The company behind the long-awaited redevelopment of San Antonio’s Hemisfair Park has slashed plans after protests from local residents.

Austin-based Post Lake Capital Partners and Trube Land Development submitted revised plans, the San Antonio Report, to the city’s Historical and Design Review Board report.

Plans show a three-story retail tower next to San Antonio’s Riverwalk, and a 10-story mixed-use building with parking garages northwest of Hemisfair, the site of the 1968 World’s Fair, adjacent to a municipal park. That’s more than half the size of a previous concept the developer approved in October, which called for a 10-story retail tower and a 29-story, 360-unit residential tower on a 2-acre site facing East Market Street, complete with a parking lot.

Groups including the San Antonio Conservancy opposed the project, saying the building’s design and height were inappropriate for the site and did not reflect the city’s culture.

“The project missed an opportunity to connect with the new municipal park,” Kathy Krnavek of the Conservancy told the outlet. The group “felt that the building’s bland and institutional design did not reflect well the city’s culture and downtown streetscape. The design did not reflect the rich architectural and cultural heritage of downtown San Antonio,” she said.

Fitzgerald’s Mike Breclaw, the development’s architect, told the outlet that some of the concerns surrounding the project have been eased after the recent proposals, as the new plan will “explore San Antonio’s A very important masonry heritage”. The buildings will still have a modern look, but will contain historic elements, he said.

City staff recommends approval of the new concept on the condition that curb cuts wider than 25 feet have additional design elements to ensure pedestrian safety. Commissioner Monica Savino added a requirement that developers return for a design review meeting before submitting final plans, which were unanimously approved.

— Quinn Donoghue

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