Cedar Street Townhouses coming to King William

The December/January King William Association newsletter included this story of the new townhouses being developed by long-time neighbors Steve Yndo and Jim Bailey. They have been working diligently with the neighborhood, neighbors, and the KWA to produce a top-rate product. I look forward to seeing them go up and can assist anyone interested in purchasing one.

“Growing Pains” written by Cherise Bell

With the SA2020 initiative, the City has set a goal to add 7,500 new residential units downtown. Already built are Cevallos Lofts and 1010 S. Flores. Currently under construction are the Elan Riverwalk apartments and the Big Tex apartments, both which have 350 units. In the planning stages are a 150 unit complex on “the slab” next to La Tuna Restaurant and a project on Cedar Street with 12 units and 5 units.

The Cedar Street Townhouse are being developed by Steve Yndo, with Jim Bailey of Alamo Architects. In order to accomplish this project, the Children’s Shelter would be demolished. After presenting their plan to the KWA Board several times, the number of units was reduced and the configuration of the site plan was rearranged to reduce the visual impact on adjoining neighbors. The KWA Board approved the concept and zoning changes at its June 18 meeting. Currently, the zoning for one of the two lots is MF-33 (multi-family with maximum of 33 units); the other lot is zoned RM4, so no zoning change is required to accommodate the proposed 5 unit structure. Yndo will be changing the zoning of 133 Cedar to IDZ – with residential uses, specifically tied to the site plan. Zoning for 311 Pereida will go from MF-33 to RM-4 (single-family dwelling.) Yndo, KWA and SAISD are working together to try and move the Solon Stewart House from 114 Cedar to 311 Pereida. The KWA Board, using the KWA charter and mission as guidelines, approved the change in the use of the Children’s Shelter property (from commercial to residential) and putting a single-family house on the vacant lot at 311 Pereida.

NEW LISTING – 514 Madison St 78204 – $545,000

514 Madison St 78204

LISTING – 514 Madison St 78204 – King William Historic District

This two story Queen Anne home sits on a double lot just steps away from the River Walk in Historic King William. Double wrap around porches provide the perfect vantage point to watch the Fiesta King William Fair & Parade. The home features high ceilings, tall windows, beautiful hardwood floors, space for attic expansion, & a grand entry with elegant stairway. The family room overlooks the spacious yard shaded by mature trees. The detached two car garage off S. Alamo has a second story studio & full bath.



NEW LISTING – 239 Lone Star 78204 – $155,000

Curtis Bowers King William Lavaca Southtown Lone Star San Antonio Listings For Sale Front Porch Realty, LLC

239 Lone Star 78204


Recently renovated historic home in the hip Lone Star Neighborhood. 3 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms. Renovations include refinished floors, new interior paint, electrical upgrades, updated bathrooms, HVAC, updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, washer & dryer, attic conversion, and a security system. Open floor plan flows into the sleek kitchen with breakfast bar. French doors open to a deck and a large back yard. Perfect for entertaining. Move-in ready and waiting for you.

Click on the photo for more pictures and information about the house.


NEW LISTING – 531 Devine St. 78210 – $149,900

Curtis Bowers King William Lavaca Southtown San Antonio Listings For Sale

531 Devine St. 78210


Wonderful two bedroom and two bathroom home in Historic Lavaca. This home was renovated in 2007 to include foundation repairs, metal roof, and double pane windows throughout. An architecturally designed complementary addition was built to add modern amenities such as a master bath, dressing area with walk-in closet, laundry area, and a screen porch. Large lot includes a storage building. Great location in the neighborhood with easy access to Hwy 281.

Click on the photo for more pictures and information about the house.

NEW LISTING – 314 Madison 78204 – $850,000

Curtis Bowers King William Lavaca Southtown San Antonio Listings Front Porch Realty LLC

314 Madison 78204


Contemporary construction in the center of the King William Historic District. This luxurious and spacious home has it all. A gourmet kitchen is at the heart of the open floor plan which allows for wonderful entertaining or simply spending a quiet evening in. The private master retreat features a dressing room wrapped with California Closets, two restful balconies, and a well appointed bath. The pool, yard, and patios provide great spaces for outdoor living. Impeccable condition and centrally located.

Click on the photo for more pictures and information about the home.


NEW LISTING – 117 Panama 78210 – $259,000

Curtis Bowers King William Lavaca Southtown San Antonio CVF Homes

117 Panama 78210


Two story dream home in Lavaca priced to move quickly. Completely renovated home sits on large lot and features a contemporary kitchen with Bosch appliances, tankless water heater, insulated walls, spray foam insulated attic and sub-floor, high efficiency HVAC system, new concrete pier foundation, new electric system, new plumbing, and more. Private master suite upstairs is stunning with cedar added to mimic exposed rafters. Seller renovated 123 Panama and many others in Southtown. Come take a look.

Click on the photo for more pictures and information about the home.

One step closer to SAISD/City of San Antonio land swap

This was reported last week by San Antonio Express-News writer Josh Bauch. It is a follow-up to the article I previously posted.

Council eyes $5.68 million purchase of East Side building

The City Council on Thursday approved a plan that could lead to the purchase of the Friedrich Building, a former refrigerator factory on the East Side, as part of a larger land-swap deal with the San Antonio Independent School District.

The council voted 9-2 to enter into an option contract with the seller, Friedrich Lofts Ltd. The city negotiated a purchase price of $5.68 million for the building. The six-month option period will cost $100,000 and give the city exclusive rights to buy the structure.

