Business owners embrace changes coming to Pearl area

Proposed 20-story high rise to be reviewed Wednesday

By Patty Santos - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - UPDATE 3/26:  The item was pulled from the agenda for unknown reasons.

ORIGINAL REPORT:

Business owners near the Pearl area are embracing the changes to come with the proposal of a new high-rise in the works that’s expected to bring more businesses.

George Chavez has seen a lot of change take place in his 30 years of owning an auto carwash and detailing business on Newell Avenue near Broadway.

“A lot of good changes,” he said, looking back and embracing what’s planned for the future. “No matter what they build around downtown, it will be good.”

A proposed 20-story high-rise building is planned for the northwest corner across from Chavez’s business. Gray Street Partners presented the design plan before the Historic and Design Review Commission, and it’s scheduled to be reviewed by the board at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The mix-use building will include ground floor retail, two levels of underground parking, three levels of wrapped garage parking, four floors of office and a shared amenity floor, plus 10 levels of hospitality topped with a mechanical penthouse. It would be the tallest building in the area if approved.

Roger Arias owns Earl Abel’s Restaurant next door to the property. He’s seen the design and thinks it will bring a lot to the area.

“I’m in favor of anything that brings business to the city of San Antonio and helps us,” Arias said.

Diana Keller owns SKG, which is next door to Arias’ business. She relocated to San Antonio from Austin because she sees the wave of change ahead.

“What I am seeing right now in San Antonio, we experienced in Austin 15 years ago,” she said.

Keller thinks San Antonio leaders need to start planning for the infrastructure to go along with the growth she thinks will continue around downtown.

“You can see and embrace the change and plan for it, because the change is coming and it will be greater than people think,” Keller said.

The Historic and Design Review Commission met with the developer last week to ask for changes to the design. The developer will go before the committee Wednesday before a final approval on the design.

The developer will also have to go before the Board of Adjustment to get an approval on the height proposal.

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