Location: San Antonio, Texas, United States
Developer: Silver Ventures, Inc.
Designers: Lake Flato Architects, Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors, Don McDonald Architects, Sprinkle & Co. Architects, Ford Powell & Carson Architects, Jim Kissling Architecture, Dado Group, Clayton & Little Architecture
Site Size: 21 Acre
Pearl is an 850,000 sf mixed-use development on the 21-acre site of the former Pearl Brewery in San Antonio, Texas. The brewery, which began operation in 1883 and was once the largest employer in the City, ceased production in 2001. When the site was acquired in 2002 by Silver Ventures, Inc., a local investor, the 19th Century buildings were failing structurally, the grounds were contaminated, and the adjacent streets flooded regularly. This derelict industrial site was located in an inner-city neighborhood plagued with crime, storefront vacancies and very low residential density that were the result of a decades-long economic and cultural decline.
Master planning took place over the three-year period that it took to catalog the brewery contents for future reuse, remove non-essential buildings, and address the drainage and environmental issues. Out of that planning process, conceptual ideas began to emerge. These tenets focused on a few primary concepts: preserving the history of both the buildings and the brewery—it was about the people as much as the buildings; sustainably revitalizing the neighborhood and measuring Pearl’s success by the degree it catalyzed redevelopment of the area; creating a place that locals called their own; and having culinary education and excellence as the cornerstone.
Pearl is now home to the third campus of the Culinary Institute of America and eighteen unique, chef/proprietor-driven restaurants and bars. A Farmer’s Market draws 5-7,000 people each weekend with additional programming that engages the community year-round. The market-leading, 146-key Hotel Emma blends old-world comfort within the historical and industrial context of the original brew-house. There are 432 rental residential units that have the highest rental and occupancy rates in the City. The retail and office mix reflect a thoughtful selection that has created a uniquely San Antonio experience. Perhaps most importantly, the neighborhood has been reborn and is thriving.