If the city buys the Friedrich Building, it would trade it for several other properties owned by SAISD, including its headquarters property on Lavaca Street, south of HemisFair Park.

Councilmen Reed Williams and John Clamp voted against the initiative.

Councilwoman Ivy Taylor told her colleagues it could be a catalytic project that has the potential of revitalizing the East Side.

City, SAISD may trade land

This story was posted about four months ago in the San Antonio Express-News and I forgot to include it in my blog.

City officials say they are pressing a plan to acquire the Friedrich Building, a cavernous structure that’s haunted the East Side for years, renovate it and move the San Antonio Independent School District’s headquarters to the site.

City officials say they are pressing a plan to acquire the Friedrich Building, a cavernous structure that’s haunted the East Side for years, renovate it and move the San Antonio Independent School District’s headquarters to the site.

The preliminary cost estimate for the city is $40 million.

“This would have tremendous significance for the East Side,” said Deputy City Manager Pat DiGiovanni, the deal’s architect.

Under the proposal, the school district would get title to the property. In return, the city would take ownership of the SAISD’s current headquarters at 141 Lavaca St., across Durango Boulevard from HemisFair Park, and several other properties.

If the City Council and SAISD trustees ultimately approve the swap, it would result in hundreds of school district employees moving to the East Commerce Street location, a former refrigerator factory that currently has only a handful of tenants and widely is seen as a deterrent to development in the area.

It also would allow school officials to centralize the district’s administrative offices.

“It looks like the school district needs about 250,000 square feet of space,” DiGiovanni said. “It would be a renovation of most of the building, facade improvements, environmental cleanup, if there’s any needed, and the acquisition itself.”

SAISD Superintendent Robert Durón said trustees wouldn’t take up the proposal until after the district’s $515 million bond election in November.

“We don’t want to mix our message as far as the bond,” he said.

Durón spoke favorably of the potential land swap, which won’t show up as a project in the bond issue.

“We see this as an opportunity to drive even more opportunity into our district. We could consolidate a lot of our central office facilities – we’re pretty spread out,” he said. “If it could work in developing economic development downtown, that certainly benefits the district, too.”

The assessed value of the district’s Lavaca headquarters – housed in a historic building – and the 4-acre site is $6.9 million, according to the Bexar Appraisal District.

Downtown grocery store

One idea under discussion for the site, if the deal’s consummated, is a downtown grocery store – despite serious questions about the viability of such an operation.

“There are no definitive plans, but a grocery store sounds good to me,” DiGiovanni said. “It’s a great site, it’s a great corner. But whether or not it could work for that is up in the air at this point in time.”

Mayor Julián Castro has staked out the placement of a grocery store to cater to downtown residents as one of his center-city development priorities.

Madison Smith, a principal at Overland Partners and president of the HemisFair Park Area Local Government Corp. said the master planning for HemisFair, which starts in October, will extend to the school district’s property. But it also will include other land adjacent to HemisFair in the hopes of influencing future development or design.

Smith said a grocery store is a likely discussion point in any HemisFair conversation.

“The charge is creating a vibrant, mixed-use living, working and playing environment,” Smith said. “You don’t have a living environment without the ability to go get food. I can’t imagine a grocery store not being a part of the conversation.”

Former Mayor Henry Cisneros has been discussing the development of a grocery store with H-E-B officials, city leaders and other potential developers – though he notes there are, for now, too few downtown dwellers to sustain a full-size operation.

“The present base of downtown is about 15,000 people living within a mile of the center of the downtown,” he said. “A substantial, normal-size H-E-B, for example, would require about 30,000.”

He said Charles Butt, chairman and CEO of H-E-B, and his management team “share the goal of wanting to be downtown.” However, an H-E-B spokeswoman declined to comment about the downtown grocery concept.

Cisneros said he’s not a potential investor in such a venture, though he didn’t rule out a future stake.

“At this point at least I’m not in a financially involved role – I’m just doing everything I can as a civic leader to support the process going forward,” he said.

Memo of understanding

SAISD’s board of trustees and the City Council were briefed on the proposed land swap in executive sessions last month; neither took action. DiGiovanni said they’ll both take up a nonbinding memorandum of understanding – which will establish a framework for a land swap – later this month.

Meanwhile, the city is negotiating an option agreement with the Friedrich Building’s owners, a pact that would allow the city to acquire the property within six months. DiGiovanni said the agreement could go to the City Council in October if council members and SAISD trustees support the plan.

Eugene Simor, a partner in the Friedrich Building, declined to comment on the negotiations.

If the deal is OK’d, DiGiovanni said the city could pay for the acquisition and renovation of the building through a combination of sources, including certificates of obligation and tax-increment financing. But the project likely wouldn’t turn up as a line item in the city’s anticipated bond election in 2012.

He said the proposed property shuffle grew out of a series of East Side community meetings, organized by Castro and Councilwoman Ivy Taylor and launched a year ago, to focus economic development efforts in an area that’s seen few new businesses and jobs move in.

“The East Side summit set the direction,” DiGiovanni said. “The community said it wanted the Friedrich Building revitalized.”

The current owners’ plan to turn the abandoned factory floors into retail and office space and residential lofts has gone almost nowhere since they hatched it in 1999.

If the city and school district approve the swap, the existing office tenants will face an uncertain future.

“They have leases, and we’ll have to evaluate the leases and then decide from there what happens,” DiGiovanni said.

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