From the Road: San Antonio

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A few weeks ago, we landed in San Antonio to team with the local ULI chapter for another Crafting the Historic Tax Credit Deal. After a quick drive around the city with our ULI San Antonio host, Janis Ploetz, we were treated to dinner in the well-planned and preserved Pearl District. Founded in 1881, the Pearl Brewery, with its German-inspired architecture and it’s location on the San Antonio River, is a great live, work, play spot that boasts 324 apartments, 15 restaurants and cafes, and many retailers and businesses as well as a twice weekly Farmers Market. Our dinner at the Hotel Emma’s restaurant, Supper, was capped off with a walk around the hotel itself that is nothing short of an experience for lovers of old breweries and adaptive reuse.

San Antonio may well be on the verge of a preservation renaissance. This Southwest cultural center that just became a UNESCO World Heritage City – thanks to the listing of the San Antonio Missions as a UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 2015 – is moving away from the amusement park feel of the Alamo district towards a more sophisticated urban planning model that includes the incorporation of vernacular architecture in public spaces to opportunities for other mixed-use complexes in other historic breweries that dot the city. And vacant historic buildings in the commercial district are starting to buzz with signs of new life.

There is little doubt that interest in historic buildings in San Antonio and across the state of Texas are in direct response to the generous state historic tax credit program that allows owners to claim 25 percent of QREs against the state franchise tax. And as evidenced by our attendees at the event held at the expertly rehabilitated St. Anthony Hotel, the real estate development community in San Antonio is eager to learn more about what opportunities the Texas Historic Tax Credit holds for them.

A special thanks is due to our esteemed panelists who added valuable expertise to the program: Patrick Kennedy, Jr. of Kennedy Sutherland LLP, Scot Butcher of Tax Incentive Finance, and Brandon Raney of BC Lynd Hospitality (developers of the St. Anthony Hotel).