Fort Worth developer closer to building 340 apartments near San Antonio’s St. Paul Square

June 2, 2022

Vaquero Ventures, a developer from Fort Worth, is close to purchasing a 4.7-acre property at 1220 E. Commerce St. for a 340-unit, five-story apartment building.

The development’s design was unanimously granted a certificate of appropriateness by San Antonio’s Historic and Design Review Commission on May 16.

Dubbed Cherry x Commerce in documents submitted to the city of San Antonio, the project would presumably consist of all market-rate apartments. So far, there has been no indication Vaquero Ventures is seeking incentives from the city or county. In March, top housing officials with the city told the Heron that Vaquero Ventures had not applied for tax rebates or a tax increment reinvestment zone grant, two popular subsidies developers have received in recent years to help populate the downtown area with new housing units—market-rate or mixed income.

Vaquero Ventures is under contract to purchased the property from Quadrant Investment Properties of Dallas, which bought the land in the summer of 2019 from the RK Group.

“We are continuing our due diligence and will share more details when the transaction closes, which is anticipated to be later this summer,” Brandon Behrens, vice president of the development-multifamily division at Vaquero Ventures, said in a statement.

Construction would presumably begin shortly after the purchase. Other questions regarding the development’s affordability, purchase price, and timeline were not answered by Behrens.

If Cherry x Commerce is built without incentives, it would be one of the first to be constructed without subsidies since the City of San Antonio made it a policy in the late 2000s to incentivize downtown-area development—further evidence that the downtown market is beginning to thrive on its own without the help of government subsidies.

Cherry x Commerce first won conceptual approval from HDRC on Jan. 19.

Related: Fort Worth developer planning to build 342 apartments in east downtown | Jan. 19, 2022]

It’s located on the southwest corner of East Commerce and South Cherry streets, on the other side of the railroad tracks from The Espee, formerly known as Sunset Station, and St. Paul Square.

The near East Side continues to grow and develop with a number of developments of all ilks. In terms of hotels, the Aiden by Best Western is a rehab project underway down East Commerce by local investment group Weinritter Realty, while the Staybridge Suites inside The Espee is also expected to be revitalized.

Anchoring it all is a multi-phased redevelopment of The Espee by a group composed of executives with Reata Real Estate and developer David Adelman.

In terms of office, on East Houston Street three blocks north of East Commerce, the Texas Research and Technology Foundation continues to redevelop the old Merchants Ice complex, while expanding its footprint with the recent purchase of the former G.J. Sutton property.