When you’ve stood in downtown San Antonio as many years as the street address on the front of your building, there is cause to celebrate. That makes 2014 a special year for the building known simply as 110 Broadway, which opened its doors in 1904, a time when horses still vied with the town’s growing number of motor vehicles. It’s now 110 years old and still thriving.
San Antonio’s acclaimed turn-of-the-century architect Atlee B. Ayers, designed 110 Broadway, which its at the corner of East Houston Street, a block away from the Alamo Plaza and the River Walk. It began as a five-story building with a rooftop tea garden. A sixth floor was added several years after the building as completed.
The building underwent a $10 million renovation in 1986 and was acquired in 1998 by Zurich Properties International, founded by principal Joseph Seiterle, a Swiss native who came to San Antonio from Montreal.
110 Broadway, Then and Now
“The Conservation Society invited my Dad here in the late 1970s because he had a great appreciation of historical buildings and the importance of historic preservation at a time when many developers in this city didn’t share those values,” said Laurence P. Seiterle, his son and fellow principal. “He had buildings in Montreal, but he saw the great potential in the city. I was five years old and a student in a French language school when we moved here from Montreal.”
Seiterle bought and sold different downtown commercial properties before acquiring 100 Broadway and a second Ayers-designed building on the same block, 118 Broadway, which sits on the corner of Travis Street.
“Back in 1998, 110 Broadway was only about 40% occupied and half the interior space was still a shell,” Laurence said. “Today, we are 85% occupied and our retail space on Houston Street has been 100% occupied for 5-10 years. Put the right businesses on the street and they thrive. We’re bullish on San Antonio and we’re bullish on downtown.”