Pearl developer Silver Ventures plans to build 265 apartments across the river

by Ben OlivoNovember 30, 2020
The Elmira Apartments, 1126 E. Elmira St., is a 265-unit, 7-story apartment complex with structured parking, and ground floor live-work units and retail, proposed by Silver Ventures. Courtesy Don B. McDonald Architect
The Elmira Apartments is a seven-story apartment building planned for 1126 E. Elmira St. Courtesy Don B. McDonald

This article was updated at 4:45 p.m.

Pearl developer Silver Ventures is planning to build a 265-unit, seven-story apartment building on East Elmira Street, on the other side of the San Antonio River's Museum Reach from the Pearl's main campus.

The project would be the fourth major multifamily development by Silver Ventures, and would push the Pearl's apartment total past 900 units.

Documents submitted to the city show the project consuming most of the city block bound by East Elmira, Schiller, East Quincy and East Park streets, a 3.1-acre site that touches a River Walk entrance.

The major Pearl multifamily apartments built by Silver Ventures to date:
» Can Plant, 293 units, opened 2012
» Southline Residences, 223 units, opened October 2019
» Cellars at Pearl, 122 units, opened 2017

On Wednesday, the Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC) is scheduled to review and potentially vote on the project.

The HDRC agenda item for the Elmira Apartments describes a seven-level "precast parking garage" wrapped with mostly apartments, and some live-work units and 7,500 square feet of retail space on the ground level, including a coffee shop. Structurally, five wood-framed stories would sit atop a "2-story concrete podium." The facade would consist of mostly brick masonry, and painted stucco.

For the Elmira Apartments, Silver Ventures turned to local architect Don B. McDonald, who the company also tapped to design Credit Human's 12-story headquarters building, and the Oxbox, an eight-story office building on Broadway—two projects it co-developed. Jefferson Bank, in an attempt for architectural continuity on Broadway, also hired McDonald for its upcoming 13-story headquarters at Broadway and East Grayson streets.

The documents also describe a pool deck, community living room and fitness center overlooking the river. The developer will explore using " salvaged brewery artifacts" into the elements of the design, supporting documents read.

Silver Ventures is requesting an incentives package via the city's Center City Housing Incentive Policy. It includes a rebate on city property taxes for 10 years, but it's unclear how much the city or Silver Ventures estimates the tax break to be worth. The developer will receive back 75% of the total city property taxes owed, while 25% will feed the city's Affordable Housing Fund, estimated to be worth $1 million across the 10 years.

It also includes a reimbursement on SAWS impact fees valued at $500,000, which the developer will request from the MidTown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) board.

In a TIRZ, the rise in property tax revenue is collected and reinvested back into the zone in the form of public upgrades or for the creation or preservation of affordable housing.

It's unclear how much it will cost to build the project, and what the timeline looks like. Bill Shown, Silver Ventures' managing director for real estate, didn't immediately respond to an email inquiry Monday morning.

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Heron Editor Ben Olivo can be reached at 210-421-3932 | | @rbolivo on Twitter

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