New hotel, restaurants and apartments to redo downtown San Antonio block


A pair of modern buildings towering along the River Walk will blend the downtown San Antonio landscape, revitalize a block near City Hall, and inject more contemporary designs and restaurants into the core urban city.

The luxury Canopy by Hilton San Antonio Riverwalk hotel on the corner of East Commerce and North St. Mary’s is slated to open this week. Construction of the nearby octagonal Floodgate building is progressing.

The designs of the hotel were presented in 2015 and for the Floodgate in 2016 .

The East Commerce block was previously busy by several vacant buildings or housing a hot dog shop, a payday lender and a convenience store. Some of the existing structures have been razed and others restored. Among them was the Witte Building, which Chris Hill, owner of Esquire Tavern and developer of Canopy, renovated.

House of Má and Hugman’s Oasis, a combination of tiki bar and Vietnamese restaurant, will open in the Witte building. Hugman’s owes its name to Robert HH Hugman, an architect widely regarded as the “father of the river walk”.

A render of The Floodgate in downtown San Antonio.

Courtesy of Keller Henderson

No new hotel has been built downtown since 2018, but the 21-story Canopy is one of four slated to open by the end of this year. Domingo Restaurant and Otro Bar are opening in the 195-room hotel.

A 2016 report estimated the cost of the Canopy to be between $ 55 million and $ 60 million. Hill declined to comment on the cost of the project.

The new attractions and activities “will be a revitalized start” for the section of the River Walk, he said.

Nearby, crews recently began pouring vertical pillars for the 16-story Floodgate after nearly a year spent demolishing and putting systems in place to stabilize the Esquire Tavern and Witte Building, according to the developer. Keller Henderson.

Named after a nearby bridge and sluice gate over the San Antonio River, the upscale Floodgate will feature 60 apartments, three penthouses, and 10,000 square feet of dining space. It is expected to be completed in March 2022.

The project is one of the largest residential investments downtown in recent years. Henderson said in a 2017 interview that he decided to increase the height of the building by 10 stories because the downtown multi-family market was expanding.

“As the redevelopment projects in San Antonio, from Lower Broadway to the Lone Star neighborhood, continue to move forward with success, I still believe this is the most relevant and dynamic market in the city,” said Henderson said Monday.

He said in 2017 he plans to rent the units at an average price of $ 4 per square foot, making the $ 43 million Floodgate the most expensive apartment complex in the city. Henderson said Monday that he plans to rent the apartments at market rates.

The building will feature a private dining room, fitness center, yoga and cycling studio, swimming pool and pet lawn, among other amenities.

Developer Chris Hill at the Canopy Hotel in downtown San Antonio.

Developer Chris Hill at the Canopy Hotel in downtown San Antonio.

Jerry Lara / San Antonio Express-News

Both developments will receive incentives from the city.

For the Hill’s Canopy project and the Witte restoration, city council members approved a $ 7.4 million program in 2016 for historic restoration and public improvements.

The Floodgate is expected to receive approximately $ 3.9 million in tax refunds, fee waivers from the City and San Antonio water system, and loans as part of the Downtown Housing Incentive Policy. city ​​(CCHIP).

CCHIP was born out of the Decade Downtown initiative of former mayor Julián Castro, which aimed to spark further development in the region.

It worked, sparking a wave of apartment, office and retail construction. But critics have argued that much of this accommodation is beyond the reach of many city residents.

In 2018, city council members overhauled the housing incentive and another program then known as the Downtown Reinvestment and Infill Policy (ICRIP).

CCHIP expired in December and no renewal is expected, city spokeswoman Kelly Saunders said. ICRIP, now known as the City of San Antonio Fee Waiver Program, is still in effect.

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