"I think the Maverick is bringing residential life to the street."
“I think Houston Street is one of the great streets downtown,” says David Adelman, Principal and Founder of AREA Real Estate. “I think for neighborhoods to be sustainable and thriving, they to have a mix of residents, office tenants, retail tenants, etc. And so I think that the Maverick Apartments is shoring up one component of that which is bringing residential life to the street.” The influx of residents benefits businesses along the street, creating a more vibrant neighborhood.
David Adelman discussing Houston Street in the Maverick residents' lounge. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio
“It’s very rare that you walk into apartments that are historic buildings, have historic character, but also high-quality, modern finishes.” That rare look is one of the many opportunities guests will experience on the Urban Spaces Tour hosted by Centro San Antonio. Urban living offers its own advantages according to Adelman. “You spend a little more time in the resident lounge. You spend time out at Maverick Park or in other downtown amenities as opposed to spending the entire time in your residence.”
Pinch Boil House is another newcomer to Houston Street. Sean and Andrew, the team behind the concept, started their culinary journey in college. “We just started throwing boils, Vietnamese and Southeast Asian inspired boils. Just because that’s what we ate growing up.”
Sean Wen, co-founder of Pinch Boil House. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio.
The friends’ paths went in different directions for a few years (Sean went into finance and Andrew moved to Southeast Asia to learn about the culinary world). When they met back up in San Antonio, Sean was involved in a program called Venture For America, which places recent graduates in cities with a need for startups. With a few pop-up boils, a support system at Geekdom, and good times in a great downtown ecosystem, Pinch was born.
"We wanted to provide some food that's delicious but can also tell the story of our culture."
“I think Pinch offers a sense of culture and diversity in the culinary world,” says Sean, “For us, we wanted to provide these awesome companies around here some food that’s delicious but can also tell the story of our culture.” The restaurant will open later this month, but guests on the Urban Spaces Tour will get to sample the unique offerings beforehand.
The tour will hit many spots along the historic street, from ones that display its culture to those that are driving its future.
Sunset over the Palm and The Last Word on Houston Street. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio.
The New Frost tower is the most talked about addition to the downtown skyline. Near the banks of San Pedro Creek Culture Park, the high rise will create a whole new experience for locals in downtown. “The Tower, and the adjacent park we are developing, are key links in the connection between the River and the Creek.” Says Randy Smith, President of Weston Urban, the developer behind the Frost Tower project.
"Houston street is the beating heart of local business downtown."
When it came to constructing a new headquarters for Frost bank, it was important to choose a central location. “Houston Street is the beating heart of local business downtown, and Frost’s former motorbank site was a perfect fit for both Frost and Weston Urban.”
The buzz is building and momentum is taking the area to the next level. “If you are in the business of attracting and retaining talent downtown, Houston Street is where you want to be.” When the tour reaches Houston and Flores, guests can expect an exclusive look at the site of downtown’s first office tower in almost 30 years. Randy adds, “They can expect a really handsome tour guide from Clark Construction and a killer view.”
When it comes to killer views, the Vistana Lofts boasts a spectacular one. The final stop on the tour will bring the party to the amenity deck of the building. Guests will step into the shoes of a resident complete with nighttime views of the downtown skyline as well as food and beverage from favorite downtown vendors.
Debra Porter and Devin Winfield of the Vistana. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio.
“We are the big speak-easy of downtown.” Says Debra Porter, business manager of the Vistana. “No one really knows what the Vistana is until you enter the building and realize we’re residential.” It’s funny how the final spot on the tour was actually one of the first to contribute to Houston Street revitalization. “The options in terms of entertainment and dining, we’re the anchor to all of that. We’re at the tail end of all the activity.” Vistana is playing a part in telling “the big story that downtown San Antonio is cultivating.”
"This community is by far the most fun and the most welcoming.”
“I’ve been doing this a long time. And this community is by far the most fun and the most welcoming.” Urban Spaces Tour attendees will be able to experience that Vistana community, which embodies the Houston Street vibe. And that’s really what the Urban Spaces Tour is all about: A peek into the local experience.
Houston Street after dark. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio.
Find out more about the Urban Spaces Tour, including a complete list of tour partners and locations, here.