San Antonio developer Weston Urban on Aug. 23 announced it has begun the Continental Block Development, a project involving the renovation of three historic structures and construction of a 16-story residential building on a 1.9-acre downtown tract.

The Continental Block is located between Dolorosa and West Commerce streets, with the San Pedro Creek lining its eastern border. The development is named after the Continental Hotel, built in 1896 and designed by architect Alfred Giles. The hotel structure will be renovated with a mix of residential units and street-level retail space, a news release states.

The adjacent Arana Building, built in 1926 and designed by Leo M.J. Dielmann, will be renovated to accommodate retail and office tenants. Both buildings will be restored to their historic footprints, with nonhistoric additions removed, the release states.

Additionally, the De La Garza House, a Spanish Colonial home built in the early 1800s, will be renovated and enhanced with landscaping featuring native flora and an added tree canopy.

The De La Garza House is one of the oldest remaining historic structures in downtown San Antonio and will serve as a key part of the streetscape and pedestrian plaza at the southwest corner of the new development, the release states. Once construction and renovations are complete, the De La Garza house will be contributed to Bexar County.

Weston Urban co-founder and CEO Randy Smith said, given San Antonio’s growth, his company aims to contribute to the development and restoration of buildings in the city core to benefit residents and business owners.

"We are in a very challenging capital and cost market right now. It is certainly not for the faint of heart, and projects like this require an immense amount of teamwork,” Smith said in a statement. “This project probably never gets out of the ground without the leadership of our public sector, particularly Bexar County, and their commitment to historic preservation and a vibrant downtown.”

The new construction part of this development—partnership between Weston Urban and the Bexar County Public Facility Corp.—will be located in the middle of the block, between the two historic buildings, and include a five-level parking podium with an additional 11 stories of multifamily units.

In all, the full block development will include 290 units of mixed-income housing, a five-level parking garage, 28 furnished units, and 22,000 square feet of retail and office space, the release states.

Precinct 2 County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez said the Continental Block Development is a project that will further revitalize the western edge of downtown, an area that includes The University of Texas at San Antonio Downtown Campus.

“The county’s partnership in this project complements investments we’ve made in the San Pedro Creek Culture Park and the Alameda Theatre. The preservation and reactivation of these places adds to the character of our city and helps build community around our history,” Rodriguez said in a statement.