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The Broadway

MAY//JUNE 2013

and More of the City’s Extraordinary Condos, Lofts and Apartments

{ SUSTAINABLE LUXURY Green Multi-Family Housing }1 may//june 2013 NHOME /


Š2013 California Closet Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Franchises independently owned and operated.

/ NHOME may//june 2013

Designs for every room.

Proud Partners with the Vidorra Condominiums, our California Closets Storage Systems create functionality and style in the all spaces in the home. Discover the possibilities with a complimentary design consultation today.

est. 1983 SAN ANTONIO 1111 Arion Pkwy., Suite 120 210.829.1991 may//june 2013 NHOME /



›› Interior Designers’ Resource for

Fine Linens

PH: 210.494.1602 TOLL-FREE: 888.887.1914 FAX: 210.494.1615 Like us on Facebook


/ NHOME may//june 2013

INTERIOR TRADE CARTEL IS ONE OF SAN ANTONIO’S BEST KEPT SECRETS! Celebrating their 17th year as San Antonio’s premier Design Showroom to the Trade, ITC represents over 100 lines of fabric, furniture, lighting, flooring, art and accessories to the south Texas design trade. Architects, contractors, home builders and interior designers can open an account with ITC and purchase at wholesale prices, receive exceptional service by their qualified staff and enjoy the benefits of bringing their clients to an extraordinary showroom. If you’ve not yet visited Interior Trade Cartel, make it your next stop!

Celebrating 17 Years! may//june 2013 NHOME /


Take Ownership of Your Active Lifestyle…

Affordable, Unique & Sophisticated Retirement Living in San Antonio

Follow us on 1 Towers Park Ln

San Antonio, TX 78209 I n d e p e n d e n t

The convenience of city living and the quiet charm of a resort lifestyle flow together at The Towers on Park Lane. Conveniently located near Alamo Heights, Ft. Sam Houston and downtown San Antonio. The Towers is surrounded by fine dining, The Quarry shopping center, and is the prime location for an active lifestyle. The Towers caters to both civilian and military individuals age 50 and over.

R e t i re m e n t

L i v i n g

As a cooperative, The Towers provides the advantages of HOME OWNERSHIP in an upscale senior residential community that is sophisticated, yet affordable, with floor plans ranging from one to three bedrooms. SERVICES & AMENITIES ✤ ✤ ✤ ✤ ✤

Maintenance-free living Weekly Housekeeping Scheduled Transportation Parking, Valet, & Shuttle Services 24-hour Surveillance of Property and Grounds

✤ ✤ ✤ ✤ ✤ ✤

Penthouse Club Overlooking Downtown San Antonio 4.5 Acre Park with Walking Paths and Garden Beds Heated Indoor Swimming Pool & Whirlpool Wellness Center with Weekly Classes Restaurant-Style Dining Room & Casual Deli Daily Resident Activities & Clubs

Call us for questions and to schedule your private consultation. Let our staff help you make your move to The Towers a smooth transition.


210-822-8722 ✤

/ NHOME may//june 2013

may // june 2013 texas nhome magazine

san antonio's finest: The Best of Urbane Living

With increasingly luxurious condos, lofts and apartments popping up all around town, NHOME sat down with several residents of standouts like The Broadway and discussed the perks of luxury urbane living.


features 54 green

All-Around Efficiency With their lengthy lists of sustainable features and amenities and affordable prices, some of San Antonio's new multi-family projects offer the finest in practical green luxury living.

76 finance

The Ins and Outs of Condo Financing Easton Crafts, CEO of Directions Equity LLC, provides an ultimate guide to condo financing, a unique process for a unique living space.

82 great escapes

The Best in Texas: Summer 2013 Everything is bigger in Texas, and the variety of relaxing ways to beat the summer sizzle is no exception. Enjoy our list of must-see getaway destinations to suit all tastes from Dallas to South Padre and everywhere in between.

92 community inspiration

Fun Philanthropy: Cordillera Ranch Shindig The bi-annual affair brought to you by the Cordillera Ranch Social Club treats the community to yet another "good time for a good cause" most recently in May with "Denim & Derby: A Night at the Races." may//june 2013 NHOME /


76 54


nhome staff

executive editor Erin O’Brien


creative director Elisa Giordano

in this issue 10 A Note From the Publisher 14 Contributors 16 Advisory Board


Custom Homes

Arts & Culture

40 The Beautiful Life

Home Decorating 50 Big Looks for Small Spaces

Green 58 Location, Location, Location

72 Lender Profile:

graphic designer Damaris Fike

The Best of Both Worlds

88 String Stories 90 All About the Arts

Events 93 A Winning Hand 94 Lone Star Summer

graphic designer Cristina Villa Hazar

Real Estate 60 Realtor Profile: Living the Dream marketing assistant


Valerie Ragsdale

68 Que Vida de Perros Más Perrona

Industry Insights 70 Voices of the Professionals photography: Jason Roberts



Michelle Rosales

/ NHOME may//june 2013

on the cover the broadway

Jennifer Shemwell Exclusive Listing Broker Phyllis Browning Company 210-824-7878

developer: Koontz McCombs / photography: jason roberts Koontz McCombs specializes in creating distinctive high-profile properties throughout the Lone Star State. Founded in 1997 by Bart Koontz and Red McCombs, the company remains a respected leader in commercial real estate, serving San Antonio, Austin and Houston. The Broadway, the Koontz McCombs flagship residential high-rise that sits in the heart of the Alamo City, offers only the latest in innovative luxury amenities.Â

may//june 2013 NHOME /


// a note from the publisher //


here is a saying that goes, “home is where the heart is.” The choice of the type of residence is usually a matter of preference and convenience. Some prefer to live in a house. Some prefer to have both a house and a condo. And yet, some prefer only the carefree lifestyle and services offered by urbane living. If you ask a person who lives in a condo, a luxury apartment or a loft to leave their preferred urbane lifestyle and join you in the suburbs to live in a house, the answer will likely be “no thanks!” San Antonio has joined many larger cities with the increasing growth of the sophisticated urbane lifestyle. NHOME interviewed a few residents of condos, luxury apartments and lofts in the area to find out exactly why they prefer not to live in a house. What is it about the elegance of their upscale living space that they would never trade? We hope you enjoy the interviews with a few selected residents of condos, including The Broadway, Alteza, The Simeon and Vidorra, as well as several lofts and luxe apartments. Patricia McMillan and Shokare Nakpodia, both previous residents of New York, worked really hard to share the urbane living of San Antonio that is so similar to the lifestyle common in New York. To accompany the condo-mania interest, we share two articles on green condo options and another article on condo mortgaging. NHOME is informative, and we share what we feel many are curious to read about. When making such an investment, knowing your options for getting the best luxury condo certainly helps! Read the article on condo financing by Easton Crafts for things you should know when looking for the perfect location. Overall, real estate in Texas is looking really good for both houses and condos this year! We are much more fortunate than most places in the country. Our realtors are working hard, and we are seeing the results. We are excited to showcase profiles of experienced realtors Mary and Ruben Solis and mortgage lender Linda L. Rudd, CFP – all of whom are having great success! And as summertime is here, we all need to take time out from our hard work and go on a personal vacation to unwind, relax and re-energize. Not sure where to head this season? NHOME has done the research for you. Our “Great Escapes” section shares some Texas destinations you and your family can consider. And if you want to venture out of Texas, check out Edward Leos’ digital travel magazine, The Hotel Guide. We also hope you enjoy the article in our newest section, “Community Inspiration” (inspired by realtor Danyelle Daniel). Giving back is so rewarding for those who are in a position to do so and make a difference. After learning about the bi-annual Cordillera Ranch Shindig (called “a good time for a good cause”), I had to share how a group of ladies organize this great event with the purpose of encouraging others to be generous. This year’s theme is “Denim & Derby: A Night at the Races.” Kudos to the ladies of the Cordillera Ranch Social Club and their friends for working so hard to make a positive impact on our community! NHOME wants to hear about the more fortunate people in our community who are giving back, so share your story with us! It may get published for the purpose of encouraging others to give back, as well. We thank all of our supporters and friends, and we hope you continue to enjoy our articles and visit our advertisers.

Adaku Okoro, publisher


/ NHOME may//june 2013

Luxury living

Passionate about luxury living... From exotic cars to beautiful homes, luxury comes in all shapes and sizes and means different things to different people. Since 1989, we have been the luxury leaders in San Antonio real estate – getting to know each buyer’s idea of luxury so we can help them find the perfect home – and knowing exactly where to find the right buyer for every home we sell. Call and talk to our residential specialists and let us show you why we are the very best choice for luxury properties in SouthTexas. We are passionate about luxury living!

One size does not fit allreal estate... Dedicated to luxury Abigail Kampmann, General Manager and President of Porsche San Antonio, and Jennifer Shemwell, President of Phyllis Browning Company, pictured with the spectacular 2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet. In the background, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo luxury SUV and the ever popular Porsche Boxster.

From fast sports cars to luxury SUVs or from a high-rise penthouse to a private comes in all shapes and sizes and means different things to different people.

Hill Country ranch, luxury

Porsche of San Antonio

Since 1989, Phyllis Browning Company has been the leader in San Antonio luxury real estate. By getting to know each buyer’s idea of luxury we can help them find the perfect home – which is great news for sellers, because it means we know exactly where to look for the right buyer for your luxury home. Whatever your idea of luxury, call and talk to our residential specialists and let us show you why we sell the very best luxury properties in South Texas. And for luxury driving, visit San Antonio Porsche and test drive the new 911 Cabriolet or the 2013 Cayenne – tell them Phyllis Browning sent you!

The Broadway. Luxury residence of choice for the condo lifestyle in San Antonio, outselling* all other northside luxury condos with features you won’t find anywhere else Alamo Heights I North Central San Antonio I I-10 Hill Country I Boerne I and the best views in town. Life at The Broadway includes residential concierge services and resort-style amenities, guest suites for out-of-town visitors, controlled access throughout the building, parking garage and grounds, and a designated pet-friendly lawn area.

I 210-824-7878

*74% of San Antonio luxury condo sales north of downtown in 2012 were at The Broadway For information contact exclusive listing broker:

Jennifer Shemwell 210-824-7878

LuxuryLeaders 6101 Broadway, San Antonio, Texas 78209

Since 1989

may//june 2013 NHOME /


NH ME texas

may // june 2013

ceo/nside media productions Eliot Garza


Adaku Okoro

executive editor Erin O’Brien

creative director Elisa Giordano

graphic designers Damaris Fike Cristina Villa Hazar

marketing assistant Valerie Ragsdale

contributing writers

Local. Legendary. Lasting. Sitterle Homes offers the most sought after, luxury estate homes amidst spectacular Hill Country views in the prestigious community of Inverness.

Make your appointment for our last available Inverness Sitterle Home by calling 210-767-2331 or visit

Haley Christofilis Easton Crafts Gabriel Diego Delgado Rita Zenzen Heck Paulette Jemal Paige Koerner Lloyd Lee Susie Monday Cori Smelker David Strahan Kim Young

contributing photographers

Greater Boerne Chamber of Commerce Lightcatcher Photography Jason Roberts


Michelle Rosales

editorial intern Katrina Torres For advertising information, please call 210.568.9688 or email For editorial comments and suggestions, please email to reach us: 18402 U.S. Highway 281 N, Ste. 201 San Antonio, Texas 78259 Phone: 210.568.9688 Fax: 210.568.6630


Copyright Š by NSIDE Media Productions. All rights reserved. Reproduction without the expressed written permission of the publisher is prohibited. / NHOME may//june 2013

Ixchetl Romero First Vice President/Mortgage Center Manager NMLS #490696

Owning your own home, a place to start a family and create memories, is still the American dream. At Lone Star National Bank Home Mortgage we make reaching that dream easier with competitive rates and personal service. Our experienced Mortgage Loan Originators will show you just how easy home buying can be at Lone Star National Bank Home Mortgage.

930 Proton Rd. Suite #106 • San Antonio, TX 78258 Email:

Phone: (210) 489-4545 I Cell: (210) 269-5920 Offer of credit is subject to credit approval.

may//june 2013 NHOME /


// contributors //

paige koerner

Paulette Jemal is a global property specialist and a member of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. With a degree in advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, she is also a writer/producer for Telemundo and a freelance writer for a number of Hispanic advertising agencies. Jemal is currently one of the luxury specialists at Keller Williams Luxury International at the Dominion. Fluent in Spanish, French, Italian, English and Portuguese, she lists and sells property worldwide.

Cori Smelker

Cori Smelker is the wife of one, mother of five and grandmother to a delightful 4-year-old. A multicultural gal, she has lived on three continents and in several countries. Smelker has been published in many local and regional papers and magazines, and featured in several anthologies. When not at her computer, she can be found out and about San Antonio, enjoying everything the city has to offer.

Haley Christofilis

Haley Christofilis is 19, and she was born in Houston, Texas. She currently lives with her parents in Boerne, and she plans to attend Texas A&M University – College Station this fall to earn a degree in international studies. Taking time off from school, she works as a waitress and writing intern. She likes to read, write, rock climb and watch cheesy reality shows with her mom.

kim young

Kim Young, a native Texan, is a broker/associate with BH&G RE Bradfield Properties who has been assisting luxury buyers and sellers in the San Antonio and Hill Country areas since 1999. She is a third-year recipient of the coveted Five Star Professional Award for customer service and a past recipient of the Platinum Top 50 award. She is a mother of four, including twin daughters who recently turned 21. In addition to her real estate career, she is an author and co-author of the Creating Machine series, and she writes for various publications and websites.

Nelson Enochs

Paige Koerner has lived in San Antonio for the last 30 years. She is an English and special education teacher who has taught for the last 11 years. She received her bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2001.

paulette jemal

easton crafts Easton Crafts is the CEO of Directions Equity LLC. He has been in the mortgage industry since 1995, and in that time, he has closed thousands of loan transactions of all types, including Conventional, FHA, VA, Texas Vet, USDA, Jumbo and Construction Loans. He co-founded Directions Equity in 2007, along with his business partner Marc Spitzer, and together they have helped the company increase production more than 20 percent per year since its inception. Easton holds a degree in business administration with a concentration in real estate finance and mortgage lending. He is a member of the Texas Association of Mortgage Professionals and the San Antonio North Chamber.


Shokare Nakpodia

Shokare Nakpodia, originally from Lagos, Nigeria, is a founding partner and creative director of The MightyGroup, a marketing and communications agency located in downtown San Antonio. His dedication to community empowerment has led to his participation in various city committees, including the VIA Street Car Commission, the Eastside Accountability Commission and the TIRZ Board. Nakpodia is also the president of DreamWeek, a 14-day MLK vision celebration, and he currently serves on the boards of Goodwill Industries and The Downtown Alliance.

