San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

November 7th, 2011
Five-story apartment building planned for Thorpe Lane

A line drawing of what Thorpe Lane Lofts might look like from Warden Street. COURTESY IMAGE

by SEAN BATURA

A developer says he will build a five-floor 174-unit apartment building on Thorpe Lane on the site of an abandoned nursing home in San Marcos.

The project, Thorpe Lane Lofts, would sit on 2.42 acres at Thorpe and Warden Street where the former River Crest Nursing and Rehabilitation center has sat overgrown and idle since being abruptly closed by regulators in 2007.

Houston-based Javastone Capital Holdings says the building will feature one- and two-bedrooms apartments situated around a central courtyard and pool area.

Plans call for 2,060 feet of retail or office space on the ground floor, a provision negotiated by the Planning & Zoning Commission before it unanimously approved rezoning the property last month. The rezoning still must be approved by the city council.

The developer has agreed to 10-foot sidewalks and trees lining the street at every 30 feet, exceeding city requirements for five-foot sidewalks and trees every 50 feet. Senior planner Sofia Nelson said the streetscaping would “increase the walkability of this area in a safe manner.”

The plan includes a parking garage that will not be visible from Thorpe or Warden. The developer has agreed to pay a fee of $43,500 instead of dedicating parkland as part of the project.

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9 thoughts on “Five-story apartment building planned for Thorpe Lane

  1. I like the idea of this property – I just hope it meets with better success than the Sanctuary Lofts has.

  2. Because Aquarena Springs Drive traffic wasn’t bad enough, let’s dump a few hundred MORE cars on it. I hope Javastone will widen Warden. What we need is to extend Warden across Thorpe on through to the frontage road. And I just don’t see why P&Z has to micromanage the project by insisting on retail or office. “Mixed Use” is the flavor of the day. It hasn’t worked for Sanctuary.

  3. I don’t know why mixed use has failed at Sanctuary Lofts. Some folks I’ve spoken with said the rents are too high. But if Sanctuary isn’t leasing the space because it wants too much for it, then that’s just insanity. The market is speaking, and it’s saying “lower your rents.”

    What’s more, it seems the set-up would require you to enter the complex to take advantage of any retail. The only doors that are accessible from the street have no windows, and look like they’d be more suited to offices than storefront. If I had, say, a yogurt business, which would have been a great thing to open before the self-serve places started popping up in town, there’s no way I’d locate at Sanctuary if the public couldn’t find me and drop by easily. Perhaps that’s another reason it failed.

  4. Look at the new housing off of wonderworld and hunter road..Upscale housing..ghosttown..student cottages being built on craddock and RR12..no more apts!

  5. Because that is EXACTLY what San Marcos needs..more apartments..Dont we have enough that arent even filled?? How about some corporate infrastructure that creates jobs so people actually come here to live AND work..Cmon Mr. Mayor how about it?

  6. The retail space at Sanctuary Lofts has never been filled, but this location might prove more desirable to businesses.

  7. Mixed use with business below apartments is just one of the current fads of the “new urbanism”. If a city planner wants to be able to hang out with the cool kids, then he/she needs some of this stuff on their resume. The dream is for a nice little green grocery(organic of course, a bicycle shop and coffee vendor to be located on the first floor and for the owners of those businesses to live above the shops. This is fantasy but we, never the less, pursue it using other peoples money. Of course the commercial shops below Sanctuary Lofts is a failure. There is inadequate parking. The streets at that intersection are a nightmare if you want to try to park and the square footage and exposure of the commerical spaces is all wrong. The developer knew that from the day one. The developer also knew that being blackmailed into giving up that space in the name of being “a truly modern town” was just the cost of doing business with our ultra cool city. This is the vision for downtown San Marcos. BS? Sure but bring it on. We wouldn’t want Austin to be cooler than us.

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