A group that includes local real estate agent Dix Densley has purchased a historic landmark on the near West Side with plans to renovate it in a way that “will pay homage to the building and its history,” he said.
The two-story commercial building at 830 W. Commerce St., which last housed the old Estrada Hardware store, is a half-block north of the downtown campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). The group, operating under the name DGSD – 830 W. Commerce St. LLC, bought the 0.33-acre property in late August. State corporate filings show that it is a subsidiary of a company named 4D Real Ventures.
Densley said he is not ready to share more about the plans or who is involved in the ownership.
“The goal of our project is to make something that will serve the community and pay tribute to its history,” Densley said. “We’re definitely not the slash-and-burn type of developers… We’re trying to be socially conscientious.”
The building is a local landmark, and is also located within the Cattleman Square Historic District, according to city records. An inquiry to the city’s Office of Historic Preservation on what makes the former hardware store historic was not returned.
Sanborn maps show the building was erected sometime between 1904 and 1912, making it more than 100 years old, according to Beth Standifird, librarian with the San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation.
It’s unclear what the building’s use was before the hardware store.
Arnoldo Estrada moved his hardware store to the ground floor of the building in 1955, according to Express-News archives. At the time, the Sterling Hotel occupied the second level, according to the same newspaper article in 2005.
Developers have been showing a lot of interest in that area of the near West Side as UTSA plans a massive expansion of the downtown campus. Downtown developer David Adelman hopes to tear down two nearby historic buildings at 900 W. Houston St., to build a 122-unit apartment complex. The nearby Whitt building was partially saved from demolition recently. And there is a preservation battle going on now around the Aurelia Dashiell House, an 1880s structure that was once a brothel and once an orphanage at 503 Urban Loop.
Richard Webner is a freelance journalist covering Austin and San Antonio, and a former San Antonio Express-News business reporter. Follow him at @RWebner on Twitter