/ NHOME may//june 2013

susie monday

Working from her Hill Country studio, Susie Monday prints, paints and stitches vibrant, narrative textile paintings. In addition to working in international and local private collections and exhibits, she recently completed a commission for the San Antonio Public Library Foundation. She teaches textile art locally and around the country, and has been a designer and educational consultant for the Smithsonian Institute, Alamo Colleges International Programs, the San Antonio Botanical Gardens, Big Thought, Dallas ISD and many other institutions. She was a writer and editor for the San Antonio Light and exhibit director for the San Antonio Children’s Museum. She recently co-authored “The Missing Alphabet: A Parent’s Guide to Developing Creative Thinking in Kids.”

patricia hart Mcmillan

Patricia Hart McMillan, former editor-in-chief of 20/20, a New York City-based magazine, is the author/co-author of 15 design books, including “Home Decorating for Dummies.” A New York School of Interior Design alumna, she served as director of office planning and interior design for a New York City corporation. Her office is in Judy Klein’s “The Office Book,” and her interior designs have appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Parade, House Beautiful Home Decorating Guide, The Designer and newspapers. She has appeared on TV shows and is quoted on the HGTV website. Signature furniture collections were based on her two Sun Country Style books. In 2002, she was presented with a lifetime achievement award by With-It, an organization of home furnishings industry executives.

Gabriel Diego Delgado Gabriel Diego Delgado is an art consultant at J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art. He has spent almost a decade in nonprofit art management, serving as a curator of exhibitions at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art; the project manager of research and development at the Museo Alameda (a Smithsonian affiliate); the community outreach/ communications director for an art and education nonprofit; and a working professional artist. He is a freelance curator and arts reviewer for several publications. His artwork has been shown in Arco 2012 (Madrid, Spain), New York, New York and MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) D.C., as well as numerous galleries and venues.

rita zenzen heck

In her hometown of Chicago, Rita Zenzen Heck was a newspaper and magazine editor and TV copywriter. She currently lives in San Antonio and volunteers with the Majestic Theatre, the San Antonio Sports Association, the San Antonio Conservation Society, the San Antonio Council for International Visitors and the San Antonio Downtown Residents Association. Heck has worked for Stars and Stripes, Overseas Weekly and Made In Europe magazine, as well as in advertising and PR, before opening her own Creative Overflow. She added The Green Connection in 1995, also producing green building showcases and her own green building and education magazine and events. Since 1995, she has hosted and produced The Green Connection television show on digital cable channel 20, which airs Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.

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8666 Huebner Rd. Ste 106 San Antonio, TX 78240 may//june 2013 NHOME /


Nelson Enochs

// advisory board //

denise graves A realtor and real estate business owner since 1991, Denise Graves started the Graves Group in 2003 with the vision to offer extraordinary service to her clients, both locally and globally. The Graves Group has been in the Top 25 Real Estate Teams (SABJ) since 2005 and continues to set the standard for real estate in San Antonio and the Hill Country. With her 20-plus years of real estate experience in the area and her business mantra of “high tech, high touch,” Graves makes her properties stand out and keeps clients coming back.


ixchetl romero Ixchetl Romero has been part of the Lone Star National Bank family since 2004. She started her career and has grown with the company. Having recently moved to San Antonio from the Valley, she is now the vice president of mortgage and the sales manager. Romero enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She also recently joined the NHOME Advisory Board, and she looks forward to working with the NHOME team.

easton crafts Easton Crafts is the CEO of Directions Equity LLC. He has been in the mortgage industry since 1995, and in that time, he has closed thousands of loan transactions of all types, including Conventional, FHA, VA, Texas Vet, USDA, Jumbo and Construction Loans. He co-founded Directions Equity in 2007, along with his business partner Marc Spitzer, and together they have helped the company increase production more than 20 percent per year since its inception. Easton holds a degree in business administration with a concentration in real estate finance and mortgage lending. He is a member of the Texas Association of Mortgage Professionals and the San Antonio North Chamber.

trish najim

kristal powell

adam sanchez

As a realtor and certified luxury home marketing specialist, Trish Najim prides herself in providing her clients a service to best assist them with their real estate needs regardless of whether they are sellers or buyers. Najim is with Keller Williams Realty Luxury International in San Antonio, and she is also a certified staging consultant and an interior design consultant. With her design background, she is able to work with buyers to visualize themselves in the home of their dreams, and to help sellers make their homes appealing to buyers. 

Kristal Powell is the co-founder of CKC Custom Homes who serves as the driving force behind the beauty and elegance that is evident in the company’s finished homes. She uses a hands-on approach, personally assisting clients in the selection of paint, tile, cabinets and all aspects of design. Much of CKC’s success can be attributed to Powell’s passion for perfecting the unique style of CKC Custom Homes.

Adam Sanchez founded Diamante Custom Homes in 1992. Early work included remodeling and addition projects. The scope of projects increased significantly through the years, and Diamante Custom Homes is now firmly rooted in the luxury home market. This “different by design” builder now completes custom homes ranging from the low $300s to more than $4 million, and has been the recipient of numerous Parade of Homes and Summit awards.

/ NHOME may//june 2013

Gabriel Diego Delgado Gabriel Diego Delgado is an art consultant at J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art. He has spent almost a decade in nonprofit art management, serving as a curator of exhibitions at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art; the project manager of research and development at the Museo Alameda (a Smithsonian affiliate); the community outreach/communications director for an art and education nonprofit; and a working professional artist. He is a freelance curator and arts reviewer for several publications. His artwork has been shown in Arco 2012 (Madrid, Spain), New York, New York and MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) D.C., as well as numerous galleries and venues.

paulette jemal Paulette Jemal is a global property specialist and a member of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. With a degree in advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, she is also a writer/producer for Telemundo and a freelance writer for a number of Hispanic advertising agencies. Jemal is currently one of the luxury specialists at Keller Williams Luxury International at the Dominion. Fluent in Spanish, French, Italian, English and Portuguese, she lists and sells property worldwide.

special advertising section


Giv e y o u r kitch e n a br e a k to n i g ht a n d di n e with u s

may//june 2013 NHOME /


Frederick Costa continues to write his love sonnets in fine cuisine and wine and the latest creation is not only a new look for Frederick’s Restaurant — complete with a fresh menu featuring his latest French and Asian favorites offering a variety of tastes to try.

// advisory board // belinda vela-reyna Belinda Vela-Reyna is originally from Corpus Christi, Texas. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a Master of Science degree in Educational Guidance and Counseling from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. She retired from an 11-year career as a U.S. probation officer for the Western District of Texas San Antonio Division to stay home with her two beautiful daughters, Alexandria and Mia. She also has two amazing stepchildren, Danielle and John, and a wonderful husband. She has always had a passion for design, and she recently enjoyed renovating her new home with the help of Trent Hultgren.

barry denton As the director of real estate sales at Cordillera Ranch, Barry Denton is dedicated to creating an environment where people work together to consistently exceed goals. Prior to joining Cordillera Ranch, he worked for Bluegreen Communities, starting as a sales consultant in 2000 and ultimately becoming the South Texas regional sales director in 2009. Denton also has a background in teaching and in the golf business, and he remains a member of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, he has been a licensed real estate agent since 1991 and a licensed broker since 2005.

dale ponder Dale Ponder is the owner and operator of Cozy Outdoor Escapes, an outdoor living retail center focusing on customer service and high-end equipment. His career started in the electrical trades, where he held various positions in a large, nonunion shop in San Antonio, where he was raised. He later entered the international market, project managing the construction of drug interdiction radar sites throughout South and Central America and owning and operating a telecommunication construction service company in Caracas, Venezuela. Ponder left the business in 2010 to pursue his passion for the outdoor living retail sector. He developed a business plan, and Cozy Outdoor Escapes opened to the public in March 2011.

To make reservations call #210.885.3782 M O N D AY T H R O U G H F R I D AY: 11:30 a.m. — 2:00 p.m. lunch 5:30 p.m. — 10:00 p.m. dinner S AT U R D AY: 5:30 p.m. — 10:00 p.m. dinner


/ NHOME may//june 2013

Rev. Dr. Claudette Copeland Rev. Dr. Claudette Copeland has served in a variety of ministry settings, including the Hospital Chaplaincy and the Mission Field (in Haiti, South Africa, West Africa and East Africa), and is a former member of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. Copeland is a founding co-convener of the Women in Ministry Training Conference, serving aspiring and active women ministers in all seasons of their journey. She is married to the Bishop David Michael Copeland. She serves with her husband as executive pastor of the New Creation Christian Fellowship Church, a thriving nondenominational church in Windcrest, Texas, just outside San Antonio. Copeland also has a passion and appreciation for beautiful homes and exquisite décor.

t he


a t


a n a n

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A New Bar With An Old Tradition. An elegantly appointed Old World bar where cordial

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bartenders practice their venerable art behind a

cocktails, exotic beverages and good cheer in a

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civilized setting. Join us for drinks and hors d’oeuvres,

cheerful clinking of glasses punctuates the rich notes

then come upstairs to Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and

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C e l e b r a t e w i t h u s — t h e b a r i s o p e nm ! ay//june 2013 NHOME /


Like Us On Facebook!

Your Favorite Italian Trattoria Piatti (Alamo Quarry Market) 255 E. Basse Road, Suite 500 210-832-0300 Coming Soon! Piatti at Eilan 17101 La Cantera Parkway 20

/ NHOME may//june 2013

Ranked in Top 5 as Residential Mortgage Lender of San Antonio!

(SABJ 3/29/13)

Linda L. Rudd, CFP® - Your Lending Team Senior Loan Officer & Vice President

O: 210.492.4900 | | M: 210.508.2853 NMLS#219069

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| A Division of CroCkett nAtionAl BAnk | 3503 PAesAnos Pkwy, sAn Antonio, tX 78231 may//june 2013 NHOME /


Regards to

the broadway There’s plenty to see and do there – and all around town.

the broadway


/ NHOME may//june 2013

Both living and dining areas offer Mark and Amy Graban endless views of sprawling San Antonio and the hills beyond.

may//june 2013 NHOME /



“The Broadway is a very friendly building.” 24

/ NHOME may//june 2013

Residents at The Broadway, Mark and Amy Graban

Photo by Ashton Rodgers


my Graban’s new corporate assignment brought her and her husband, author Mark Graban, to San Antonio from Fort Worth about a year ago. Deciding on a new neighborhood was easy, according to Mark. “First off, we zeroed in on the Alamo Heights area – mainly by finding our beloved Central Market on the map.” Deciding on an address was a two-step process. Since the Grabans had owned houses before (in suburban Phoenix and suburban Fort Worth), they first looked at houses. “After looking at houses in the area, we decided on The Broadway for a number of reasons: the views of downtown, the very maintenance-free lifestyle and the fact that it is just a beautiful building, inside and out.” Mark is quick to point out the advantages of condo living. “We really like the amenities at The Broadway, including the common areas downstairs and meeting rooms (which we have both utilized for work functions and events). The pool and outdoor dining areas are outstanding. Generally, condo life requires very little maintenance, which is important because we both travel a lot for work. Having a concierge desk and building staff makes it very easy for us if packages arrive or we need help while we are away.” Additionally, Mark says, “The Broadway is a very friendly building. Events and mixers at least monthly have allowed us to meet many people, whether they live in the building or not. The people we’ve met have been extremely friendly and welcoming, and have gone out of their way to introduce us to other people, both personally and professionally.” The Grabans are happy with the condominium lifestyle. Did moving into a condo mean changing their decorating style? “Not really,” Mark says. “But with a very open floor plan between the kitchen, dining area and living room, we’ve learned how to better utilize area rugs to better define those spaces.” The transition from a single-family house to a high-rise unit has been so smooth that Marks says, “This is our first time to own a condo. It definitely won’t be our last if we end up being transferred to another city.” Mark and Amy have fallen in love with San Antonio. “We enjoy all that downtown, Alamo Heights, the Pearl District and Southtown have to offer, being in such a good location,” Mark says. “We have found many great restaurants in town of all varieties and price ranges, and generally we like the restaurant options better than those in Fort Worth. “Some of our favorite restaurants so far include Dough Pizzeria, Tre Trattoria and Il Sogno. It sounds as though we only like Italian food, but we have also really enjoyed Paloma Blanca, Soluna and Cappy’s (especially for brunch), as well as Feast in Southtown.” Not only does The Broadway offer attention-capturing events, there’s always something exciting happening in San Antonio. For example, Mark and Amy experienced their first Fiesta this year – something they had been looking forward to, according to Mark.

About The Broadway The Broadway is a 21-story, 90-unit, completely residential condominium. There are 12 distinctive floor plans ranging from 1,262 square feet to 5,841 square feet, and it includes one-, two- and three-bedroom residences and penthouses ranging in price from $495,000 to $4.2 million. The completely residential project has 140,000 square feet of amenities and sits on 2.5 acres at the corner of Broadway Street and Hildebrand Avenue. The developer is San Antonio-based Koontz McCombs, founded in 1997, with properties in San Antonio, Austin and Houston.

may//june 2013 NHOME /


the morales apt.

Photos by David Strahan

The Morales apartment – temporary quarters while they plan the redo of the building – features an expansive open living/dining area. The adjoining den is separated by a partial wall.

Rx for Downtown Living


A doctor and his wife trade a suburban for an urban address.

any of us dream of owning a condominium on the River Walk; few of us, however, think of owning the building. But Dr. Phil and Mrs. Gloria Morales bought the building and have a prescription for revitalizing it. This multi-talented couple is busily planning its renovation – a redesign in keeping with the beautiful historic architecture of their new neighborhood. Ask Gloria why she and her husband left the suburbs for downtown, and she replies without hesitation: “Mayor Castro’s impassioned speeches about downtown coincided with our ‘empty nest’ situation!” Ask a silly question – like “Why choose a residence on the River Walk?” – and you get an answer that makes you realize how silly that question is. “Duh!” After all, what San Antonian doesn’t dream of living on the River Walk? “What do you like most about living in the heart of San Antonio?” we asked Gloria. “The European-style buildings, horse-


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drawn carriages, lovely old bridges and music from the River Walk make it very romantic,” she said. “We find ourselves holding hands everywhere!” Phil and Gloria have discovered favorite shops, restaurants, art galleries and more. “We like the locally owned shops along Houston Street, plus Marti’s and Penner’s on Commerce Street, that provide unique gifts. Dining at Ostra, with its beautiful outdoor setting, and stopping at Bohanan’s Wine Bar for a nightcap, followed by a quick walk home make living downtown fun for us.” Suburbanites contemplating a similar move want to know whether there any negatives to living downtown, so we asked. Gloria could only think of one: “The large fuming, roaring buses ruin the romantic, pleasant vibe!” (The new streetcar planned for downtown will possibly remove that.) What have Phil and Gloria discovered about San Antonio that they did not know before moving downtown? “We’ve

discovered that by looking up, past the street-level grime, there exists tremendous jaw-dropping architecture!” And they are about to add one more beautiful building.

the alteza residences

A Grand


The Alteza Residences Above the Grand Hyatt: Five-star lifestyle atop an elite hotel

In this model penthouse bi-level apartment, noted interior designer Mark Williams kept furnishings elegantly simple so that the eye sweeps across the sleek living and dining areas to walls of windows with constantly changing scenery.

