A historic preservation project consisting of multiple restaurants and a small hotel is taking shape in a two-story historic building on Soledad Street, next to the old Mexican Manhattan restaurant.
R.S. Merit Real Estate Co. is planning to build three restaurants and an 11-room spa hotel inside the circa-1877 Maverick building at 112 Soledad St. The project includes a river-level restaurant, a street-level restaurant facing Soledad and a rooftop restaurant and bar.
“It’s really a culinary-driven property that also happens to have a hotel component,” Derek Rosson, principle of locally-based. R.S. Merit Real Estate, told the Heron. Rosson is partnering with David Wieder, local broker and developer, on the project.
Tenants for the three restaurants and the hotel operator have been signed to leases, but Rosson declined to disclose them at this time. Rosson also serves as chief operations officer of the Silo Restaurant Group, which operates several restaurants in San Antonio, including four Silo locations, Nonna Osteria at the Fairmount Hotel, Nosh, and two La Fogota restaurants.
Rosson declined to say whether any of those brands would have a future in the Maverick building redevelopment. Rosson did describe the hotel operator as “non-traditional.”
Most of the tin ceiling and wood floors will be restored, and wood windows and doors maintained, inside the 7,000-square-foot limestone structure, according to documents submitted to the city. The Historic and Design Review Commission gave the project conceptual approval on Wednesday.
The commercial building was built by the Mavericks as a storehouse. Most recently, it was used as a church and by VIA Metropolitan Transit before that.
“We’re really interested in trying to preserve and highlight the history behind a historic structure like that,” Rosson said.
The design by Sprinkle & Co. Architects includes a one-story rooftop addition set 35 feet from the facade, and a three-story addition to the rear facing the San Antonio River. Upper floor balconies face the river. A portion of the historic retaining wall would be knocked out creating a new River Walk entrance where a dining patio would also exist.
“The design of this area is meant to evoke H.H. Hugman’s early River Walk design esthetic,” the architects wrote in the documents.
In the 1920s, the original facade was cut back when Soledad was widened, and a new brick facade was rebuilt including the entire first floor area.
Rosson declined to disclose a price for the project, nor a name. He did say he and Wieder are pursuing historic tax credits at both the state and federal level.
R.S. Merit acquired the building in 2019 from Sidney Francis for undisclosed price. It was the first purchase for the young company.
Rosson anticipates construction to begin first quarter of 2022, and be completed by the end of 2022.
Rosson said the area attracted he and Wieder because of the abundance of redevelopment going on in the area. Plus, it was labeled as an Opportunity Zone, which offers developers breaks on capital gains taxes
“We were really interested in the fact that it was located in what we thought was an underdeveloped stretch of the River Walk that was getting ready to transform in a really big way,” he said, citing Chris Hill’s Canopy by Hilton hotel and his refurbishing of the Witte building; The Floodgate apartment mid-rise currently under construction; the expansion of the University of Texas at San Antonio; and all of the Weston Urban projects in west downtown.
In recent years, the Home2 Suites by Hilton San Antonio Riverwalk was built by Austin-based Merritt Development Group (no relation to R.S. Merit Real Estate), consuming half of the former Solo Serve property, on Soledad next to the proposed spa hotel to the north.
Across Soledad, North Carolina-based Winston Hotels is renovating the former Riverview Towers into two Marriott brands—AC Hotel and Element Hotel—and office space.