By Katie Burke
There are no dump trucks, shovels or loaders on the historic Lone Star site yet, but plans for the large-scale, mixed-use development are moving steadily toward the next step.
Working with the local Big Red Dog office, the civil engineer for the site, Lone Star’s developer Aqualand Development is preparing to head before City Council to begin discussing incentives and financing options on the public level.
Texas based real estate developer AquaLand Development has acquired the Historic Lone Star Beer Brewery site located on the Southside of downtown San Antonio. AquaLand is considering redeveloping the site into a mixed-use development that may include a micro-brewery, theater, music venues, restaurants, residential lofts, multi-family housing, farmers market, retail, commercial offices and park areas.
When it closed on the site in May 2015, Aqualand’s Southtown footprint spanned 35 acres. The developer is in the process of land banking additional sites to stretch that to more than 65 acres.
And despite there being a long way to go in terms of planning, permits, financing and construction, there has already been a high level of interest among national retailers.
“This will be the Pearl of the later 2000s,” Big Red Dog San Antonio President Chris Weigand said. “The goal is to evolve plans and move forward with signing on tenants. It’s slowly moving forward, but it’s not stagnant.”
Much of that progress will be tied to public funding, but Weigand said interest and demand in the project will be the push Lone Star needs to keep things moving.
Once Aqualand gets an idea of how much the city is willing to offer in incentives to create the large-scale development — a private session meeting is expected to take place within the next few weeks — it will begin narrowing in on just how big it can go. For now, Weigand said the developer is bringing on partners and looking at hundreds of thousands of square feet of multifamily, for-sale residential, retail, potentially office, restaurants and plenty of entertainment.
“We could be looking at 1,000 multifamily units and for-sale units, several hundred-thousand square feet of retail and office … this is not just a three-acre development next to a multifamily complex,” Weigand said.
But it also won’t be a food-only destination. There will be restaurants, of course, but the idea behind Lone Star is to make it an entertainment-focused spot.
Aqualand Development Founder and CEO Mark Smith told the San Antonio Business Journal’s W. Scott Bailey that its redevelopment plans could cost more than $300 million. It will take a while for it to get there, but not as long as it may have once looked.