About the Alteza

Residences Above the Grand Hyatt

Floors 25 to 33 of the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio are dedicated to 147 spectacular residences – some as large as 5,668 square feet. Prices range from the high $200s for one-bedroom units to the high $400s for twobedrooms. Glamorous penthouses are available. Alteza offers the services of the Grand Hyatt, a world-class hotel. See the Alteza online at or call 210-2128400 to schedule a visit.

The Alteza is a sparkling gem in a nighttime setting.

Haven’t we all secretly envied Eloise, New York City’s precocious Plaza Hotel resident? Roundthe-clock uniformed doormen, service with the push of a button, endless views from penthouse windows and an ever-changing menu of excitement of all sorts just beyond the glamorous front door! Robert Gould and Debra Jones have found the Eloise’s lifestyle right here in River City. Their 3,100-square-foot penthouse provides them with breathtaking views of the expansive city and the hills beyond. “Since this city is a great travel destination, downtown San Antonio is always clean and pristine. The city keeps my backyard beautiful,” Jones says. “To enjoy a variety of pleasures, we just walk out the front and stroll to the nearby IMAX, the Majestic Theatre or River Walk. On beautiful days, we enjoy walking along the city sidewalks and taking in all the visual excitement.” Unlike many condo owners who have traded suburban San Antonio for an elegant high-rise, Gould and Jones relocated from Oregon. They had never been to Texas before, but after only three hours touring architecturally rich downtown San Antonio, they decided to live parttime in the Alamo City and keep their Oregon house. During one stay in San Antonio, they walked past the Grand Hyatt and the Alteza – only 12 minutes from the airport and in the heart of downtown. One look at a unit beautifully fitted with wide plank flooring, granite countertops and artfully crafted fixtures convinced the couple to sell their Oregon house and make the Alteza their yearround home. Only a year later, they decided to move to a higher floor (their current home) and to keep their first unit as an investment. Of course, it is more than merely luxurious décor that appeals to Gould and Jones. The carefree, resort-like lifestyle is key to their happiness at the Alteza. “It’s true luxury living with access to our very own concierge,” Jones says. “We have all the amenities of a five-star hotel at our fingertips.” may//june 2013 NHOME /





1800 broadway

Ex-pat Brits sing the praises of downtown San Antonio living and 1800 Broadway. NHOME chatted with Rob and Sarah Birse, new residents at 1800 Broadway, about their views on condo living in San Antonio.

Q: How long have you lived at 1800 Broadway? A: We moved into Broadway in early February.   Q: Are you newcomers to condo living? A: This is our first condo. We lived in suburbia since moving from the U.K. to Texas in 2000. However, we had been talking about downtown living for many years, so we jumped at the opportunity after our daughter left home.   Q: Why a condo? A: Quite simply, it’s a test. First, we wanted to find out if we could survive in a smaller


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space without killing each other. Second, we didn’t know if the benefits of living within walking distance of great restaurants would offset the noise and general melee of a busy city. We’re also keen triathletes, so being able to run, bike and swim on a regular basis was an unknown that needed to be tested. If we get checks to all three boxes, then we can proceed with Plan B, which is to buy a place and truly make it our own.  Q: Why choose 1800 Broadway? A: After looking around at all the possibilities, we decided Broadway was the perfect fit because it matched our style requirement. Our place is spacious and open with a lot of light and a very wonderful downtown view! Plus, the location was more in line with “downtown living for dummies,” with great facilities nearby (including Central Market), more coffee shops than you can shake a stick at and easy access to bike paths and running trails. So if we can’t make it here, we can’t make it anywhere downtown.   Q: What about condo living is most appealing? A: Low utility bills. No yard to maintain. The opportunity to sit by the pool with a G&T at the end of the day without having to clean it first. Security, especially for when I travel; I know Sarah is comfortable and safe at night. Access to the River Walk and to the restaurants and bars at the Pearl.   Q: What would you add to condo living and 1800 Broadway? A: A doorman and a concierge. Maybe we’ve watched too many programs about N.Y., but it would be nice to have a relation-

ship with people who were “in the know,” and who had the ability to make things happen such as reservations at the newest restaurants or coordinating the delivery of your dry cleaning.     Q: How long have you lived in San Antonio? A: We’ve only been here since January, but we’re not new to Texas and have visited S.A. many times as tourists.   Q: As newcomers to San Antonio, what do you like about the city? A: The city is transforming. We’re impressed with the River Walk extensions both north and south. It’s a real pleasure to have such a facility. The investments that are transforming the area around the Pearl are really changing the area for the better. We feel very lucky to have all of this on our doorstep. We love the fact that so many roads have bike lanes, and where they don’t, the drivers (for the most part) are very accommodating. San Antonio has a vibrant food scene, and as foodies, we love that.   Q: What area places do you frequent? A: We love coffee, so we’re frequent visitors to the café at the Culinary Institute and the Local on Broadway. Both have great coffee, but the CIA scores for their magnificent sausage scone and the Local for the great vibe (we’re wannabe hipsters at heart). We like to eat out and we love to people watch, so we’re frequent visitors to all of the restaurants and bars at the Pearl, especially La Gloria. We can also be seen in Southtown, sitting outside of Feast in the early evening enjoying great food and a nice bottle of wine.

the simeon of olmos park

Annie Sez

The Simeon of Olmos Park is uniquely urbane.

The master spa-bath – fitted with a steam shower – is a serene study in contrasting materials and colors.

The Simeon of Olmos Park has the right prescription for the ideal home for Dr. Jude Espinoza, a noted San Antonio cardiologist. “The Simeon’s location, functional unit floor plan and handsome high-quality finishes, fittings and fixtures make this condominium the perfect fit for me, my profession and my active lifestyle,” Espinoza says. Olmos Park – which is very near downtown, but minus the crowds of tourists – offers its own trendy pedestrian shopping and exciting eateries. “It has the best schools, police and fire departments, and great residential resale values,” says Liz Blue Braden, marketing agent for The Simeon. Interior designer Dawn Campbell suggested recycling the 100-year-old pecan tree that had to be felled before construction: “Keep the tree a part of the project – as custom-designed front doors for the units.” The Simeon’s architect, Frank Alderete, agreed – and the doors are beautiful! All millwork (including baseboards, interior doors and solid maple cabinetry) is custom. Plumbing fixtures in baths fitted with steam showers and benches are forward-looking “metropolitan” style. Flooring is solid wood. Other materials include granite, crushed marble or quartz for countertops and porcelain mosaic tiles imported from Spain and Italy. A built-in sound system and concierge service are the icing on the cake. Safety is a key construction feature. “The firewall is triple the industry standard for San Antonio,” Braden says. “Olmos Park and The Simeon are lock-up-and-go

environments – ideal for the young professional and empty nester who love to travel. Special features include controlled access into the gated front entry and into-the-rear entry into each garage, making each unit a very secure, private setting with cameras in front and back.”

Braden would love to show NHOME readers The Simeon. Call her at 210-219-5324.

The compact kitchen is sleekly designed as a fascinating focal point.

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camp street residences


The patio overlooks a private sculpture garden.

About camp street The 88,000-squarefoot structure contains 20 loft-like units. Originally, units were sold in shell condition for buyers to finish out, according to architect Jim Poteet. There is also an indoor common area, including an exercise room, a community art gallery and basement parking. There is a private garden and the adjacent Chris Park.


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Set in a former candy factory, Camp Street Residences effortlessly combines existing original textures with rich new materials.

Noted artist and art patron Linda Pace was a visionary – a pioneer in developing and promoting loft-style condominium living in San Antonio. Architect Jim Poteet worked with Pace to transform the 1926 Duerler Candy Factory by Herff & Jones Architects into Camp Street Residences, replete with its own park, Chris Park, named for her son. The 88,000-square-foot structure contains 20 loft-life units, including an indoor common area, an exercise room, an art gallery, basement parking and a private garden.

“No. 103 at the Camp Street Residences – the Cicconi Loft – is the finish-out of a raw 2,258-square-foot shell,” Poteet says. “The loft’s owner, a Washington, D.C.-based executive, retained Poteet Architects to create a home with the quality of a retreat that he could enjoy while conducting regular business in San Antonio.” The lower level consists of spaces for entertaining – the kitchen, the bar and the living and dining areas – that are each distinct, but open to one another. On the exterior, a large covered deck overlooks a lush garden

Note: Camp Street Residences was excerpted from “Old Places New Spaces” (Strahan/McMillan/ McMillan, Schiffer Publishing, fall 2012).

The owner wanted a true loft – one that took full advantage of the warmth and materiality of the old building. The seating area shows to advantage architect Jim Poteet’s penchant for combining existing original textures (like the brick wall) with a variety of rich new materials.

Photos by Chris Cooper

and a striking sculpture by Los Angeles artist Nancy Rubins. According to Poteet, the owner wanted a true loft – one that took full advantage of the warmth and materiality of the old building. “On the lower level, red brick walls and the concrete floor and ceiling were repaired, cleaned and left exposed. The existing concrete floor was polished to achieve a terrazzo effect. These original materials are supplemented with Brazilian cherry on the stair and walls, and dark-stained walnut and chocolate limestone in the kitchen and bar.” The focal point of the twostory Cicconi Loft if is an unusual, visually arresting open stair that allows light to flow from a large overhead skylight through the upper level and down into the lower level. The skylight-lit stair begins on the lower level as a block of rich Brazilian cherry wood. As the design (and the stair) moves upward, a change of materials transforms the stair into a light steel structure suspended by slender steel bars. “The sculptural stair marks the transition from public to private spaces,” Poteet says. And changing light underscores the awareness of movement from space to space, affecting the mood en route. While the lower level is rich and dark, “on the upper floor, a lighter (but still warm) palate prevails,” Poteet says. A quick tour shows that in the skylightlit master bath, Texas limestone countertops, honey-colored glass tile and painted cabinetry create a soothing ambience. The secluded media room/office, tucked into the masonry shell of the old building, reprises the rich materials mix of the lower level.

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the pearl



A successful realtor shares why her home in the former Pearl Brewery is an amazing space in an equally amazing location. The former Pearl Brewery has been repurposed as a sophisticated mixed-use area, mingling residences, offices and retail businesses with urban ease. Lynn Knapik, a successful realtor, chose it as her home. Here she chats with NHOME about it. Q: Why, of all of San Antonio’s great condos and apartments, did you choose Pearl? A: When I moved back to the suburbs from a condo in Alamo Heights in 2002, I always thought I wanted to move back to Alamo Heights. When I got into real estate, I began to discover downtown as a place to live and decided that’s what I wanted to


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try. My grandson and I took a barge ride on New Year’s Day 2010 and got off at Pearl. Walking around, I saw the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) under construction and decided to check online to find out about apartments I heard were going to be in the new building. Having moved to San Antonio in 1972 in order for my now ex-husband to work at the Pearl Brewery, it felt like where I belonged. It was going full circle for me. Little did I know what all was planned for the area and how much I would love it. The convenience to highways and everything downtown is amazing. I love living in this urban village.

Q: What do you like most about your apartment? A: I love living in the center of one of the most vibrant parts of the city. I love knowing that every time I walk out my door, I am going to meet new friends and run into people I already know. I also love watching the sunrises, the cars on Highway 281, the photography sessions going on in and around the property and the passing parade of people from my windows. I also love having River North as my backyard and Brackenridge Park as my front yard. And parking just outside my door in the parking garage is a big plus.

Q: So you lived in a condo or apartment before moving here? A: I have lived in condos before – one a seven-unit complex in Alamo Heights and a larger complex in Dallas. But I moved to Pearl from a single-family home in Brook Hollow. Q: How does your present home compare to living in a single-family house? Is there anything you miss about it? A: I don’t miss anything about living in a single-family residence, except maybe the grocery store a mile away. Maybe I miss my garage as a storage area, but I rent needed storage for my business just a few blocks away. As a realtor, I miss owning the place I live. There is a condo regime in place for my building, and my hope is that management will soon let us purchase our units. None of us really plan to move, so we’re asking regularly to be able to own our parts of Pearl! Q: What is the most luxurious thing about living at Pearl? A: My apartment is a loft with concrete floors and ceilings and

since moving here to Pearl in that I am more involved in all things downtown. I’d say that living here is the first time in 30 years that I feel like I live in a neighborhood. The other tenants in my building are my neighbors, but the merchants and business tenants are neighbors, too. It’s such fun to sit in one of the many restaurants and wave to one neighbor after

always been eclectic. I lived in Dallas for a while and maintained a condo here while there. When I moved back, I merged the furnishings from both places. I have antiques in my bedroom, but the rest of my apartment is filled with pieces that fit my classic style. They are tied together by color more than anything. I worked for over 20 years in a decorating

“My apartment is an amazing space filled with light and gorgeous views.” windows from almost floor to ceiling. It’s an amazing space filled with light and gorgeous views. Many people have told me how much they wish my space were theirs. Q: Did moving into this apartment change your lifestyle? A: My lifestyle has changed

another that comes in. But actually, I feel like everyone who lives downtown is my neighbor. Q: Did you change your decorating style? If you worked with an interior designer on your new home, please tell us about that. A: My decorating style has

business specializing in accessories, so I’ve always done my own decorating. Q: What neighborhood places do you frequent? A: Working from home, I’ll run downstairs to the CIA Bakery Café for a salad or cup of soup for lunch, or Green Vegetarian

since their opening. After a walk along River North, I might call in an order to Timbo’s. Saturday mornings are time for the Pearl Farmers Market, and that’s a must even if just to visit with the vendors and Pearl employees. There are so many wonderful restaurants and bars here on the property. The exciting thing is that more places open every month. And the proximity to SAMA, the zoo and the Witte is wonderful, especially when my grandson comes to visit. Q: What San Antonio events do you enjoy most? A: I have enjoyed participating in the Better Block events. Siclovia is one of my favorite events. The events I enjoy most are civic involvement events such as SA2020, HemisFair planning, Travis Park planning, historic preservation events (such as PROM and the Historic Homeowners Fair), Downtown Alliance and ULI luncheons and events and Downtown Tuesday various activities.

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south end lofts

South End


At South End Lofts, loft living means upsizing.

