A new gas station, convenience store, and fast food joint outside the San Antonio International Airport is slated for completion just in time for the city’s Tricentennial celebrations and the NCAA Final Four games in 2018. Final designs were unanimously approved by City Council on Thursday.
It will be a far more aesthetically pleasing product than previously proposed, said several Council members. Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1) had stepped in earlier this year and called for a more thoughtful site, sign, and landscape design.
Treviño, who is an architect, convinced his colleagues to turn down the initial proposal in May because it lacked clarity on the site plan and came without renderings of what the visual impact would be.
“Some minor tweaks made some major impacts,” he said.
Those tweaks include more landscaping, a shorter sign, and adjustments to the layout to allow for a foliage buffer between Airport Boulevard and the parking lot. Several crape myrtle trees will be planted to obstruct the view of the gas station.
“This is the first and last impression of our city,” Councilman Joe Krier (D9) said of the small development located north of the airport’s main sign off of Airport Boulevard. “I’m grateful for (Treviño) bringing this up.”
Treviño’s concerns regarding the initial plan was “not so much about architecture (but more) about understanding” visually what it was they were approving – which is difficult to do without renderings.
One of the more common challenges people have when arriving or departing from SAT, especially if they’ve rented a car, is finding a gas station, said the City’s interim Aviation Director Noel T. “Tom” Jones.
“The geographic layout is hard to remember,” Jones told the Rivard Report after the City Council’s vote. As a U.S. Air Force veteran, he’s more than familiar with the struggle of visiting and relocating military personnel.
The new Phillips 66 gas station will feature a Q Mart convenience store and Burger King. Most of the station’s customers will be airport-related, Jones said, but the frontage road also draws a lot of local traffic. The cellphone waiting lot will be located right next to the store for easy access.
“The first time we brought (the designs) before Council I was focused on the project strategically and the details of the placement of certain things I did not bring out in my brief,” he said. “(Treviño) was right to raise those issues.”
The City didn’t want the airport’s main approach to be “dominated by a vendor’s sign,” he said, so the City worked with owner Northwest Petroleum LP to create a more thorough design that took the Council’s direction.
“In a perfect world, I would have loved to see a Whataburger and a Valero,” Councilman Cris Medina (D7) said.
They asked Valero and several local companies if they were interested, Jones said. “They chose not to for their own reasons.”
Northwest Petroleum did.
Construction will begin within 100 days and take approximately 18 months.
Top image: Looking southeast at the gas station on Northern and Airport boulevards. Rendering courtesy of Method Architecture for San Antonio International Airport.