Developer Weston Urban has demolished a small storage building it owned on North Flores Street, on the same block as Carmens De La Calle, Gloria's Lounge and the Robert E. Lee apartments. The building was known in recent years for its Dr. Seuss mural that over looked the Little Patch Garden, another property the company owns north of the building.
It's unclear why the building was razed. Interview requests sent to Weston Urban President Randy Smith were not returned.
According to property records, the structure was built in 1942 as an automotive garage.
Permission to demolish the building was granted on April 18 by the city's Office of Historic Preservation after the department found the structure was not eligible for local landmark designation.
Six years ago, with Weston Urban's blessing, some members of Geekdom created the Little Patch Garden on a piece of land less than a tenth of an acre in size encircled by West Pecan, North Main, West Salinas and North Flores streets. This was when Geekdom was located on the 18th floor of the nearby Weston Centre. In its heyday, the garden produced fruits, vegetables and herbs. The warehouse was used to store equipment and supplies for the garden's upkeep.
But the garden is more of a remnant now. The fig tree is budding. There might be a mint plant left. But that's about it. Co-founder Steve Flannery describes the gardening volunteers these days as more of a skeleton crew. There are desires to keep it going, but the caretakers say they've been out of touch with Weston Urban.
"We've just heard nothing from them," Flannery said of inquiries to Weston Urban about the garden's future. "It wasn't hurting anybody. I don't know, I think they're planning on developing that area."
The former warehouse property is the only one Weston Urban owns on the block. The retail structures that face Main and Flores are owned by local entity AC Capital Enterprises, and the Robert E. Lee by Relee Partners LP, a partnership that includes principles with Connecticut-based JHM Group, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
This year, Weston Urban has increased its activity level on its vast holdings in west downtown. It's currently putting the finishing touches on the 23-story Frost Tower, located a block south from the garden. Opposite the tower, the developer is recreating the green space on Houston Street into an actual park with restaurant space to house Pinkerton's Barbecue of Houston.
It also owns—or will own, because of the land deal between Weston Urban, Frost Bank and the city—several tracts of land in the vicinity of the tower, including the former SX Callahan property at 425 N. Flores St.
In previous interviews, Smith has said Weston Urban will align its west downtown development plans with those of the University of Texas at San Antonio, which will quadruple the size of its downtown campus in the next 10 years.