SAN ANTONIO-Despite the collapse of a four-story brick wall, the Watermark Hotel will be built along San Antonio’s River Walk and it will still look like a historic building.The collapsed wall on the south side of the 1910 building could have dashed that vision, but the developer said Thursday that the 99-room luxury hotel will re-create and respect the historic design.

Investigations have begun to determine the cause of the collapse. And, as a result of that collapse, a similar wall on the building’s other side, which faces the San Antonio River, will be razed.

“The project is going forward,” a contact with the hotel’s developer, La Mansion Ltd. But work won’t resume until on-site investigations are completed and the site is cleaned up. “Hopefully as soon as possible,” the contact says. “Once they take down the other wall and clean everything up they can get back moving along.” The opening date for the $25-million project was to have been November 2003.

Lyda Builders, the project’s San Antonio-based contractor, is looking into the collapse as is OSHA, which had representatives on the scene Thursday. Two people injured by the collapse were listed in stable condition Thursday at San Antonio hospitals. A construction worker was admitted to Brooke Army Medical Center and a pedestrian to University Hospital. For previous story, click here

Hotel officials are to meet with the project’s design and construction team to assess the situation. The contact said no real changes are expected in the overall design concept, as approved by the Historic & Design Review Commission. The hotel’s architect is HKS Inc. of Dallas and the project manager is Project Control Inc. of San Antonio.

The four-story structure was to have been the base of a seven-story, 120,000-sf hotel. Rooms and suites are to have high ceilings, marble baths and Jacuzzi baths. The living areas range from 400 sf to 600 sf.

The project when completed will extend the somewhat horse shoe-shaped River Walk to the northwest. The building, known as the Karotkin building for a furniture store that did business there for years, sits across the river from the 337-room La Mansion Hotel, owned and operated by Pat Kennedy’s La Mansion Ltd.

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