Joske's developers head back to drawing board

City's Historic Design and Review Commission denies hotel proposal


SAN ANTONIO – It's back to the drawing board for developers looking to build a 26-story hotel on top of the old Joske's building downtown.

This, after the City's Historic Design and Review Commission made a recommendation on Wednesday to deny another proposal to build a tower there.
However, Historic Design and Review Commission Director Shanon Miller said Thursday that the commission is still open to looking at a revised version.

"The applicant was encouraged by the commission to maybe look at the design and to resubmit," said Miller. "They are certainly within their rights to do that. There's no restrictions on resubmittal."

Miller said there were still concerns about the overall size of the proposed tower and how it would relate to Alamo Plaza and the historic buildings in the area, even after a last-minute redesign of the development that reduced its size.

So for now, the architects who submitted the latest design said they will have to regroup and figure out what the next step will be.

"I have no doubt that development is going to happen in that area," said San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro. "It's right across from the convention center. The question is, What happens to this project? And our staff is going to look at what the HDRC recommended, basically, which was not to go forward with what was proposed and then make a recommendation after that on how we go forward."

San Antonio resident Gary Heinz said while he's all for the development, he's still hoping to keep that historic look.

"A lot of the conventioneers that come to town, they like the "oldness" of San Antonio," said Heinz. "So I think if they put something up, they should stay within the boundaries set."

City staff will now take a look at the commission's recommendation  and make a decision on the proposal in 10 days.

For a list of recent stories Stephanie Serna has done, click here.

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