The Pearl is expanding again. A city panel on Wednesday approved new plans by the redevelopers of the former brewery campus for a mid-rise apartment tower north of the property.

The multifamily project is planned for a 2-acre industrial site at 102 E. Josephine St., which sits along the Museum Reach of the River Walk in the booming Tobin Hill neighborhood.  

The Historic and Design Review Commission granted a certificate of appropriateness to Oxbow Development Group, the development arm of investment firm Silver Ventures, for architectural plans showing a nine-story structure with a brick facade and stone banding, exposed structural concrete and decorative metal guardrails. 

Garage parking will be on the interior of the structure with one underground level designed for public parking. The building will house 250 market-rate units and four townhouses, plus office and retail space on the ground floor and third floor. 

A vacant, two-story warehouse and surface parking lot on the site will be demolished to make way for the building. The city’s Zoning Commission approved Oxbow’s rezoning request in November. 

Acquired by a Pearl investor group in 2020, the property was most recently assessed at $7.1 million, according to tax records. 

Oxbow Development Group CEO Bill Shown said the project transforms a former industrial site into “something that is beautiful and that contributes to the dynamism of the neighborhood.”

The Houston-based firm Kirksey Architecture is the architect of record on the project. 

As designed, the building will exceed the 120-foot height limit outlined in the Unified Development Code for any development in that part of San Antonio River’s viewshed. While the ninth floor measures 121 feet, a rooftop enclosure for the building’s mechanical equipment will be just over 134 feet tall. 

  • A rendering shows what the new structure located at 102 E. Josephine St. will look like.
  • The current two-story structure and parking lot will be demolished.

Despite this difference, city staff recommended approval of the plans but said a variance from the city’s Board of Adjustment will be a required next step in the development process. 

Nearby, Oxbow is building a seven-story residential structure with 256 units across the river from the luxury Cellars apartments at the Pearl. Omar Gonzalez, director of development for Oxbow, said the group hopes to complete the project in 2024.

That building is among the more than 1,200 units already under construction or in progress across the Tobin Hill neighborhood just west of the Pearl, including one by developer Lynd Living and another by Embrey Real Estate

In addition, California real estate developer Harris Bay has been assembling land along West Josephine Street in an effort to build a mixed-use development with another 1,000 apartments in the neighborhood. 

Gonzalez said a timeline for the demolition and construction at the East Josephine site has not been determined, but he previously estimated it would take until 2026 to complete.

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Shari Biediger

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