neighborhood, but who are also fans of the sleek, modern aesthetic popularized by such stores as Ikea.

Electrical engineer Juan M. Fernandez is one of the many who have started cleaning up the outside of the homes and sticking in ultra-modern interiors.

“I purchase them in fairly bad condition. However, I try to incorporate new trends in style and energy efficiency,” Fernandez said, “I try to consider them a brand new house with a shell that is historic.”

That means knocking out walls, redesigning kitchens and adding bathrooms and closets.

“I try to do it with a more contemporary, more European style in the inside,” he said. “Some of the houses look bigger than the actual size of the house because of the openness and the light.” Fernandez also adds insulation and puts in energy-efficient features like tankless water heaters, state-of-the-art climate control systems.

Since starting in 2005, Fernandez has focused largely on bungalow-style homes. He just completed his sixth, a 1,898-square-foot house built in the 1920s on Mission Street in Southtown, and No. 7 is under way.

The house on Mission Street, which is listed for $399,000, includes Scavolini Italian kitchen design, quartz countertops and a back deck with planters built into the modern benches.

“It looks very contemporary,” Fernandez said. “We built up a wall, and the microwave and the oven are recessed in the wall, so it’s at the same level with the countertop. And it looks really nice with the kitchen.”

Curtis Bowers, a real estate agent for King William Realty who represents Fernandez, said the contrast between old and new appeals to home buyers.

“I think the things that I see that buyers get the most excited about is the juxtaposition of the exterior historic look of the home, and then they walk in,” Bowers said. “They like to see sleek modern kitchens and updated bathrooms that have nice amenities. Walking into a perfectly restored home doesn’t necessarily have the wow factor that the contemporary interiors do.”

He sold a house earlier this year similar to the one on Mission Street.

“What sold this property was really this sleek, contemporary Ikea kitchen that just jumped out,” Bowers said. “It was something you wouldn’t really expect in a little 950-square-foot bungalow.”

San Antonio architect Jim Poteet has designed modern interiors for historic houses in the Southtown area. A house he designed on Guenther Street was featured last year in the home tour put on by the San Antonio chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

“Actually, those old houses lend themselves to a modern lifestyle, maybe slightly better than some Mid-century houses which are now quite popular,” Poteet said. “But those (Mid-century) houses, there’s almost no way to retrofit them with the closets and bathrooms people are looking for today without extensive additions. Those can be accommodated much better in sort of the room patterns you get in these historic houses.”

The trend isn’t limited to Southtown. Tom Tarrant has been remodeling rundown Craftsman-style homes in the neighborhoods along Broadway and giving them contemporary interiors.

Tarrant said he goes to great lengths to preserve the old exteriors of the homes, even when he builds additions, but gives them modern, open floor plans and master suites. “A remodel of this caliber for a homeowner would be enough to cause a divorce,” Tarrant said.

Since 2008, he’s remodeled a handful of homes in Mahncke Park, and currently is working on another on Post Avenue. Tarrant said he usually sells his homes for $175 per square foot.

The homes provide a high-class living option for people who want to live near downtown, said Debra Maltz, a real estate agent with Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty.

They appeal to “mature people that still want to be in the neighborhood setting and yet be close to where the action is,” Maltz said. “They want to be able to walk, and I guess they have the means to pursue living this way.”

Restoring the older homes and giving them ultra-modern interiors creates a unique product in a historic district, Poteet said.

“You really want the exterior to be a real credit to the neighborhood, but the interior really needs to express the personality and the likes of the owner,” he said.