“A 34

lthough I grew up elsewhere, I’ve been a proud resident of San Antonio since 1991,” Lisa Schmidt says. “My husband, Jeff, and I both come from cities that have historically had large, vibrant city centers. We wanted to help promote that here in San Antonio.” The Schmidts loved their old neighborhood, “but we really wanted a lifestyle that did not depend upon driving cars – one full of entertainment opportunities every day of the week,” Lisa says. “We happily sold our 1,784-square-foot single-family home to

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purchase the 3,800-plus-square-foot loft condo we now live in. “Often, people assume that moving into a condo means downsizing, which is not necessarily the case. There is a broad range of condo sizes in downtown San Antonio to meet various types of preferences.” Lisa, a realtor, points out that the original meaning of the word “loft” implied a single open space, converted from former commercial use and with no inner walls to create separate rooms. 

Handsome dark wood contrasts smartly with stainlesssteel appliances in a kitchen that is always open to compliments.

“That definition has evolved into a more over-arching term that covers units that generally have urban contemporary architecture,” she says. “They may be a repurposed building or new construction. They may or may not have exposed infrastructure such as HVAC vent ducts, pipes, etc. There may be one room or many. We like that our unit at South End Lofts is a combination. There are large open spaces for the common areas. Bedrooms, office space and bathrooms are walled for privacy.” South End Lofts offers amenities not found in single-family structures. “The pool, barbecue grill and roof patio views of the skyline are popular with our neighbors,” Lisa says. “However, my personal favorite is our fantastic onsite fitness center and the yoga room, which is also great for doing fitness videos, dance choreography practice or bringing in a personal trainer.” Do the Schmidts miss not having a garden, a lawn and grass? “In one emphatic word: No!” Lisa says. “We have plenty of attractive natural green provided by our common area landscaping. I keep my green thumb busy with lots of potted plants and flowers both in-unit and on our patios. We especially enjoy not having to spend time and money on landscaping and house maintenance.” The Schmidts have lived in Southtown for the past seven years. “We’ve found the downtown residential community to be a highly welcoming and active one where you easily meet people and make friends you’ll continue to connect with. To say we ‘adore it’ would actually not do justice to how much we are loving life at South End Lofts. In fact, we have commented that it would be difficult going back to a suburban setting.”

She says that high-density living is acknowledged as a much more sustainable option than single-family homes, which use far more resources while generating less tax revenue to support community services and infrastructure. “Not only that, but urban living is a heck of a lot more fun!” Lisa and Jeff are very excited about the recent growth that continues around their downtown home. “When we moved into our loft, we were somewhat of a residential island off the end of Southtown,” Lisa says. “Now, in just that short span of time, we are in the company of four more condo/townhome properties. All are fully sold out! There are three new apartment complexes, several restaurants, one minigrocery market and even new B-Cycle installments.” Much more is slated to come soon. In the meantime, Lisa says, “we especially like to pop in for a bite at The Fruteria, Feast or Azuca. Another favorite pastime is chatting with other members in the beer garden at Beethoven Haus. It’s always fun to take visitors in to see a glimpse of the past at Villa Finale or the Stevens House. And who doesn’t love walking on the river?” Lisa says she is continually impressed by the foreword-thinking nature of our municipal leaders. “The current initiatives focusing on the revival of the city’s core combine to illustrate another example of proactive planning with a goal of continual improvement,” Lisa says. “My husband and I are excited to see, from front-row seats, the great things happening around us. Downtown is changing from being primarily an area for tourist activity to becoming a real live/work/play environment for all San Antonians.” Bravo, San Antonio! Bravo!

“To say we ‘adore it’ would not do justice to how much we love life at South End Lofts.” may//june 2013 NHOME /



The Doctor Is


Dr. Norma Jones chats with NHOME about moving to San Antonio, into Vidorra and into a neighborhood that feels like home. Q: Why, of all of San Antonio’s great condos, did you choose Vidorra? A: I chose Vidorra for several reasons. I was relocating to teach at Fort Sam Houston. 1) It was close (eight minutes away from work), and 2) the safety. I loved the security of the garage and the front desk with 24-hour security. Those two things were the most critical. Another important thing is that I can get to the airport in 20 minutes. When I first toured Vidorra and noticed Ruth’s Chris next door, I knew that … this location was a no-brainer. I use Ruth’s Chris as my personal dining facility.   Q: What do you like most about your condo? A: Another thing that contributed to my choice was the bathtub – the unit I selected had double sinks and a soaking tub. Along with that is the amount of closet space: a walk-in closet, along with two additional closets that could be customized. I also loved that the unit offered a very private patio, designed as if it were an additional room that opens up. I can use the patio regardless of the weather. I did not quite realize just how perfect it would be for me year-round. I guess last, that the space seemed perfect for me as a second home – to serve as a cold-weather retreat after I return to North Carolina.   


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Q: Did you live in a condo before moving here? A: This is the third condo that I have purchased. I am very familiar with the benefits, and I think I had very realistic expectations.  Q: If you previously lived in a single-family residence, how does condo living compare? A: My North Carolina home is a townhouse in a very small suburban neighborhood. This is very different. There are times that with all the amenities available here, I live as if I am in a luxury hotel.   Q: What is the most luxurious thing about condo living? A: The rooftop patio and the large meeting/entertainment rooms. But from a luxury perspective, I think it is my own condo and how I have created an amazing, nurturing, comforting retreat.   Q: Is there anything about a single-family residence you miss? A: No. I have a fabulous garden on my patio to grow my basil, cilantro and peppers, so I don’t even miss my North Carolina garden. I have created all the things that comfort me here.    Q: Did moving into a condo change your lifestyle? A: I have moved many times as a naval officer and lived in wonderful cities such as San Diego and London. San Antonio brings a very different cultural experi-

ence with amazing warmth and visual pleasures. Oh, and I can’t forget the food. One of my pleasures is the Sunday paper with all the recipes and restaurant reviews.   Q: Did you change your decorating style? A: Absolutely! I went modern. And a little bit wild with some animal prints. However, I did not move too far from my earth tones.    Q: Did you work with an interior designer? A: No, this was my time to create my condo look … and really play with a different style

Texan culture and style. I used Louis Shanks, and the person that worked with me was very helpful. She actually came out to make sure the size of the pieces that I selected would fit appropriately. She worked with all my suggestions and ideas.   Q: What neighborhood places do you frequent? A: I love Alamo Heights and downtown San Antonio.   Q: What San Antonio events do you enjoy most? A: I travel a great deal and often miss many of the wonderful events here. I am working on scheduling my travel around

from my North Carolina home. It’s conservative, with lots of browns and sage colors, and most of the furniture is from Ethan Allen. I found a wonderful furniture store that provided furniture with what I consider

some of these things. I especially like how family-oriented and safe the large gatherings are downtown. Again, above all, I feel very safe, which allows me to relax and indulge in my condo getaway.


Dynamic San Antonio: cherishing the past, enhancing the present and anticipating a bright future

Call it condo-mania or hi-rise fever. Luxurious high-, mid- and low-rise condos and great apartment units are springing up all across San Antonio as more people say goodbye to lawn crews, roofers and maintenance men and hello to doormen and a concierge. Downtown is the vibrant hub of a dynamic, growing city. Here is literally the height of luxury condos: the Alteza Above the Grand Hyatt. Views are of the River Walk, HemisFair, La Villita and the Plazas. Romantic magnets, they draw convention-goers, tourists and newcomers. All fall in love with San Antonio’s downtown! As an architect, I worked to redevelop several of these once urban projects. All such projects are designed to preserve and enhance the city’s rich heritage. New work for this area is budgeted at $1 million, as the new SA2020 Downtown Vision Plan launched by Mayor Castro means to make downtown everyone’s neighborhood. Lori Houston, director of the Center City Development Office, points out that HemisFair Park is undergoing a $30 million transformation. It is to become San Antonio’s front porch. When I worked on the park’s current design, we incorporated the use of water, which is historically important to San Antonio.  The new 10- to 15-year-long plan calls for integrating more water features, expanding the convention center, a multi-use amphitheater, more family-friendly recreation, retail and park amenities in the southwestern corner, and for improving traffic access and flow through the site.

The River Walk and Broadway Radiating outward from HemisFair are several corridors of growth that include condominium and apartment development – housing vital to retail growth. The River Walk – the city’s most romantic site for ultra-luxe condos – has been extended along the meandering San Antonio River both north and south of downtown. A water taxi now connects HemisFair with the Pearl, a mixed-use development including residences on the north. (The VIA Street Car Project will expedite movement in and around the inner city and perhaps beyond – even to Olmos Park, home of The Simeon on Annie Street.)  Broadway, between downtown and Alamo Heights to the north, parallels the River Walk. Along what promises to become a gracious

The romantic River Walk along the San Antonio River is the vibrant artery of a city that clings to its rich cultural heritage as it reaches to its dynamic future.

Photo by David Strahan

by david strahan

urban corridor are several major residential developments, including The Broadway, a prestigious address in Alamo Heights.

southtown Southtown is following King William’s lead in the gentrification of single-family homes. A destination for artists and architects charmed by its easily updated caliche block houses, this and the neighboring areas also boast condos. A pioneer is Camp Street Lofts, a candy factory repurposed by the late artist and art patron Linda Pace (with architectural designer Jim Poteet) as sophisticated residences. Following suit is SoFlo, a condominium developed by Poteet, Judson Candy Lofts, King William Lofts, the Cervelo and Steel House Lofts. As part of the new SA2020 plan, areas outside the inner city targeted for housing developments include Near River South, the Medical District, the Near East Side, the Near West Side and the Cesar Chavez/HemisFair Corridor. Conceivably, these areas will all see new condominiums with spectacular views of the ever-growing city. Indeed, everything’s up-to-date – or soon will be au courant – in historic San Antonio. ■ may//june 2013 NHOME /


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The Beautiful Life Residents enjoy the best of both worlds with the

beauty of the Texas Hill Country and the lock-and-leave luxury of condo living at the aptly named Di Lusso Villas at Cordillera Ranch. // by: Kim Young

may//june 2013 NHOME /



hen you think of luxury condominiums and apartment living, you may visualize Downtown USA with its constant rush of traffic and incessant noise. When you think of Cordillera Ranch, you think of tranquility and 25-mile breathtaking views of the Guadalupe River Valley or the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course that boasts springs, cascading waterfalls and lush fairways. Now you can experience the best of both worlds. Di Lusso Villas at Cordillera Ranch combine the beauty of the Texas Hill Country with the “lock-and-leave luxury and simplicity” of condo living. Di Lusso is Italian for “of luxury,” and the special enclave that is Di Lusso at Cordillera is aptly named. I met the builder, Gabe Garcia of Pasadera Builders, at one of the last sold-out custom models in Phase I. Arriving a few minutes early, I had an opportunity to walk around and observe the quality of construction at the trim and cabinetry stage. With my basic knowledge of new construction and many years in real estate, the Di Lusso quality was evident in every room: wood beams, tall wood baseboards with electrical receptacles, Kolbe & Kolbe wood windows, wood barrel ceilings and extensive built-in cabinetry and closet shelving. Garcia later confirmed that the beams and the 8-foot doors are all solid wood. I was certain these would be costly upgrades, but was surprised to learn that these luxury features, along with many others, are standard at Di Lusso. As we went through the house, the pride Garcia and Pasadera Builders take in creating each Di Lusso villa was obvious. From the creation of the gated entrance with its cave rock walls that open into Phase I to the lot layouts for the best views and outdoor living spaces to the architecturally pleasing Tuscan style of each villa, there is much attention given to every detail. I even learned about the hand mix and application of the three-phase stucco material and its unique color on each home as it cures by the sun depending on the time of day it’s applied. Pasadera Builders’ high-quality standards can be seen from top to bottom. They pride themselves in using the best in wood, stone, rock, imported Italian clay roof tiles and even decorative clay chimney caps instead of the typical


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“The Di Lusso architecture is designed for flexibility and functionality, whether you choose traditional or contemporary.”

aluminum caps most builders use. Di Lusso’s luxury home designs have multiple options and configurations to match your unique needs and lifestyle. Plans in Phase II start at 3,300 square feet with approximately half of the lots backing to the golf course. You can pick your lot and start building in approximately 60 days. After we finished our walk through the villa under construc-


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tion, Garcia drove me up to the only resale in Phase I. As we got out of the car, he pointed out the concrete pavers in the driveway. Standing there gazing around at the various villas and the awesome views, I noticed the unique window color of each villa; one was rich red, another sage green and another cobalt blue. The exterior window finishes on each blended with the stucco colors to create a subtle visual pop.

And on the inside of this finished home, I’m sure you’re wondering about the kitchen. Definitely wow: cherry wood cabinets, stone counter tops, mouthwatering appliances, a deep sink and the exclusive Di Lusso technology package that controls lighting, climate control, audiovisual security and other household systems. Imagine enjoying a cappuccino and cornetto at Tazza d’Oro in Rome before your flight home and being able to set your villa’s lighting and climate for the perfect return. All the luxury details were almost overwhelming. “We’re here to transform visions into reality – to make dreams come true,” Garcia said. “We’ll walk you through the options that meet all of your family’s needs and expectations. Our interior options are selected for quality, and the Di Lusso architecture is designed for flexibility and functionality, whether you choose traditional or contemporary.” Having visited at length with Garcia, I feel confident that he makes the selection process and the creating of your home in Di Lusso a pleasing experience that lasts well beyond completion. Life in Di Lusso is well tended. They make it easy for you even when in Rome. The association maintains the front and back exterior landscaping, which includes the timed esthetically pleasing automatic exterior lighting. If you’re looking for automated luxury condo living, but are ready for the tranquility of the Hill Country and the convenience of a signature golf course, a tennis court, a swimming pool, a fitness facility, fine dining, nature trails, the Guadalupe River, fishing and sporting clays, come select your lot and build your dream la bella vita (“the beautiful life”) at Di Lusso Villas at Cordillera. ■

For more information, please visit

Did you know Wells Fargo closes 1 out of every 3 loans closed in the nation?


We have a large array of mortgage loans to fit your needs. JOE A. GONZALEZ

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15 Years of Mortgage Lending Direct Line: 210.833.9359 NMLSR ID: 906262


Information is accurate as of date of printing and is subject to change without notice. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ©2011 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All Rights Reserved.

may//june 2013 NHOME /









210.340.2033 • 210.789.2033 • 866.202.1650


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Photo: Sitterle Homes Calenzano Model Home at Cibolo Canyon


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Classic Clad Patio Doors


Classic clad patio doors are designed to be effortless in operation and elegant in any setting. In order to make the most of natural light, our NFRC certified patio doors use 3/4” tempered low-E glass w/Argon gas for greater energy efficiency. We offer a variety of door styles in, inswing, outswing, sliding and hinge fold systems for the ultimate in elegance. Whichever style patio door system you choose, you can be assured you will enjoy years of beauty and protection.

