The Historic and Design Review Commission gave its approval Wednesday for a new 10-story apartment and retail building near the Pearl. 

The commission’s OK comes nearly two years after the initial concept was approved with stipulations requiring the design team to show the building’s dimensions won’t exceed allowable heights and massing and that the plans comply with regulations for pedestrian access on sidewalks in the area.

With those conditions and several others met, City staff recommended approval so the project can move forward. 

Bounded by the eastern sections of Euclid, Myrtle, Elmira, and Locust streets west of the Pearl, the 1.5-acre property where the planned 229-unit tower will be built is situated in the River Improvement Overlay district. 

Plans show the brick-facade building will include 299 units, 12,000 square feet of retail at street level, and on-site structured parking for both residents and visitors, according to documents submitted by architect Cameron Kraus of the firm Gensler. 

The development will take the place of a flea market storage warehouse, a production company, a co-working space (Cubes at the Quonset), a construction company, and a broker/leasing office. It does not occupy the corner of East Euclid and East Myrtle streets where several single-family residential structures remain. 

During public comments at the HDRC meeting, Tobin Hill resident Frederica Kushner said she takes “exception to the use of impervious materials in open areas and walkways,” shown in plans for the proposed structure. 

“This is a huge building covering three-quarters of a city block and is within one block of the San Antonio River,” she said. “When it rains, water and pollutants and debris will be routed to the river.”

At the commissioners’ request, Kraus responded to those concerns by stating that the planned development actually improves the property’s current conditions with regard to stormwater runoff. 

In addition to roof drains at various levels of the building, there are plans for large planting areas along the sidewalks to not only direct runoff but also provide shade. “Likewise, there’s a perimeter drainage system around the foundation that will also catch the site runoff from the building itself,” Kraus said. 

Following the brief discussion, commissioners voted unanimously to approve the project, which is being led by Austin-based Sabot Development. Sabot’s Jim Young did not respond to a request for comment. 

The Elmira development is just one of several multifamily projects planned or in progress to supply the booming housing demand near the Pearl.

Late last year, commissioners gave conceptual approval to a Silver Ventures investor group for a proposed seven-story multifamily project at Elmira and Schiller streets, adjacent to the River Walk. 

Embrey Partners and Area Real Estate are currently partnering on the Creamery, a former Borden Dairy plant two blocks from the Pearl, that will bring 344 units to the neighborhood.

Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is the development beat reporter for the San Antonio Report.