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Berry Mansion Centerpiece Of Reframed $62M Development Plan

Red Berry Estate

RK Group has taken center stage in the redevelopment of the 85-acre estate of the late gambling-boss-turned-state-lawmaker Red Berry in Near East San Antonio.

The interior of the Berry Mansion looks much as it did when Berry succumbed to cancer in 1969. Berry won the land in a gambling bet, according to early lore, and built a 13K SF French chateau on the property in 1951 with a casino in the basement, which city police eventually raided. In recent years, the house has been used as an event venue for birthday and wedding parties.

The city picked up the property for $2.25M in 2012. A joint project between NRP Group and Casey Development, with the participation of RK Group, will total $61.8M and open its first phase in 2020, according to The Rivard Report. The plan incorporates many of the goals sought by surrounding neighborhoods: preservation of the original mansion, additional connections to existing trails, preservation of the lake and mixed-use development.

Council approved the redevelopment deal in a series of transactions at last Thursday’s meeting. 

Red Berry Mansion

NRP Group will build a 330-unit mixed-use apartment complex on the property. Casey Development will restore the Berry Mansion and then lease it to RK Group to manage as an events center. RK Group expects to move its workforce from Sunset Station to a 169K SF office building on the Berry site. The space will allow the company to expand by another 100 people, to 400 employees, and the Sunset Station land will be turned into a site for workforce housing.

The property will be developed with low-impact standards. The first phase of apartments and office building will be completed in 2020. That phase will benefit from public incentives.

The city will deed the property to the San Antonio Housing Trust Fund. The trust fund’s board will use tax-increment funds and a community block grant to fund $3.9M in on-site improvements.

Casey Development also will handle the development of a second phase of another 26 acres.

A much larger $150M deal between NRP Group, Terramark Homes and Wallace-Bajjali Development Partners was announced on the Red Berry Estate in 2014, according to the San Antonio Express-News. That deal fell through when Wallace-Bjjali closed shop and declared bankruptcy the following year.