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arrish is a family, locally owned company committed to providing great products & excellent service to guide you in creating your ideal space. If you are building a new home or remodeling, our 3-d cabinetry designs will help you envision your project & our sales experts can ensure your budget & needs are met. Visit one of our interactive showrooms to see live fireplaces, cabinetry, appliance & countertop vignettes, garage doors, outdoor grills & accessories, windows & more.

2500 N. Main Ave. San Antonio - 210.255.1125 Upscale Cabinetry & Appliances

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A Sanchez Pool custom design can provide whatever you can dream up, with superior quality, integrity and unrivaled safety features. We can also build you a beautiful backyard Patio Cabana. Sanchez Pools is licensed, insured and bonded. Sanchez Pools is also a member of the Better Business Bureau, and a Hayward select pool builder. may//june 2013 NHOME /


// home decorating //

Big Looks for Small Spaces As these stellar recommendations from Interior Trade Cartel demonstrate, making the switch to a smaller living space does not mean you have to sacrifice quality, comfort or style. Interior Design by Kelley Barnett, NCIDQ #12479

An AISD project that benefited the Wounded Warriors from 2008, featuring interior design by Kelley Barnett and furnishings by Interior Trade Cartel. This is a Vidorra project. Photography by Jason Roberts.


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Worlds Away never stops searching for ways to reinterpret the past to bring you tons of great ideas for your designing future. What is your style? Transitional? Traditional with a touch of Hollywood glamour? All pieces are appropriately scaled for condos and lofts.

Curvy, comfy, sexy … enough said? This fabulous Willow Chair from City Collection stands alone or works wonderfully as part of a pair for ambiance in any condo setting!

Interesting wall art papers from Carl Robinson Edition 4 Atmosphere is a collection of papers and coordinating wall coverings. The collection strives to capture the inherent and sometimes hidden beauty of our everyday landscape and design objects of times past. Carl Robinson has been inspired by the colors in oxidized metals, the texture of distressed paint and even the graphic simplicity of a bicycle wheel. Steam engines, a vintage camera and a retro radio are all hallmarks of our common heritage that we can relate to and treasure as memories of our collective past. The art in this portfolio of designs contains images that will tell the stories of yesterday in today’s interiors – big looks for small spaces!

may//june 2013 NHOME /



Go Airborne!

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may//june 2013 NHOME /


// green //

Green Spaces Some of San Antonio’s new affordable multi-family projects come with multiple sustainable features and amenities, allowing you

to live green the luxurious way. // by: Rita Zenzen Heck


elieve it or not, San Antonio has only two multi-family projects that have been certified by Build San Antonio Green: Mirabella (the San Antonio Housing Authority, or SAHA) and Cevallos Lofts, both near downtown and developed by NRP Group. Irby Hightower of Alamo Architects, who is known for his preservation and conservation concepts, was the architect for both projects. Mirabella, located at 1955 Bandera Road, is an affordable 172-unit, one- to two-bedroom project that was passive solar sited to maximize cross ventilation from operable windows and loaded with green features, including a central solar hot water and heating system,


/ NHOME may//june 2013

energy-efficient operable windows and doors and ENERGY STAR appliances. Affordable with luxury amenities, including a swimming pool, a fitness center, a business/computer center and a horseshoe pit, Mirabella is a perfect place for residents 55 and older to retire. Recognizing the value of affordable green multi-family housing, SAHA, San Antonio’s biggest landlord, has committed to having all future projects green certified. According to Beth Keel, SAHA sustainability specialist, the cost is just 2 percent above traditional construction costs and the benefits to the tenants, the environment and SAHA are many.

Mirabella residents benefit from

heat and hot water from the sun. Solar panels reduce their energy bills and protect the environment.

The Park at Sutton Oaks, which is under construction, along with two additional SAHA projects, will be San Antonio’s first Level II Build San Antonio Green certified apartments. The projects are designed for long-term sustainability for the building and its occupants, according to a spokesperson. Cevallos Lofts, located in the Blue Star area at 301 E. Cevallos, was built from scratch, but designed to look as if it had always been there. Low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint, ENERGY STAR appliances, energy 16-SEER HVAC and an atmosphere of culture and elegance, the apartment/work/live project features exceptional public areas with local artworks exhibited throughout. “NRP has been building in San Antonio since 1993 and went green on all projects in 2001,” said Dan Markson, NRP vice president of operations. “NRP was awarded NAHB’s (National Association of Home Builders’) bronze medal for its green efforts, which adds about $750 per unit. We’d like to use more solar, which currently operates our exterior lighting and gates.” On the luxury side, NRP recently completed the Belleza at Cresta Bella one-, two- and threebedroom apartments with all of Cevallos’ ameni-

ties, plus an Infinity hillside pool, an upscale neighborhood and close proximity to La Cantera. Rentals range from $750 to $1,905. “We have several affordable, market rate and luxury multi projects in the works and are looking toward luxury green single-family housing in the near future,” Markson said. “Art is also an important part of our projects, and we include local and/or national artists for public space exhibits. Blue Star is currently creating a love bench, historically the courting couch, for Cevallos Lofts’ outdoor area, and we like to encourage young artists by exhibiting their work.” A few years ago, the Pearl Brewery introduced solar HVAC to its redeveloped Full Goods Building apartments at 200 E. Grayson, making it the first and still only multi-family project weathered by the sun with an interactive display showing solar information and updates on the amount of power produced and environmental pollutants avoided. Rainwater is collected in a 22,500-gallon storage tank, which is then recycled to form beer storage cans for landscaping. High-performance insulation and glass, reflective roofing, solar blocking screens, ENERGY STAR appliances and low-energy lighting are other green features. The may//june 2013 NHOME /


State-of-the-art exercise equipment is featured in the Cevallos Lofts workout center.

Architects magically turned the frog into “prince charming”

with impressive structures at 1221 Broadway.


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Full Goods and CIA buildings are both LEED certified gold level. Just a few years ago, 1221 Broadway was a skeletal building that pleaded for help. Originally constructed of aerated concrete block (since removed), it was rescued by David Adelman, Area Real Estate and Cross Co. a couple of years ago. Lake Flato architects magically turned the frog into “prince charming” with impressive structures on the San Antonio River north banks overlooking courtyards, two swimming pools, a dog park, lots of greenery and just a short walk to the Pearl. It was an amazing transformation, to say the least. Though not officially certified green, the 307unit project has many green elements, including a rainwater-recycling tank that is tied to an irrigation system used for landscaping. The stucco-

over-concrete and galvanized metal exterior is a good insulator and polished concrete floors, ENERGY STAR appliances, energy-efficient HVAC and lighting contribute to the four-story’s green features. Two swimming pools, lots of landscaped courtyards, a dog park, a 500-car parking garage, soon-to-come retail and onsite bike rental all appeal to young professionals looking to move downtown. Rents range from $750 to $2,300. ■

Creative Overflow/The Green Connection is located at 201 Barrera, San Antonio, Texas 78210. For more information, call 210-2128031. You can also check out Rita Zenzen Heck's latest book, “Strippers Stars & Presidents,” or visit

All Cevallos Lofts kitchens are equipped with Energy Star Appliances for efficiency and granite countertops and wood cabinets for pizzaz.

Contacts: Mirabella Cevallos Lofts Belleza Cresta Bella Pearl Rentals 1221 Broadway

may//june 2013 NHOME /


// green //

Location, Location, Location

Urban green condos: the secret to low-impact living // by: lloyd lee


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hen it comes to green living, it’s all about location. Urban condos designed with sustainability in mind check all the right planet-friendly boxes and with one huge upside: location.

The issue of location: How much gas and time can you save? What is the secret to low-impact living? Location. In fact, most property experts will tell you that the three most important factors for determining the desirability of a property are as follows: location, location and location – hence the popular turn of phrase. Sustainability-minded homebuyers can add a fourth “location” to that phrase. The reasons are quite simple, really. The

closer your home or place of residence is to entertainment, convenient shopping, services, public forums and other people in general, the more your home is worth. City dwellers pay a premium for convenience, access and especially time. More importantly, proximity to services means freedom from the need for greenhouse gas-spewing automobiles. The average American commuter spends 38 cumulative hours a year sitting behind the wheel not moving forward. Those in big cities spend in excess of 50 hours a year stuck in suspended motion. These numbers, of course, don’t even begin to quantify the additional hours working Americans spend simply getting from point A to point B, let alone vehicle main-

Transportation accounts for


of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.

tenance, fuel costs and lost productivity. In fact, traffic jams alone cost the nation $121 billion, which includes a loss of 1.9 billion gallons of gasoline burned by idling engines. Vast sums of money are wasted every morning – literally going up in smoke and exhaust out of tailpipes. Vast amounts of carbon dioxides and other debris are emitted, as well – clouding the skies and warming the atmosphere. And herein lies the heart of the reason green condos located in or near denser urban communities and built with sustainability in mind are the epitome of responsible living for those who don’t need the sprawling space afforded by far-flung suburbs. Buildings are major contributors to the global carbon balance (or imbalance), accounting for nearly 40 percent of the nation’s carbon emissions. Green condos and other urban housing solutions often boast greatly reduced power consumption and waste, employ renewable building materials and techniques and promote convenience and

economies of scale. But just as importantly, green condos located in or near cities promote a lifestyle less dependent on the gasoline-driven automobile. Transportation accounts for approximately 28 percent of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions. With the energy consumed for transportation included, a household dwelling in an energy-efficient condo consumes a quarter of what a typical single-family suburban household would consume in the same time period. This adds up to quite an economic windfall over time. Americans already spend $2,000 per year on gasoline and another $2,000 per year on electricity on average. Suburbanites likely spend significantly more on both.

The issue of space: How much do you really need? The answer to this pressing question is: not as much as we may think. The average American home has ballooned in size from below a thousand square feet to nearly 2,500 square feet. At the same time, families have shrunk by approximately one person. So what’s the deal? What’s driving our urgent lust for more square footage? Rather than breaking the bank for a three-car garage that will essentially be used as a storage shed, why not buy smaller, better, more energy-efficient and in a prime location? When it comes down to it, bigger is not always better. Bigger homes come with appropriately large energy bills and maintenance costs and many times, a ridiculous morning commute. As more and more Americans flock to the cities, it’s worth taking some time to consider the positive impacts green condos can have on overall lifestyles, costs and the environment. ■

For more information, email Lloyd Lee of Native Green Inc. at

may//june 2013 NHOME /


// real estate //

Realtor Profile

Living the


// Special to NHOME

With a lot of hard work, determination and passion for their business, Ruben and Mary Solis have gone from humble beginnings to one of the most successful real estate couples in South Texas.


A story of success with roots in starting from the bottom and working your way to the top never grows old. The year is 1990. Imagine that you are a young couple with big dreams to take on the world. You move from your country of origin (Mexico) to a country where the language is foreign to you (the United States). You each have only one bag full of your personal belongings and one joint item: a lamp that was gifted to you at your wedding. You have no place to live and no job, you do not speak the language of the country and all of your life savings totals a mere $2,000. Does it sound like you are ready to take on the world? (No, this is not the press jacket to the newest reality show.) Now, fast-forward to the year 2013. You have three beautiful children ages 22, 16 and 15. You are fluent in the English language. You reside in San Antonio, Texas. And your career path is that of an international realtor. You work with your spouse, and together, you have more than $125 million in overall real estate sales since you started. This summary isn’t a reality show; it is the true story behind one of the most successful real estate couples in South Texas – the story of Ruben and Mary Solis. Ruben and Mary were a young couple with their eyes set on making their dreams come true. They are originally from Mexico, and they initially found residence in Santa Barbara, Calif. They resided there for eight years; however, their master plan was never to stay there. For two years, they researched all of the United States, looking for the “perfect” place to live. In 1998, San Antonio won! They picked the Alamo City because they believed it was the perfect city to grow a family and make their dreams of living the American Dream come true. The American Dream fell short almost daily for the first eight years they lived here; and yet, not once did the Solis family ever give up. As the daily grind of 40-hour work began to take its toll on Ruben, he began to realize that there was more to his passion for success. He wanted to do more, and in time, he found that many other families in San Antonio shared the same characteristics: They were Mexican nationals who had moved to San Antonio for better opportunities. However, he also heard that there was a crying need for someone to cater to the needs of these Mexican nationals. So he pursued realty, and in 2006, he fulfilled the responsibilities necessary to obtain a real estate license. “I knew from the beginning of my real estate career that I wanted to be the go-to person for Mexican nationals,” Ruben says.

And he has done just that. His group, Keller Williams Heritage, is No. 1 in the company with regard to international sales in all of South Texas. They are a team of five, with one commercial broker. Ruben does give one of his team members preferential treatment – that is because she shares his last name and their place of residence! His wife joined forces with him a few years back, and they have more than $125 million in real estate sales between them. “We had to get over all the little things that most couples fight over,” Mary says. “Don’t get me wrong; the first years were hard. We worked all the time. We didn’t have time for a personal life, and it showed. But we are over that now. We found that the only way to succeed was to make it happen. And we did just that.” “We work great together,” Ruben says. “Mary is a great organizer. She prepares all of the documents, and I focus on the advertising, marketing and networking of our business.” Ruben and Mary have found a niche in the real estate industry that works for them. With the upswing of real estate in San Antonio and the surrounding areas, the upswing has completely lent itself toward a sellers’ market. “We have goals set,” Ruben says. “Our goal for this year is $60 million. Our goal for 2014 is $100 million.” At this point, Mary looks at Ruben in disbelief. He looks at her and says, “We have to have it in writing. We need to be held accountable. So there it is. It is out there now and somehow, we must make it work. We will make it work.” She nodded her head in agreement and said, “Then we will do it.” The Solis family does not treat their business as a business. They treat it as a passion. They love what they do. They treat their clients as though they were family. They use the knowledge they have learned from prior clients to improve both themselves and the experience for clients yet to come. “There is a passion in what we do,” Ruben says. “When you love what you do and who you do it with, it is not a job; it just becomes what we do. We are helping other families make their dreams come true, one home at a time, one family at a time. It’s what we do.” It seems like they have a formula for a pretty good business plan, don’t you think? ■

For more information, contact Ruben and Mary Solis at 210-323-8752 or may//june 2013 NHOME /



/ NHOME may//june 2013

may//june 2013 NHOME /


Representing the finest in real estate service! Experience the difference... Luxury League is an elite network of professionals with proven success serving affluent clientel. Membership is by invitation only. If you’re in need of residential service, look no further. Trust a Luxury League member and experience the difference.


