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eastsider

Downtown San Antonio

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La Cascada

12 story condominiums

Located on the Riverwalk

Complete in 2005

lacascada018ki.jpg

lacascada024zf.jpg

A second 10 story tower will be built called Fairfield Resorts at La Cascada. It will contain 100 time share units and feature a 14,000 sf ground floor retail center called La Plaza. Completion is set for late 2006 on this portion of the project.

Hotel Contessa

12 story - 265 room hotel

Located on the Riverwalk

Complete late 2005

hotelcontessa017ed.jpg

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The new San Antonio Convention Center Hotel is scheduled to break ground on June 10th. The 1,000 room hotel will be developed by FualknerUSA and operated by Hyatt Corp. The proposed design calls for two towers reaching 525 feet and would be the second tallest structure in San Antonio. They are still in negotiations about possibly adding condominiums to the top of the buildings.

Other features:

30,000 sf of meeting space

34,800 sf grand ballroom

27,500 sf junior ballroom

5 level underground parking garage

Story at www.mysanantonio.com

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The SA city council gave approval this week for condominiums to be included in the new convention center hotel. Now, in addition to the 1,000 hotel rooms, the building will have 144 condo units that range in size fron 765sf to 3,903sf. They will be housed at the top of the building on the 25th through 33rd floor.

Story at: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/citycounc...l.18197a17.html

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The 324-room Clarion Riverwalk Hotel is set to begin renovations and become the 306-room El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel. The building originally opened in 1962 as El Tropicano, but changed times several times over the years. The developers are looking to change the look from what currently looks like a chain hotel into something unique. They hope to have the renovations complete by the end of the year.

Story at:

San Antonio Business Journal: Historic downtown hotel is getting a new lease on life

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The Alamo National Bank Building is being converted by Drury Hotels to become the Drury Hotel Plaza. The Alamo National Bank building stands 24-stories tall and was built in 1929.

The Alamo National Building's conversion will occur in two stages. The Drury Plaza Hotel will open with about 310 rooms and about 15,000 square feet of meeting space, a $57.6 million project. The $10 million-plus second phase will add 60 to 80 rooms on top of the adjacent parking garage.
Phase I of the Drury Plaza Hotel will open in summer 2006, there is not a time frame in place yet for phase II.

http://www.druryhotels.com/properties/Alamo.cfm

*Has images of what the Alamo National Bank Building currently looks like and renderings of the completed project.

______________

The Aztec Theater, built in 1926, is also going under a renovation. It is set to reopen in January and feature a 475-seat, big screen, Iwerks Theater.

The theater will be largely finished by November. After employee training and installation of Iwerks Theater equipment, the attraction should open in January, featuring two historic items of the original Aztec, the 428-light lobby chandelier and the 1,700-pipe Wurlitzer theater organ.

The Aztec Theater's street-level lobby will feature a light-and-flame three-dimensional special-effects presentation portraying a story about the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl and a re-enactment of the Battle of the Aztec Empire.

http://aztecontheriver.com/

News on both projects are from the San Antonio Express-News article: Big changes coming next year for historic buildings downtown

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This is from an article about the Hotel Contessa's delays in being built and how it ended up being product because of them.

Judging by its lobby alone, the 12-story hotel will be among the most impressive in the city.

Guests entering the terraced lobby at street level will have an immediate view across its expanse to the river. There are similarities to the Hyatt Regency with its interior water features and stories-high atrium. Down the stairs of the lobby to the river level, Hotel Contessa guests will arrive at a two-story waterfall graced with tall palm trees.

A skylight that spans more than 1,200 square feet beams natural light down 12 stories. Balcony terraces on each floor provide views down to the lobby.

San Antonio Express-News: Hotel Contessa's timing favorable

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Plans are still being developed, but a renovation and expansion of the Rivercenter Mall could begin soon. More retail space will be added with possibly some upscale stores. There is also an option of adding a new hotel to the project, but no decision has been made.

