As owners of the property located at Ellwood and Austin Highway, all of us at Broadway Ellwood Company LLC want to give you an overdue update on its status, and on our plans for the property moving forward.
From the moment each of us became part owner of this land, we have felt an obligation to see it redeveloped into something special, something worthy of its location. In order to live into this vision, we have always believed that any new development plan has needed to contain three key elements: 1) quality architecture, 2) a use that is beneficial to our community, and 3) economic viability.
Unfortunately, for much of the time of our ownership, several factors (including difficult economic conditions) have made it difficult to move forward on any such plan.
For the past 18 months or so, however, we felt that we were on the right path when we contracted to sell the property to a developer intending to build what we believed was to be a first-class apartment project. We believed that it lived up to our desire that there be numerous benefits to the community, including that it would be an architecturally significant project that would help breathe new life into what most see as a clearly decaying business/retail corridor.
As most of you are aware, the developer decided that the limits imposed by the Special Use Permit tentatively approved by Alamo Heights City Council weren’t compatible with the economic realities of building a $30 million project. They therefore terminated the purchase contract this past February.
Given this turn of events, we wanted to let you to know that we have decided to take the next several months to completely reassess our options and discuss with various stakeholders where we should go from here.
We also wanted you to know that we have decided that the current condition of the buildings is wholly unacceptable – in fact, we feel that this has been the case for some time. We had hoped that by now they would have been torn down as part of the property’s redevelopment, but not only has this not happened, over the past 18 months they have degraded rapidly.
Their condition is now something we simply can’t continue to tolerate – we live in this community, we drive by the site daily, and now that we control the property again we are determined to demolish the improvements as soon as possible. Before long, therefore, you will probably read about (and hopefully witness) our efforts to raze these structures – if any of the houses can be donated to charity, we will endeavor do so.
We remain hopeful that in the end our community will come together to arrive at a consensus to redevelop this property in a manner that is strongly embraced by us all. In the meantime, we welcome any thoughts or suggestions – please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richard Peacock Jr.
*Featured/top image: Current view of Broadway and Austin Hwy. Photo courtesy of Overland Partners.