Rendering of the hotel that would replace the Solo Serve building at 114 Soledad. Rendering courtesy of Bounds + Gillespie Architects.
Initial rendering of the hotel that will replace the Solo Serve building at 114 Soledad. Credit: Courtesy / Bounds + Gillespie Architects

The Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC) approved the final designs for a nine-story hotel on the River Walk Wednesday, which will allow developers to demolish the long-vacant Solo Serve building.

Plans for the hotel with a river-level restaurant and street-level retail space from Austin-based Merritt Development Group and hotel developer Vista Host received conceptual approval from the Commission in July.

Once the building is demolished, only a historic 11-foot brick wall facing the River Walk will remain of what was once the Bexar County Courthouse. The Solo Serve general store was constructed in the 1920s. While it is a local historic landmark, the structure has “lost significance,” according to the Office of Historic Preservation.

The northern 25% of the Solo Serve property will be retained by its current owner, Service Lloyds Insurance Co. The developers plan on creating a temporary public park until plans for that portion of the lot are solidified.

Plans for an AC Hotel by Marriott on the site were scrapped last year after Dallas-based Woodbine Development Corporation couldn’t make the 21-story hotel sit well with HDRC or investors.

Several major hotel, housing, and office projects have cropped up all over the urban core in recent years as a part of downtown’s ongoing revitalization. Construction will soon start on the new 23-story Frost Bank tower on Main Street, a 19-story mixed-use apartment complex is planned down the river, and an 18-story boutique hotel will break ground in 2017.

Iris Dimmick

Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick covers public policy pertaining to social issues, ranging from affordable housing and economic disparity to policing reform and workforce development. Contact her at iris@sareport.org