"I'm not surprised they put money in Rivercenter because of its strong tourism base and a new Convention Center hotel nearby," Telisak said. "Just 50 yards from the mall there are going to be 2,500 hotel rooms, and these are not bottom-of-the-ladder hotel rooms. It's people with disposable incomes."

San Antonio Express-News: Planning underway to upgrade Rivercenter Mall

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Next Wednesday, the historic San Antonio Loan & Trust building will reopen. Built in 1901, the main floor, which contains a massive steel vault, will be used for either restaurant or gallery space. Condominiums or apartments will be located on the 2nd through 4th floor. The basement which was a boiler room, has been expanded and connected to the Riverwalk and will be home to Waxy O'Conner's Irish Pub and Eatery.

Renowned in England, where Waxy O'Connor's are popular pubs for soccer fans, this will be only the second U.S. location. A team from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will bring to San Antonio an entertainment spot respected for its chef-prepared menu and variety of beers and ales.

The San Antonio Loan & Trust will be the second of three historic landmark buildings on Crockett Street to open after rennovations. The L. Frank Sadderly Co. building reopened two years ago as the Watermark Hotel & Spa, and next February the Aztec Theater is scheduled to reopen.

San Antonio Express-News: Project gives new life to 1901 bank building

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HollyHills Development annouced that it will build a 16-story time-share and condominium tower along the Riverwalk. The company has purchased a one story office building at 120 Villita St. will be where the new project is built. The project will include a restaurant at the river level, 10 floors for time-share units, 2 floors above that for condominiums, and the top floor will house another restaurant, which could be stationary or revolving. Construction will begin in 2007.

San Antonio Express-News: Condo project on river is jelling

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The Hotel Contessa opened to good reviews on Monday.

The Contessa is being marketed as a "personal luxury hotel" aimed at both the business and leisure traveler and the small meetings industry, said Stuart Rosenberg, representing Benchmark Hospitality International, the hotel manager.

The new hotel has contains a total of 240,000 sf in 12 stories with 10,000 sf of meeting space and 265 rooms.

San Antonio Express-News: Contessa begins River Walk reign

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NOT to undermind FaulknerUSA or the new renduring. I was looking forward to seeing a more modern two tower high rise like the one that came out in the Express-News a few months back. I know the hotel design changed after it went before the Historic and Design Commission. My argument is it's not like we dont have any glass and steel buildings down town. There is one right by the greyhound bus station downtown

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SA Mayor Phil Hardberger has a plan that would open up Main Plaza by removing the four streets that box it in.

At an estimated cost of $10 million, the project would add trees, grass and a tiled fountain, replace the existing fountain and break up pavement and sidewalks for walkways of crushed granite or some other loose material.

One of the major components of the plan is creating a grassy slope from the plaza down to the San Antonio River that would draw tourist up from the RiverWalk up to business around the plaza. Some people are concerned about the traffic tie-ups that could be created by removing portions of Main, Main Plaza, Dolorosa, and Commerce streets. Planners say they can be overcome by adjusting traffic lights and removing on street parking on some streets.

112405main.plaza.gif

San Antonio Express-News: Main Plaza: Renewal or roadblock?

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Two condo towers are being mapped for downtown site

Web Posted: 11/30/2005 12:00 AM CST

Meena Thiruvengadam

Express-News Business Writer

In what's now a downtown parking lot, Chad Case envisions two upscale condo towers that forever will change the city's skyline.

The Presidian Co. project manager doesn't have a name for the development yet and doesn't have any confirmed buyers, but his company recently signed an agreement to buy property near Sunset Station for the endeavor.

"Our feet are on the ground, and we're moving forward," Case said.

It's not yet clear when construction will start on the 3.2-acre property at Chestnut and Center streets, formerly one of two area lots for Via Metropolitan Transit bus riders.

A percentage of the units must be sold before work can begin, Case said. Presidian Chairman and CEO Drake Leddy said he wants to see 60 percent of the 200 to 250 planned condos sold before construction begins.