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Luxury League Members Call a Luxury League member and experience the difference. Adrianne Frost

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“God, Family, then Business”







Danyelle Daniel


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/ NHOME may//june 2013

Your Lifestyle. Your Community. our expertise

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One Of the 2013 Best COmpanies tO WOrk fOr in texas. BY Texas MonThly

Top Row: Jennifer Powell, Ellen Bunde—NMLS #406311, Jeff Williams—NMLS #221380, Dale Lucas—NMLS #258782, Rob Adams—NMLS #221357, Jon Tober—NMLS #212945, Tina Mattingly— NMLS #479802, Keren Wells | Bottom Row: Mari Salcido, Leslie Barnett—NMLS #225632, Claudia Costilla, Jim McKissick—NMLS #225338, Kristie Arocha—NMLS #299226, Diane M. Koenning—NMLS #219558


23966 IH-10 W. #3 at Boerne Stage Rd. San Antonio, TX 78257

© 2013 SWBC. All rights reserved. Loans are subject to credit and property approval; other guidelines may apply. Program guidelines are subject to change. Rates are subject to change. 8540-4780.

may//june 2013 NHOME /


// español //

Que Vida de Perros Más Perrona La artista Maricela Sánchez logra que amos y mascotas cohabiten en perfecta armonía gracias a ‘Bespoke Crates & Grates’, su nueva línea chic y contemporánea de paneles y jaulas para mascotas. // por: Paulette Jemal


a artista Maricela Sánchez le da un significado totalmente diferente a la expresión “Vida de Perros”.  Gracias a su visión y a su creatividad, aunada al amor que siente por los animales, nuestras adoradas mascotas y sus dueños, logran vivir con gran estilo. Marisela Sánchez ha bajado su arte de los altos muros de las galerías dónde expone sus diseños y los ha incorporado a las cuatro paredes de sus contemporáneos ‘lofts’ y rejas para nuestros amigos de cuatro patas. Su nueva línea de rejas y jaulas de súper lujo para mascotas; Bespoke Crates & Gates, acaba de ser lanzada al mercado con una gran fiesta en la Bahía de Corpus Christi, donde actualmente reside la artista, y sus diseños y productos ya están haciendo grandes olas en el mundo canino. Entre la concurrencia de invitados había amantes del arte, coleccionistas que aprecian al mejor amigo del hombre tanto como a una buena obra de arte y activistas que protegen los derechos de los animales.  Bespoke Crates & Gates ofrece ‘lofts’ de lujo para mascotas en cuatro artísticos modelos inspirados en los diseños gráficos de sus cotizados cuadros y vienen en contemporáneos colores como chocolate, blanco y negro, ‘chocolate lab’, ‘white  poodle’ y ‘black pincher’. Estas funcionales piezas de arte van súper bien con el estilo de vida urbano y contemporáneo que predomina


/ NHOME may//june 2013

entre su clientela. Los ‘lofts’ y rejas brindan doble función, le dan un espacio cómodo a su “guaguá” predilecto y crean un ambiente ‘WOW’ para su hogar. Sin duda, esta funcional jaula de acrílico, será el tema de conversación en sus reuniones, al ser desplegada a la par de la más refinada colección de arte moderno y en un futuro podrán fungir como mesa coctelera en la sala o una lámpara de piso contemporánea con luces LED.  “Está reja fue la primera que hice, es un panel sencillo con un diseño inspirado en el encaje de un velo.” “En el 2011, hice una serie llamada ‘El Velo de mi Madre’ con el fin de conmemorarla, utilicé las flores de su velo para crear uno de los diseños de mis cuadros.”  Cuando su madre falleció el día de San Valentín un año más tarde, Marisela tomó un tiempo para reflexionar y dejó de crear su arte. Durante este periodo de luto decidió hacer unas rejas para la jovial residencia que Maricela comparte con su esposo, el pediatra Jorge Rodríguez y sus tres o cuatro perros, ya que las puertas de su casa estilo tradicional, pero con un aire muy contemporáneo, siempre están abiertas para amigos y familiares que vienen acompañados de sus mascotas y que a veces suelen quedarse más tiempo que sus dueños. Lo que inicialmente comenzó como un proyecto para darle un toque personal y de

uso exclusivo para ‘Frito’, su feroz Yorkie, un poodle casi ciego llamado ‘Coco’ y un bóxer muy femenino que responde al nombre de ‘Reba’, acabó siendo la envidia de amigos y parientes que enloquecieron con el creativo concepto, rogándole a la artista que las hiciera para vender. Así fue como nació su nueva línea, ‘Bespoke Gates & Crates’, dándole un vuelco a su enfoque artístico. ‘Bespoke’, que quiere decir ‘hecho a la medida’, tal cual implica el nombre, va desde una pequeña jaula para un perrito chihuahueño hasta una reja para aislar con mucho estilo a un gran danés. Hay varios tamaños disponibles pero también pueden ser diseñadas a las especificaciones y necesidades del dueño y de sus mascotas.

Maricela Sánchez ha creado unos productos que están revolucionando esas horribles jaulas que solíamos relegar al rincón de la casa, dándole a nuestros hogares y los de nuestros canes un ambiente de lo más perrón donde amos y mascotas cohabitan en perfecta armonía. ■

Precios varían, $180 por un panel sencillo y rejas y jaulas de $1,000 a $1,300 (más flete e impuestos). Para más información sobre la línea Bespoke Crates & Gates visite, envíe correo electrónico a o llame al 210.771.8403.

Estas funcionales piezas de arte combinan bien con estilos de diseño urbanos y contemporáneos. may//june 2013 NHOME /


// industry insights //

voices professionals of the

Luxury condo living and San Antonio’s move toward “new urbanism”

Some of the industry’s finest on the growing trend of “new urbanism” and the most luxurious condos in the Alamo City

Mark Williams

Mark Williams Design LLC (Atlanta, Ga.)

Designing in the Alteza Residences was a lot of fun for us. The architecture of the building provides more gracious floor plans than we have experienced in other properties around the country, which let us explore high-rise living in a more luxurious way. With all of San Antonio as a backdrop, we were able to create dramatic interiors with a warm, home-like feel.


/ NHOME may//june 2013

Melissa Burnett

Downtown Alliance/Centro

For those looking for a walk-able community lifestyle, living downtown is a great option. And for those who live and work downtown, there are great public transportation options like VIA, B-Cycle and Hertz On Demand that reduce the demand to own a car.

Tom Rohde Jennifer Shemwell

Bart C. Koontz

The Broadway has been a great building for us to sell. It is the premier luxury condominium building in San Antonio – and it has by far the best views! Residents love living there because it is quiet and peaceful, and everyone who lives there is so warm and friendly. It has all the amenities a person could wish for, including a beautiful resort-style swimming pool, outdoor televisions and grills and even a dog park. There is a doorman to greet residents and guests, valet parking and a concierge in the building.  There are also storage units for residents to keep their excess furniture, seasonal decorations, etc., so no one has to give up any of their treasures.

The primary benefit to condominium living is convenience. At The Broadway, our owners lead active lives, and we afford them a lowmaintenance lifestyle while cultivating a sense of community among the residents. We offer amenities like a state-of-the-art fitness center, media lounge, swimming pool and outdoor living spaces, including covered entertaining areas. We want our residents to have an experience similar to what they get at their favorite five-star resort – only they never have to check out. Condo living in San Antonio is gaining popularity, which can be an indicator of a strong housing market.

Phyllis Browning Company

Koontz McCombs LLC

Rohde Ottmers & Siegel Realty Inc.

This development trend is changing rapidly with the movement south of Hildebrand all the way past the CBD and South Loop 410. These areas and types of developments where “new urbanism” is now occurring are new to many of us who are long-term residents of this great city. The “new” San Antonio we will soon see is really a recreation of the old city from the turn of the century that has always been a source of civic pride, mixed demographics and history.

Misty Rodriguez California Closets

Closets, pantries, workspaces and libraries are just a few of the custom solutions that California Closets has contributed to the Vidorra condo showcase units. My goal as a California Closets design consultant was to creatively enhance each space to make it livable, functional and fabulous, especially when working in smaller spaces. Who wouldn’t want a stylish, organized home to match their extraordinary environment?

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// finance //

Lender Profile


/ NHOME may//june 2013

Best of The

Both Worlds

When your career is your passion:

More than 20 years into her career as a mortgage loan officer, Linda Rudd still loves giving her clients the VIP treatment. // by: cori smelker // photography: jason roberts


s a fresh-faced college graduate with honors in finance and management from UTSA, she had the whole banking industry in which to specialize her career. As she gained exposure, she began to handle portfolios of mortgages for specialty clients. She enjoyed it so much she decided to focus her efforts on that side of banking exclusively. More than 20 years later, Linda Rudd still finds immense satisfaction in what she does every day. Even when the mortgage industry had to weather the storms of the last six years, which saw 80 percent of mortgage lenders not able to withstand the turbulence, she did not lose her drive and hope. “I love helping people,” this extremely capable professional says. “I am committed to helping my clients and was determined to remain an ethical and integral figure in the world of mortgages.” She admits that the process of securing a mortgage is challenging, perhaps more today than at any time, but she says she thrives on the pleasure of guiding her clients through the process as seamlessly as possible – “to assist in making the financial decision the most beneficial to their futures, as well as providing a smooth, friendly, professional and responsive process to achieve that goal.” It is with that focus that she has coined herself: Linda Rudd- Your Lending Team. Her clientele list reads like a Who’s Who in the real estate and finance world — with realtors, business partners, bankers and financial planners trusting their clients and relationships with Linda. Each person gets the VIP treatment from Linda and her hand-picked, specially trained support team with over 125 years combined field experience. In addition, her clients get the best of both worlds as a mortgage banker with a personal touch because all aspects of the loans are done locally and she has access to other portfolio options given her years of relationships. She is able to tap into the resources and credibility of working with national banks without the cumbersome and limited aspects of that relationship. She takes her responsibility as a mortgage loan officer very seriously and maintains her license as a Certified Financial Planner. She also recently attended counselor training through the may//june 2013 NHOME /


Dave Ramsey program, and she incorporates the principals into her client scenarios. For example, just recently, Linda met with a couple who were first-time homebuyers. They wanted to purchase a home, but with no credit to speak of, debts to pay off and an income that would not support a house payment, they were not going to secure a mortgage. Instead of turning them away, she shared the strategies she had learned through the Ramsey program and gave them hope and a plan. She was delighted when they called her again a few months later, had done everything needed and were ready to buy their first home. “Calls like that make my day,” Rudd says. “It is one of the most rewarding aspects of my profession.” She views the closing of their transaction as just the beginning of a long relationship. “I make a point of staying in touch with all of my clients.” As a result, many of those same clients return when they need another mortgage or refinance, and they entrust their friends and family to her. One of the biggest challenges she sees for potential buyers is a transition in income. “Some clients come to me and they have recently started new jobs and their income has increased dramatically. But is it stable? Is it reliant on shift work and overtime? I have to take all these factors into account,” she says. “Regardless of what I can qualify them for, my main objective is to answer, ‘Will they sleep at night once they have to make that house payment?’ In other words, do they have – Confucius peace about the house payment amount? I need to be able to sleep at night, too, and be sure I have harmonized their options and resources to their benefit.” She consults with each client to review and analyze their scenarios for the best options for them. She recently visited with a couple who needed to work on increasing their income and decreasing their debt. “I sift through all the information, select the best options and present them to the clients based on what they tell me is important to them and their future plans,” she says. “I then offer my professional opinion on how to best proceed. I take that responsibility incredibly seriously, and it is one of my favorite aspects of my profession and service commitment. It is important that my clients understand and feel comfortable, as well as secure, with the process. They can, as I say, ‘take it to the bank!’” Linda has also created a phenomenal reputation for herself in the market niche of jumbo loans, not just as an expert in traditional loans. Jumbos are for the high-income, high net worth clients, the self-employed, and the trust fund clients who require a

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”


/ NHOME may//june 2013

larger loan amount. They do not fit in the traditional box, and she loves the challenge of putting the puzzle pieces together in a way that works and works well. These scenarios require a trained and occasionally creative eye for clientele who also have a distinct expectation of service. “I bring knowledge and expertise to this specialized part of the market,” Linda Rudd says. “This is a unique dimension and allows me to be creative in looking for multiple resources in order to best harmonize their personal picture with that of their vision.” She selected Legacy Mutual Mortgage to be the engine to support her expertise and service commitment. “To have the backing of such a strong, reputable company does make a difference to the client,” she says. “I am able to incorporate my vision of service and care with that of my established team with Legacy’s strengths in the marketplace. The behind-the-scenes operations staff of Legacy Mutual Mortgage are all excellent. All the staff needed – underwriters, processors, closers, funders and attorneys – are all right here, ready to get the job done.” Linda is very matter-of-fact about her ability. “I am good at what I do,” she says, “because I love what I do. It is as important to me to be able to look my daughter in the eyes and know that I am a professional taking the best care possible of my clients’ futures … that is my motivation. To see myself listed in the top five of San Antonio’s Residential Mortgage Lenders for 2012 by San Antonio Business Journal is an honor, as well as affirmation of my efforts and commitment. I am blessed.” ■

For more information, contact Linda L. Rudd, CFP, at 210-4924900, ext. 2071, or Note: NHOME Texas magazine officially adheres to Associated Press style, but special editorial allowances have been made within this article.

The Graves Group The art of fine residential real estate

Rancho Palo Alto – Amazing Fredericksburg estate on 17.5 acres with seasonal creek frontage

4 bedrooms, 6 baths, antique wood floors, interior stone wall accents and beamed ceilings. Guest house and 4-stall horse barn. $2,500,000

Menger Springs – Paul Allen model home on over 1 acre with exceptional architectural detail

4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, Oklahoma stone floors and porches, luxurious custom finish throughout. Gracious living, indoors and out. $885,000

Cross Mountain Ranch – Italian inspired luxury hilltop home on 5 acres with fabulous views

4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, wood floors and rock wall accents. Balconies and patios offer stunning views - great outdor living space. $975,000

Denise Graves, Realtor®, CLHMS, CRS, ABR, GRI

m a y / / j u n ecell: 2 0 1210-260-2176 3 NHOME / 7 5 I I office: 210-698-4700

// finance //


et’s face it: Condos are unique. They are usually located in major metropolitan urban centers. They give you the convenience of living close to work, entertainment and the hustle and bustle of city life. Condos also provide the convenience of not having to do yard work or pool maintenance. Similarly, financing for condos is somewhat unique. In addition to an appraisal, lenders typically have a list of required items while underwriting the property, which can be any or all of the following items that are unique to condominiums: Condominium questionnaire: This is a form that is to be completed by the HOA, usually. The questionnaire answers a lot of questions that you, the buyer, may not have thought to ask or may not have been aware of. At the same time, it answers a lot of questions a standard appraisal of the property wouldn’t.

