SAN ANTONIO -

An auto paint and body shop across from the Pearl Brewery and between Newell Avenue and East Quincy Street will become the newest site for downtown living.

Developers plan to repurpose the land to build 25 townhomes with access to Museum Reach on the San Antonio River.

Unlike recent downtown developments, the townhomes will be for sale.

"The rental market has really been taken care of, but for-sale product... has kind of been on hiatus for about three years now," said Steve Yndo, a realtor with Yndo Commercial Real Estate, a partner in the project.

"There's a lot of energy and there's a lot of desire to be down here," said Frank Pakuszewski, whose firm 1836 A.D. is overseeing most of the project's design and layout.

The development's 25 units will range in size from 900 square feet to just over 2,000 with prices between $220,000 and $375,000. The three-level townhomes will have enclosed garages and hardwood floors on the top two levels. They will also share a small common area with access to the river by the Grotto.

"One thing we've heard from the market and a lot of people is they want to be around Pearl, they want to be down here but for whatever reason -- empty nesters, et cetera -- they don't want to go back to renting, they want to buy," said Yndo.

"It's a commitment to the community," said Pakuszewski. "It's 25 individuals owning a piece of downtown."

Yndo said the city is still far behind other Texas metropolises and cities throughout the country that have started to reuse what exists in the urban core as the suburbs reach their limits.

The demand for the development already exists even though it's the first project of its kind along the river, Pakusweski said.

"We have about eight reservations, almost a third of it, maybe nine," said Pakusweski. "So we're getting some good responses and have only been really marketing for about a month."

The property is still under contract but construction should start in early 2013 and finish by the fall.