In a few years, the Eastside will be home to the Crockett Lofts at Sunset Station, a multi-family housing development in the St. Paul Square area that will add to the neighborhood’s robust revitalization efforts.
On Tuesday morning, officials broke ground on the structure, which will be located at 239 Center St. and feature 271 housing units, 136 of which will be designated as workforce housing intended for professionals such as teachers and police officers. The complex will feature amenities such as a dog park, club house, swimming pool, fitness center, barbecue courtyard, and a 503-car parking garage for tenants and neighborhood patrons.
The addition of the Crockett Lofts to the Eastside was made possible by a unique public-private partnership between the City of San Antonio, the San Antonio Housing Trust, Zachry Realty, and The NRP Group, the contractor in charge of the project. As part of the Center City Housing Incentive Program, the City will contribute San Antonio Water System (SAWS) impact fee waivers as well as $619,000 in incentives to the area’s redevelopment.
It was a difficult and time-consuming task to get the Crockett Lofts plan off the ground, said NRP Group Senior Vice President Dan Markson, who praised the initiative and cooperation from the organizations involved.
“People ask why it took a while for this to happen here,” he said. “I tell them it’s just like a boat with a lot of oars. It’s like a Roman galley.”
Councilman Alan Warrick (D2) said that the project serves as a pioneer in development for the Eastside and downtown.
“We can’t do anything on the Eastside without affordable housing,” Warrick said. “The market-based projects are going to come based on this project. This is leading the way for all the Pearl-type and Southtown-type projects to come here. The opportunity is here.”
The Crockett Lofts will bring more residents to the area, he added, and in turn help change the perception of downtown from a tourist spot to a local environment.
Newly-elected State Rep. Laura Thompson (D-120) said that the project presents an opportunity for people from all walks of life to come together and contribute to a historic neighborhood.
“I can’t wait to see this building turn into a building full of vibrant people that love San Antonio,” she said.
Assistant City Manager Lori Houston said that project partners have their focus set on the community aspect of the undertaking rather than the financial gain. Downtown development, she added, rarely produces a quick profit.
“Downtown development is extremely hard,” Houston explained. “People don’t do it just to make money. You don’t make a lot of money at first. It really takes a lot of risk and a lot of passion.”
After the groundbreaking, Warrick expressed his enthusiasm for the project and the unique partnership that made it possible to the Rivard Report.
“This is what it takes to do downtown development when we haven’t proven the market yet,” Warrick said. “There’s no more incentives going in for the Pearl because we don’t need them anymore. For this side of town, just because we’re across the freeway, it’s harder for banks to find and investors to see.”
Visionaries will also recognize St. Paul Square’s proximity to the Alamo, the newly-expanded Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, and the Alamodome, Warrick added, as well as the development opportunities awaiting them. More developments on the Eastside will benefit from this type of public-private partnership, Warrick said, which will be nothing but beneficial for the Eastside community.
Top image: A rendering of the Crockett at Sunset Station Lofts at 239 Center St. (1). Courtesy of the City of San Antonio Center City Development & Operations Department.