Financing for the project has already been secured, Leddy said. "We have actually two lenders that have expressed a strong desire to do the project, plus we have Fannie Mae wanting to participate."

Plans for the development have been in the works for 18 months, and an on-site sales and marketing center is expected to open in the spring.

The two 22-story towers are expected to have attached garage parking, a business center, fitness facility, swimming pools and sundecks. The mostly one- and two-bedroom condos will include top-of-the-line appliances and high-end finishing touches. Townhouses adjacent to the towers are also planned.

Case estimates prices for the upscale downtown homes will start at $200,000.

It's an excellent starting price, Kuper Sotheby's International Realty sales broker Debra Maltz said. Maltz specializes in renting and selling properties in downtown San Antonio.

"Two hundred thousand does sound expensive, but if you look at the overall downtown availability, that's a great price," she said. "Some of the other projects you have available, like La Cascada, start at over $400,000."

Unlike other downtown condominium projects coming to life in renovated historic buildings, Presidian's project, like the 12-story La Cascada luxury condo tower on Dwyer Avenue, will feature new construction.

"This project is uniquely positioned for the modern home buyer," Case said.

It is Presidian's first high-rise condo complex in the city. The real estate development and management company, which this month broke ground on another high-rise condo development in Biloxi, Miss., is active in the hotel industry.

"San Antonio is one of the hottest markets in the country, and there is definitely a demand for more of an urban lifestyle here," Case said. "There are a lot of people looking for accommodations that are close to the energy of downtown."

While downtown San Antonio hasn't traditionally served as a residential hub, Nathan Cherry, a vice president with RTKL Associates, an international architecture, engineering and planning firm specializing in urban design, expects that to change.

"The core of San Antonio is just a wonderful thing," he said. "Tourists have taken advantage of it for a long time, and I think residents now are taking more steps to be a part of it."

Condos and lofts have been sprouting up all over downtown, and more are planned.

Shaul Baruch, a Dallas real estate developer involved with other San Antonio condo projects, said business has been great for him.

"It really looks like people want to live downtown," he said.

San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley recently moved into her own downtown San Antonio condo.

"It's very convenient to work. I didn't want to commute, and I wanted to be close to the center of activity," she said.

Residents like Sculley are helping cities across the country experience downtown residential real estate revivals.

Many downtown condo buyers don't intend on living in the spaces, instead using them as investments. But empty nesters, retiring baby boomers and young professionals who want to live downtown also fuel the growth, Maltz said.

"It's a lot less isolating than living in a traditional neighborhood," she said. "Over the last couple of years, it's really caught on."

http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/stori...se.d020b38.html

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I just ran across this article in the San Antonio Business Journal....A Courtyard by Marriott will replace St. Mary's School on the Riverwalk....

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/stor.../05/story2.html

Is the St. Mary's building worth preserving? My mother attended St. Mary's Hall in the 40's, but I think that the latter had a suburban location. If anyone can fill me in, I'd appreciate the info..

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I just ran across this article in the San Antonio Business Journal....A Courtyard by Marriott will replace St. Mary's School on the Riverwalk....

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/stor.../05/story2.html

Is the St. Mary's building worth preserving? My mother attended St. Mary's Hall in the 40's, but I think that the latter had a suburban location. If anyone can fill me in, I'd appreciate the info..

17 stories... nice! :)

So, in the downtown area, off the top of my head, plans are underway for a:

33 story

22 (twin) story towers

17 story

17 story

16 story

15 story

12 story

11 story

10 story

Nice! Def. improve to the skyline.

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17 stories... nice! :)

So, in the downtown area, off the top of my head, plans are underway for a:

33 story

22 (twin) story towers

17 story

17 story

16 story

15 story

12 story

11 story

10 story

Nice! Def. improve to the skyline.

Wow, San Antonio's skyline is really moving along.

Are the majority of those condos or office towers?

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