San Antonio’s East Side mixed-use development moving forward – mySA

It seems that plans for turning the San Antonio street art studio space into a $150 million mixed-use development are moving forward with a new loan in the developer’s pockets. 

New Jersey-based Kennedy Funding closed on a $3.5 million land loan Essex Modern City, LLC, according to a news release from the financing company. The loan will cover planning and engineering stage of the 8-acre site at 51 Essex Street, and completing quiet zone construction in partnership with the city of San Antonio and Union Pacific railroad.

Essex Modern City’s website describes the development as “a social experiment that believes that good design and technology can create a more enriching way to live.” The website lists California-based investment firm Harris Bay as well as other architecture and engineering companies. 

“All Essex Modern City needed was the funding – everything else was in place,” said Kennedy Funding CEO Kevin Wolfer. “Seeing a clear plan for the site and the city’s support, we were able to quickly process and approve their loan application.”

This a rendering from local architecture firm CREO shows plans for the mixed-use development from another angle. 

This a rendering from local architecture firm CREO shows plans for the mixed-use development from another angle. 

Courtesy illustration

The project, which began when it was rezoned for mixed use in 2016, will bring 80,000 square feet of retail space, 80,000 square feet of commercial office space, and approximately 800 residential units of varying sizes, including parking spaces and an open park area. Construction was set for 2017, but never launched. 

Currently, the former manufacturing space continues to showcase local street art under its #EssexArt program and has hosted events outdoor events

Essex Modern City, a former manufacturing spot, serves as a space to showcase local artists and hold events. 

Essex Modern City, a former manufacturing spot, serves as a space to showcase local artists and hold events. 

Chavis Barron

In August 2019, local developer Efraim Varga sold his share in the project to Harris Bay to focus on the launch of a solar company, the Express-News reported.

At that time the project was held up as developers waited for quiet zone approval.

It’s unclear if plans have changed since the project was announced. MySA reached out to Harris Bay for comment, but did not hear back by time of publication. 

Source: https://www.mysanantonio.com/business/commercial-re/article/East-Side-mixed-use-arts-development-moves-forward-16304568.php

July 9, 2021 susan ward