Preliminary rendering of a six-story office building at 711 Broadway. The design is by Lake Flato and Boka Powell architects. Credit: Courtesy / Historic and Design Review Commission

San Antonio-based Hixon Properties, in partnership with Cavender Brothers Management, has submitted plans to construct a six-story office structure at 711 Broadway with ground-floor retail space and subgrade parking.

The developers are requesting conceptual approval from the Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC), which meets Wednesday.

The newly proposed six-story office building is on the corner of Eighth Street and Broadway Street and will be approximately 81 feet in height, according to HDRC documents. Its design will be spearheaded by Lake Flato architects in association with Boka Powell architects. The property along the lower Broadway corridor has sat vacant since 2013, according to the San Antonio Business Journal.

The project will focus on sustainable design and be built using a mass timber structural system instead of concrete or steel, according to a Hixon Properties press release. If approved by HDRC, the project is expected break ground in the spring of 2018.

“Mass timber structures are on the cutting edge of sustainable construction options,” Hixon Properties Chief Investment Officer John Beauchamp stated. “We want to provide a unique and beautiful workplace for people to enjoy in their everyday lives, and do so in a way that respects our environment. We are particularly excited about the possible use of mass timber, and we believe the project would be the first of its kind built in Texas.”

If approved by HDRC, the property on 711 Broadway is slated to become a six story office building. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

While vehicle traffic dominates the corridor, funds from the $850 million 2017-2022 Bond aim to improve walkability and reduce traffic along a three-mile stretch of Broadway. The bond’s allocated money for streets, bridges, and sidewalk improvements include $42 million to reconstruct Broadway from East Houston Street to Hildebrand Avenue with bicycle amenities, curbs, sidewalks, driveway approaches, lighting, and drainage improvements. City funding will be combined with state and federal funding for the project.

“We are planning a walkable neighborhood that incorporates new buildings and old,” stated Hixon Properties President Jack Spector. “Our goal is to provide an authentic experience that becomes the heart of the near-downtown Broadway corridor.”

The emerging Broadway corridor is considered a commercial hub, with several other projects in the area under development. Its proximity to the Pearl, which has spurred the growth of commercial, residential, and retail spaces in the vicinity, has made it coveted real estate for many developers hungry to construct or redevelop mixed-use projects, office spaces, apartments, and hotels.

In December, HDRC approved two office towers at the Pearl by developer Silver Ventures. The 10-story and six-story buildings will occupy the block between Broadway Street and Avenue B and partially wrap around a 950-space parking garage.

In April, HDRC also approved a 223-unit apartment complex near the Pearl Brewery,  another Silver Ventures project. Silver Ventures is the same firm that converted the once-vacant Pearl Brewery into a residential and culinary hub. The 233-unit complex, called Brewery South, will include a pool deck, community living room, library, and fitness center, all with views of the San Antonio River.

Another major developer, GrayStreet Partners – known for major development projects downtown – also owns four acres across Broadway Street and plans to develop apartments, condos, restaurants, offices, and greenspace to occupy the Government Hill neighborhood.

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Rocío Guenther

Rocío Guenther worked as a bilingual reporter and editorial assistant for the Rivard Report from June 2016 to October 2017. She is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico and holds a bachelor's in English...