One of the developers of Essex Modern City, a $150 million mixed-use project in Denver Heights that’s been in the making since at least 2016, is planning another project a half-mile away on plots just west of East César E. Chávez Boulevard and South Cherry Street.
Sisters Bar currently operates on one of the parcels.
Sacramento, Calif., investment firm Harris Bay has already traversed two key city boards—the Planning Commission last Wednesday and the Zoning Commission this afternoon—to prepare the mostly-empty lots for potential development.
Last Wednesday, the Planning Commission amended the future land use of the two plots, which total 3.5 acres below the Chavez bridge south of the Alamodome, from “light industrial” to “mixed use,” which would allow for a hotel, micro-brewery, beer garden and multi-family complex of 350 units or less to be built.
This afternoon, the Zoning Commission rezoned the properties from a general commercial designation to a “high intensity infill development zone,” with permitted uses such as multi-family dwellings not to exceed 350 units, a bar, microbrewery, beer garden and hotel. Read the agenda item.
Jake Harris, a managing partner of Harris Bay, did not grant an interview request for this report.
According to Planning and Zoning Commission items, property owners in close proximity were notified of the changes, including the Denver Heights Neighborhood Association. At the Zoning Commission meeting today, city officials said 45 notices were mailed to nearby property owners and the neighborhood association, and that none responded to the change, including the neighborhood.
However, Aubry Lewis, president of the Denver Heights Neighborhood Association, told the Heron he had not heard of the project and didn’t receive a notice.
“They’ve not reached out to us,” Lewis said. “And that’s not good. It’s always good to get the neighborhood associations involved on the front end, so if there are any concerns from the community, we can get them addressed.”
Lewis predicts that the lack of outreach could lead to opposition to the project by residents of Denver Heights and Historic Gardens, the other neighborhood that borders the properties.
Harris Bay has partnered with San Antonio developer Varga Endeavors on Essex Modern City and a townhome project in the former Sunglo gas station lot at 1519 S. Presa St. Construction on Essex Modern City hasyet to begin, while the townhome shells of the Sunglo project have been built. Varga Endeavors does not appear to be a partner on this latest project.