Condominium Financing A few things to know and ask when shopping for the perfect location for you // by: Easton Crafts

Budget: This is usually provided by the HOA and is to show the financial standing of the whole condominium project. It helps verify the HOA fees charged to the homeowners and to show if there are bottom-line surpluses or shortages based on the previous year’s actual income and expenses. HOA insurance: There is typically a blanket insurance policy that covers all condominiums as part of the HOA assessment. The only things the HOA insurance policy does not cover are the personal contents inside your respective unit. This would be cause for a homeowner to have an insurance policy similar to renters’ insurance, which only covers personal contents and not the physical building. Fidelity coverage: Your lender may want to confirm that your con-


/ NHOME may//june 2013

dominium project’s HOA has fidelity coverage if, for example, there are more than 20 units in the project. The coverage amount is usually based on three or more months of HOA assessments. Here are some general questions you may want to have answers to when shopping for a condo: ➊ Is control of the owners’ association with the developer, or has it been turned over to the HOA? ➋ Are all amenities, common areas and recreational facilities complete? ➌ Is the property built on a leasehold estate? ➍ Is any portion of the project designated for commercial use only? ➎ Does the project allow daily rentals or participate in a rental pool? ➏ Does the project provide food service or daily housekeeping? ➐ Is the project subject to current litigation? ➑ What is the percentage of owner-occupied units in the project? ➒ What are the monthly HOA dues? ➓ When was the last increase in HOA dues, and how much was the increase? Some of the answers to these questions can affect what type of loan may be available for your condo. It is also important to

The fidelity coverage amount is usually based on three or more months of HOA assessments. make sure your condo project is approved with Fannie Mae, FHA and VA if you plan on using one of these loan types. Condo projects have been popping up at a higher rate in the past few years, and urban living has become more popular due to convenience, simplicity and urban revitalization. If you are in the market to purchase a condo or any other real estate, now is the time to act. Rates are still at historic lows, which will allow you to qualify for more home. ■

For more information about mortgage loans, contact Easton Crafts at or 210-257-0642. You may also visit for online payment calculators, for payment scenarios and to apply online.

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may//june 2013 NHOME /


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/ NHOME may//june 2013


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may//june 2013 NHOME /


“Is WordPress Right for Your Business?” WordPress is used to power nearly 58 million websites around the globe. Conventional wisdom has it that it is an easy-to-use, SEO friendly, all-in-one content management solution. But Boss Creative—a San Antonio web design and online marketing firm that has thrived since 2005—contests the popular “wisdom.”


/ NHOME may//june 2013

San Antonio Web Design Firm

Boss Creative Bucks Conventional SEO Wisdom boss Creative, a san antonio Web design and online marketing firm, shook up the marketing blogosphere with a blog post titled “is WordPress right for Your business?” the popular online marketing firm bucked the conventional wisdom that WordPress is a good fit for almost any business. WordPress is a popular web development platform that was released as blogging software in the spring of 2003. since that time, it has become the go-to content management system for both amateur web hobbyists and professional web development companies alike. both clients and developers like the software because of its almost infinite design templates, flexible functionality, robust support communities, and ease of use. the platform is so popular, in fact, that the official WordPress statistics site claims there are nearly 58 million websites being run on WordPress! but boss Creative says that the easiest route is not always the best. in fact, they say, the easiest route may not be as easy as many people think. “Unless you happen to be gifted in the areas of HtML code, Css, or PHP, (that’s development speak for “knowing how to program”), then using WordPress to create your business website will likely be more headache than help,” they state in their post.

in fact, they think that using WordPress can hinder a business’s lead generation and branding capabilities, saying that its one-size-fits-all nature leaves little to no branding flexibility when it comes to professional websites.

By: Boss Creative

it’s not that the firm hates WordPress. in fact, they claim to even use it for some of the sites that they develop for clients. the company’s main objection is simply that it is not a “magic bullet” when it comes to online marketing, branding, and search engine optimization. “We here at boss utilize WordPress for a number of websites, but we do so in conjunction with a multitude of other solutions, such as online marketing and search engine optimization,” says the firm on its official blog. they implement these solutions “in addition to applying [their] expertise in business web development and other graphic design capabilities.” in other words, the san antonio web design firm doesn’t believe that WordPress is an adequate online marketing solution straight out of the box. What they advise business owners is to avoid looking at the platform as a quick-and-easy solution.

A bout Boss Creative Boss Creative has no small amount of knowledge about the field. Established in 2005, the firm has carried on a strong presence in the San Antonio market. It has successfully weathered the recession— even thriving—by way of advanced marketing techniques and frequent referrals. They have even won three advertising awards from the American Advertising Federation. To learn more about the San Antonio web design & online marketing firm, or simply get online marketing tips for your business contact them at: Contact Name & Title: Charles Pilkilton (Managing Partner) Contact Agency/Company: Boss Creative Address: 18402 U.S. HWY 281 N Suite 201 San Antonio, TX 78259 Contact Telephone: (210) 568-9677 Contact Email: Website:

may//june 2013 NHOME /


// great escapes //

Choose Your Own Adventure

Beat the heat this summer by treating yourself to any or all of these refreshing getaways from

throughout the Lone Star State. // by: Paige Koerner


/ NHOME may//june 2013


s we all know, Texas is big: big open spaces, big cars, big hair and big attitudes. Oh, and our summers are not timid, either; Texas sure knows how to heat up. Fear not, though: With the enormity comes variety. There is a sundry of summer getaway choices to escape the Texas sizzle. Let us begin north. In the Dallas/Fort Worth area, there is the Marriott Hotel & Golf Club at Champions Circle. The Marriott is one of the preeminent luxury hotels. Boasting an unspoiled, 18-hole Jay Morrish golf course, this hotel site is the idyllic place for your next escape. With neighboring temptations such as outstanding museums, restaurants and shopping, the Dallas/Fort Worth location is sure to help you escape the heat. If you find yourself in Beaumont, be sure to spend time at the MCM Eleganté Hotel and Conference Center. The MCM Eleganté Hotel has been voted “Beaumont’s Best Ho-

tel” for the last seven years. This establishment will quickly have you relaxed and in good spirits after a day in the sun. Step into a veritable oasis: the Tradewinds Tavern. This establishment has been voted “the Best Bar in Beaumont” time after time. In addition, to ease tensions, their getaway day spa has also received a surfeit of awards for their superior treatment. Laredo also offers solace from the impressive Texas summer. La Posada Hotel is in the top 25 hotels of Texas. In fact, according to the Texas Chamber of Commerce, La Posada “scored 9.9 out of 10, making it the top hotel in the state of Texas.” It also has two award-winning restaurants: Zaragoza Grill and the Tack Room.

Texas may be the Lone Star State, but there is nothing singular about its availability of summer escapes.

La Posada’s caring and professional staff and concierges are dedicated to making your stay memorable and fabulous. As La Posada Hotel is also aware of the significance of art and culture, it partners with both local and international artists to display their creations on the hotel’s celebrated walls. Austin is a favorite throughout the year, but summertime in Austin is spectacular. Shopping, culture and charming local entertainment are celebrated. There are numerous places to spend your summer days in Austin. This time around, let’s highlight the Lakeway Resort and Spa. Lakeway offers leisure and romance packages to keep up “the heat.” Beautiful views from Lake Travis make this resort outstanding and arresting in its panoramas. For delightful diversions, Lakeway offers nautical adventures such as sailing, boat charters, fishing and jet-ski rentals. To round out the day or to begin it, spa packages are also easily accessible. Not too far away is picturesque Fredericksburg. Whether you’re day tripping or staying for a spell, fine dining is a must. Places like August E’s and Navajo Grill will please your palate quite nicely. August E’s combines exemplary service and extraordinary cuisine in a beautiful contemporary setting. Highly rated in Zagat, August E’s is a proud member of Distinguished Independent Restaurants of North America. It has also earned excellent evaluations for giving patrons a distinctive and delicious dining experience. The Navajo Grill is square in the middle of the historic district, sporting Old and New Mexican flavors, as well as a touch of New Orleans and the Caribmay//june 2013 NHOME /


bean. The grill boasts a fantastic wine bar and made-from-scratch desserts. Visiting either August E’s or the Navajo Grill would be an excellent way to experience Fredericksburg. Of course, we can’t forget the Texas coastline in our glorious summers. If you’re headed to Port Aransas, Cinnamon Shore is a divine destination. Beach homes and condo rentals afford stunning views and water access. In the center of town is an artisan’s village with enchanting restaurants and splendid shopping. You can also enjoy community movie nights and outdoor concerts, along with two magnificent community pools, walking trails, fishing charters and even sand castle lessons – all of which is sure to keep you entertained and stress-free. Also located in Port Aransas is the remarkable Port Royal Ocean Resort. This coastal creation has everything you need to guarantee an unforgettable Texas summer experience. Set on a 25-acre enclave wrapping around four lagoon pools, this resort has 210 beachfront condos with glorious views facing either the gorgeous manmade water or the gulf. If you want to stay on land, but poolside, the Port Royal has you covered. Grilling by the pool, enjoying the swim-up bar and listening to twice-weekly poolside


/ NHOME may//june 2013

live music (in the height of the season) will surely have you fully satisfied. If South Padre is more your style, you must check out the Peninsula Island Resort & Spa. Private beach access and 24-hour concierge services will leave its patrons wanting for nothing in terms of indulgence and magnificent vistas. Las Olas Restaurant Grill & Bar is there to provide you with exquisite oceanfront dining, and only 10 minutes away is Schlitterbahn water park, which no water-loving person can resist. After a day of sightseeing, shopping and

sun, guests of the Peninsula can unwind with the decadent, yet highly deserved onsite spa. Top-shelf treatment at its finest is the Peninsula’s mission. We can say with certainty and confidence that Texas may be the Lone Star State, but there is nothing singular about our availability of summer escapes and sizzling holiday experiences. Simply pick a direction to have an adventure or a pampered, lavish and luxurious experience, and Texas has your back. Every time. ■

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Sun-kissed memories await... 192 guest rooms and condominiums * Full-service Sapphire spa * Numerous watersports * Multiple dining options

Pearl South Padre is the premier oceanfront resort located on the island’s southern tip. Surrounded by the clear blue waters of the Texas coastline with tropical breezes, lots of sunshine, swimming pool with swim-up bar, complimentary daily summer activities and of course plenty of Texas hospitality. After a full day of outdoor excursions, savor the flavor of fresh seafood at our Beachside Bar & Grill, then prepare yourself for a treat as you relax to the gentle sounds of the shore just outside your guest room window.

To make your reservation call 956-761-6551 or visit

“Stay Closer to the Water”

The Dunes 888-873-0169 4 Day Special “Stay 3 Nights & Get the 4th Night Free”

Port Aransas

5 Day Special “Check in on Sunday & the 4th & 5th Night Free” *Restrictions apply

Offering one, two, and three bedroom luxury condos. Each condo offers a private balcony to enjoy a the sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico or to watch the ships sail through the Corpus Christi International Ship Channel. Conveniently located close to restaurants, shopping and Port Aransas night life. Daily, weekly or monthly rates available. 1000 Lantana Drive ~Port Aransas, TX 78373 ~


/ NHOME may//june 2013

travel thary 0 2 ers niv


Book Travel & Read About Destinations, Hotels and More. may//june 2013 NHOME /


// arts & culture // Artist Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga

shares her tradition of strings with the world through bold pieces that integrate timeless African artistic traditions with powerful contemporary materials.


String Stories // by: Susie Monday


/ NHOME may//june 2013

he journey taken by artist Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga is defined by continents traversed and cultures combined, and all along the way, a length of string as compass and guidepost. “When I was young, about 8, my grandmother gave me a length of string and a razor. This was because a woman could have a baby at any moment and I had to be ready to be the midwife,” Gakunga explains. “I grew up among the Kikuyu tribe of Central Kenya, and the string is entwined in the life of a Kikuyu woman from the time she is born until she departs.” Today, Gakunga works with string, crocheting together sheet metal that has been processed with sun, weather, water and salt to add color, texture and layers of abstract pattern. Her beautiful wall-sized “quilts” of metal have taken her from her from her grandmother’s cooking fire to museums and galleries around the world. But the journey began fireside as

Title: Magomano - Confluence Year: 2012 Materials: Sheet metal, stainless steel wire Dimensions: 90” x 73”

her grandmother weaved baskets and told stories that helped the young girl know her heritage and her strength. “The string is part of you,” Gakunga says. For hair braiding, for work, for play, for commerce and for creativity, it is connected to life “from beginning to end, when we lower the body into the earth with the string. As an adolescent girl, you learned to braid the string into a rope. If you could braid a rope, you had power because the younger girls would then come to you for their jump ropes.” And a bit later, Gakunga says, you learned to make the cord that would allow you to carry water from the river, tied around your forehead with the water container on your back. This story of string has tied together the work of Gakunga from her first art studies at the University of Nairobi in Kenya and her graduate work in contemporary art at the University of California at Los Angeles,

to her acclaimed international career as a textile and metals artist. However far Gakunga travels, the string connects her to the world, connecting all of the pieces. “When I look at the use of string in space, it’s like a dance,” Gakunga says. “The string I brought from Kenya becomes the one I used in my art in California, and the string I brought to San Antonio for my work today. “I started using the fiber string in the traditional Kikuyu setting with my first artwork in Kenya. The string I use today, which makes my work contemporary, is metal. The string my husband uses as an orthodontist is a very thin stainless steel wire … and it connects my husband and I. Now we are dancing together and intertwined in another way. It is just part of who I am.” The sheet metal used in her work also has its story beginnings in Kenya. As Kenyan lives changed with moderniza-

tion, men often left the villages to work in the cities. Women thought about the hard work of hauling water from the river and began cooperatively to buy sheet metal for roofs that could be used for water harvesting. Transforming these everyday materials into art is Gakunga’s response to living in the western world, as well as her creative path. Integrating timeless African artistic traditions with powerful contemporary materials has given her a strong foundation, as well as the tools and inspiration to continue creating bold, contemporary work. She stresses the metal by weathering it with simple materials (no toxic chemicals), and then she adds color. “I weave the transformed industrial sheet metal with fine gauge stainless steel to create the illusion of delicacy in elements known for their strength and durability,” Gakunga says. “Repeated linear grids and patterns contribute additional textures and forms, ranging from figurative to abstract.” Gakunga’s work is finding international audiences, with recent exhibits in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil; Tokyo, Japan; Riga, Latvia; Geneva, Switzerland; New York and Chicago; Minnesota and California; and here in Texas. Gakunga is one of two artists with solo exhibits at the Southwest School of Art, one of more than a dozen galleries in San Antonio and the Hill Country that are exhibiting fiber work as part of the biennial conference of the Surface Design Association, an international membership group of fiber, textile and surface design artists. Gakunga’s exhibit of metal and crocheted wire work is on display May 9 through July 7 at the Russell Hill Rogers Gallery II, Navarro Campus of the Southwest School. Her metal and fiber baskets, woven art cloth and jewelry will also be part of an exhibit at the Kerr Arts & Cultural Center from June 3 to 23 in downtown Kerrville. ■

For more information, visit the Surface Design Association website at Look for Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga online at www.naomiwanjiku. com, or

may//june 2013 NHOME /


// arts & culture //

All About O the Arts The Best of BoerneFest: Block

Party 2013 provides a fun, family-friendly weekend with a focus on community, commerce and culture. // by: Gabriel Diego Delgado // photos and logos courtesy of Greater Boerne Chamber of Commerce


/ NHOME may//june 2013

n May 17 through 19, Boerne continued one of its newest festival traditions: BoerneFest. In its second year, Best of BoerneFest: Block Party 2013 was a fabulously family-friendly weekend, all centered on Boerne’s downtown Main Plaza Square. Art exhibitions, free concerts, local vendors, local commerce, a farmers’ market, the Art Waddle arts and crafts walk, kids events and activities and much more were enjoyed by all in attendance at this unique three days of family fun in historic Boerne. Best of BoerneFest: Block Party 2013 was “essentially a collaboration of four entities: the Greater Boerne Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Boerne, Hill Country Mile and the Hill Country Council of Arts (HCC),” says HCC President Doris Perez. “It was a way to showcase all the arts of our area.” In addition to all the visual arts and wares for sale, there were three stages that showcased free performances ranging from high-school theatricals and regional choirs to community theater and well-known country bands like Two Tons of Steel and Gary P. Nunn. “It was a wonderful reason to come and experience what Boerne has to offer,” Perez says. At 7 p.m. on Friday, Two Tons of Steel, a rockabilly/country band, performed on the Main Stage as part of the Best of BoerneFest: Block Party 2013 Outdoor Free Concert Series.

Photo by Bill Brockmeier, titled “Concepcion,” Courtesy of Boerne Professional Artists

All vendors, food trucks, local commerce tables and sales of beer and wine continued all weekend, in addition to the music. For Best of BoerneFest: Block Party 2013, Saturday was all about the arts. “Previous year’s BoerneFest focus was on the Heart of Boerne and Currey Creek trails and the river expansion projects,” said Donald Darst, president of Boerne Professional Artists (BPA). “However, as the festival gets bigger, we are able to add more and more vendors, events and artists, [which helped] make the weekend more successful. “This is the first time BoerneFest did an art show. With this year’s theme of ‘Community, Commerce and Culture,’ BPA … collaborated with the HCC to exhibit high-quality fine art by regional visual artists showcasing artwork done in acrylics, oils and watercolors, pottery, jewelry, woodcarvings and more – all of which were available for sale and purchase during this wonderful event.” BPA wants to keep the art synergy going in Boerne, having just ended another successful run with its annual Parade of Artists weekend in April. “Boosting over 35 fine artists, the BoerneFest art show was an event not to be missed,” Darst says. The BPA-sponsored art sale ran from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, 2013, at Waterworks Terrace, located at 100 N. Main behind Main Plaza. On Saturday, May 18, the farmers’ market at the Cibolo set up produce from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the Plaza Square. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there was Art on the Plaza, a kids’ art area sponsored by the HCC and the Cibolo Nature Center – a “make and take” art experience for elementary through high school age children. Each art station was guided by local artists. Plus, on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., an eclectic array of artists gave demonstrations of various art making methods, from plein air painting and textile looming to other fine art techniques at the Main Square Plaza. Rounding out the art events was a themed venture titled “Donation/Creation.” “This idea has been initiated by the HCC, and several local nonprofits … throughout the Boerne business community companies

are setting up donation stations in their stores and corporations, asking for donations for various pre-selected items: canned food items, pet food, school supplies and baby items,” Perez says. “Each creation station at Best of BoerneFest: Block Party 2013 had local business employees/volunteers partnering with the public to build sculptures made from these donations. At the end of the day, the volunteers and employees disassembled the art and donated the items to the relevant social services and community-based entities.” In addition to the fine art sale by BPA on Saturday, the HCC partnered with other residents in the city of Boerne for a Sunday art venture, having curated an art walk dubbed the Art Waddle – a reference to the infamous ducks that have become the signature fowl for the Boerne river walk, according to Perez. The Art Waddle started on Sunday, May 19, at 204 W. San Antonio St. in the “Flats” subdivision on the other side of the creek opposite of Waterworks Terrace at 10 a.m. It continued until 4 p.m., allowing festival-goers to meander along a predestined walk-able route. Local crafters, artisans and artists sold their wares in a yard-sale format with areas designated and identified by lawn signs bearing the waddling duck. Sunday also emphasized the community with a special focus on the many facets of the faith-based population in the Boerne area. From noon until 5 p.m., local churches and organizations performed various religious hymns and spiritual music numbers on the three stages. Highlights from Sunday’s church performances included an 85-person choir on the main stage. BoerneFest: Block Party 2013, was a great weekend of community, commerce and culture in historic Boerne. It demonstrated why Boerne holds the title of the Fourth Best Small Town in America. ■

For more information, contact Bonnie Westley at bonnie@ may//june 2013 NHOME /


// community inspiration // “We wanted the message of generosity to be the light of this event.”

A Good Time for a Good Cause

The bi-annual Cordillera Ranch Shindig, themed “Denim & Derby: A Night at the Races,” brings the community together to raise funds in support of various Boerne and Kendall Country charities.

// by: Haley Christofilis


ver the years, the Cordillera Ranch Shindig has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Kendall County charities. On May 4, Cordillera Ranch residents and their friends gathered once again for “A Good Time for a Good Cause.” Started in 2002 by the Cordillera Ranch Social Club (CRSC), the Shindig has evolved into a bi-annual affair with the mission to uplift and support various Boerne and Kendall County charities that are located in Cordillera Ranch’s “backyard.” Everyone would love to make a difference in their community, but it takes a group of people who are willing to devote their time and energy to do something big, a role being filled by the volunteers who prepared for this year’s event. Jamie


/ NHOME may//june 2013

Amerman and Sara Hill were this year’s co-chairs, and they stress that the 2013 Shindig committee, made up of 15 Cordillera Ranch Club and community members, deserves the recognition. “We can’t stress enough how this group of ladies [came] together to plan a wonderful event for the night of May 4th,” Hill says. “Their hard work and dedication to our cause is what [made] this year’s Shindig a success. We wanted the message of generosity to be the light of this event. Naturally, people with giving hearts wanted to be involved.” Proceeds raised this year went to support the growth and fortification of six organizations in Kendall County: Still Water Christian Ministries, the Kendall Country Youth Agriculture & Equestrian Center,

Bergheim Fire Department, Hill Country Daily Bread, Benedictine Ministries and the Hill Country Pregnancy Care Center. The CRSC is proud of the scope that this year’s Shindig benefited. From children and teens to expectant mothers and senior citizens, the organizations chosen came from all facets of the community. This year’s Shindig was themed “Denim & Derby: A Night at the Races” to coincide with the Kentucky Derby and “The Run for the Roses,” which takes place the same day. There was a hat contest for the ladies with the best Derby-style hat, a chance to be drawn for a $10,000 horseshoe ring toss, a Kentucky “Duck Derby” and a raffle for a trip to the 2014 Kentucky Derby. Held at the stunning Cordillera Ranch Clubhouse, the evening included exquisite food, live music and live and silent auctions with items donated by numerous Hill Country and San Antonio merchants, artists and philanthropists. The evening also included entertainment by Courrier, a rising Austin rock band, and Savannah Jack, a country band from Nashville. The CRSC stresses the vital importance of the underwriters, whose donations were truly what allowed the event to be a success. Title underwriters were the Preferred Builders of Cordillera Ranch: Authentic Custom Homes, Burdick & Christofilis Custom Homes, Great Homes by Robert Thornton and Stadler Custom Homes. Additional underwriters included Ranch at The Rim, Cavender Chevrolet, the Harland Clarke Holdings Corporation, Mercedes Benz of Boerne, Cordillera Ranch, local businesses and many members of the community. ■

For more information on the Cordillera Ranch Shindig, contact Sara Hill at

A Winning Hand

// events //

the annual Hearts and Hands Casino Night raises more than $30,000 to benefit Respite Care of San Antonio and the Animal Defense League of Texas. // photography: lightcatcher photography

Hearts and Hands hosted its annual Casino Night with a Roaring ‘20s theme on March 21, 2013. The night included a catered dinner from River City Seafood & Grill, cupcakes by Gigi’s Cupcakes, photography by Light Catcher Photography, a casino, a Texas Hold’Em tournament, a silent auction, a live DJ and more. This year’s benefit raised more than $30,000 for Respite Care of San Antonio and the Animal Defense League of Texas. Hearts and Hands is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization with Keller Williams Heritage established to underwrite public outreach and volunteerism opportunity in the San Antonio area. The organization is headed by President Roslyn Casey and Vice-President Holly Borham-Ramos, along with their board of directors. Hearts and Hands provides

financial assistance to a variety of other 501(c)(3) organizations in the San Antonio and surrounding community areas through fundraising and donations. It is staffed by volunteers (agents, affiliates and partners) who wish to selflessly serve their community. Hearts and Hands generally hosts two fundraising events a year. With this year’s casino night behind them, they will hold a golf tournament at the Silverhorn Golf Club this fall on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013. More than half-a-million dollars has been donated in the eight years since its inception in 2005. ■

For more information, contact Casey at 210-710-3024 or You may also visit the Hearts and Hands website at www.

may//june 2013 NHOME /


// events //

Lone Star Summer Beat the heat in San Antonio, the Hill Country and beyond in May and June 2013 for everything from celebrations of food and the arts to industry events and family fun. May – August Fiesta Noche Del Rio A San Antonio tradition, these performances feature songs and dances of Mexico, Spain, Argentina and Texas. They occur Friday and Saturday evenings in May through August at the River Walk’s historic Arneson River Theatre. May – September San Antonio Silver Stars 2013 Season Go Silver Stars go! San Antonio’s WNBA team will continue to rock the AT&T Center as they kick off their 2013 season in May.

Amber McNamara /

May 14 – 19 Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio The event at Rosedale Park features live performances by more than 20 of the best musical groups from traditional Conjunto to progressive Tejano.


/ NHOME may//june 2013

May 16 – 19 Culinaria: A Wine and Culinary Arts Festival Giving food and wine aficionados one more thing to be thankful for this May, the festival will showcase the Alamo City’s finest restaurants and chefs, as well as celebrity guests from Mexico, Miami, Manhattan and all over Texas, as it celebrates San Antonio as a premier food and wine destination and an important culinary and cultural gateway to Mexico and Latin America. May 18 America’s Armed Forces River Parade Here’s to our heroes! This is a river parade dedicated to the men and women of the armed forces. On Armed Forces Day (Saturday, May 18, 2013), approximately 25 professionally decorated floats will travel down the River Walk, themed according to their participants, which include all branches of service, veterans of recent conflicts, military support groups, etc. The floats will feature live entertainment from military groups, as well as local artists who wish to dedicate their talents to honoring the troops.

May 24 & 25 Homestead Spring Antique Fair This event in Hico, Texas, has been featured in Flea Market Style magazine as one of the best vintage fairs from coast to coast! Showcasing unique antique dealers from across Texas, the event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and net proceeds will to go the MD Anderson Cancer Center.

June 7 – 9 Texas Folklife Festival Join in the celebration of all things Texas at the Texas Folklife Festival. Hosted at the Institute of Texan Cultures, this three-day cultural extravaganza brings more than 40 ethnic groups together to showcase their authentic food, traditional music and dance and authentic crafts. Come celebrate your heritage and share in a Texas tradition. The Institute of Texan Cultures is located in HemisFair Park, a short walk from the Alamo and the River Walk.

May 24 & 25 14th Annual Soul Food Festival & Gospel on the Plaza This event kicks off with a gospel choir and continues with amazing food, arts, crafts, family events and more. May 31 – June 2 San Antonio Summer Art & Jazz Festival One of San Antonio’s best jazz festivals returns for its 11th season! The San Antonio Summer Art & Jazz Festival is a free, three-day event featuring an outstanding lineup of local and nationally known jazz artists, an arts and crafts fair and delicious local food. Fridays in June Dive-In Movies at Splashtown San Antonio On Friday nights, visitors can enjoy family-friendly movies while hanging out in Splashtown San Antonio’s wave pool. June 19 Juneteenth There will be observances throughout the city, including a picnic, a festival, the Freedom Fair and cultural celebrations honoring June 19, 1865, the day Texas slaves received word of the Emancipation Proclamation.

June 20 First Annual Taste of the Hill Country The First Annual Taste of the Hill Country will be held at Kronkosky Place in Boerne, where local favorite restaurants sample their June 13 signature appetizers, entrees and First Annual GSABA Builder Boil Let’s do some mud-buggin’ business! Join desserts on the terrace for dining under the stars from 6 to 9 p.m. us for the First Annual GSABA Builder Please join us for fabulous food, Boil on Thursday, June 13 in Aggie Park from 4 to 8 p.m. SABOR realtor members entertainment, a live auction, a raffle and more importantly, a get in free! For more details, contact wonderful cause. Great auction Nikki at 210-392-7277 or nkutach@ items are being collected, so, or Sonja at 210-696please stay tuned for more details. 3800 or Proceeds will go toward serving families who have children with June 15 & 16 a chronic illness, disability or deFather’s Day Weekend velopmental delay. Any Baby Can Celebration This is a two-day event in historic Mar- believes every child deserves a chance to live a happy, healthy life. ket Square celebrating fathers. It will By serving the needs of the family, feature live entertainment, arts and we serve the needs of the child. crafts, children’s activities and food booths from noon to 8 p.m. Call 210- 207-8605 for more information.

June 24 & 25 Sunbelt Builders Show Imagine an event powerful enough to lead an industry and reshape communities across the region. Imagine a gathering of thousands of residential construction professionals from every sector of the housing industry. Imagine the ultimate sales opportunity for you and your business. Every year, more than 2,500 leaders in residential and multi-family housing, remodeling, finance and management come together to share the latest information, exchange ideas and foster lasting personal and professional relationships. So come join us at JW Marriott San Antonio on June 24 and 25 for a little work and a whole lot of fun! www.sunbeltbuildersshow. com

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NHOME Texas Magazine May/June 2013  
NHOME Texas Magazine May/June 2013