After more than a year of construction, tenants soon will begin moving into long-awaited luxury apartments at the iconic 12-story United States National Bank Building, 2201 Market St. in the island’s downtown.
After at least $15 million in renovations that began in the spring of 2019, the city has granted a certificate of occupancy for the building, which will feature 63 apartments, said Tom Schwenk, owner and broker of Tom’s Galveston Real Estate, the sole leasing agent for the building.
Developer Hadar Goldman nearly eight years ago acquired the building, a longtime home to bank and business offices, with plans to convert part of it to luxury apartments with modern amenities while preserving its history.
Frost Bank continues to lease the second and third floors of the building, while Kempner Capital Management remains on the second and third floors.
Demand is high for the apartments, where rental rates range from $1,250 to $3,000 depending on unit size and views, Schwenk said. Already, three tenants have signed leases, he said. There’s much interest from University of Texas Medical Branch students, nurses and retirees from Houston, among others. Tenants can begin moving in Feb. 1, he said.
Amenities include a rooftop pool with Gulf of Mexico views, state-of-the- art fitness center and a valet garbage services system in which porters pick up and haul provided containers to a larger dumpster. The first floor features retail or work space where artists or jewelers might work in the front and live in the back. Parking is available through Frost Bank’s parking garage across from the building.
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Alfred C. Bossom with Sanguinet, Staats & Hedrick was the architect of the building, completed in 1925 and known for its dark granite base, smooth limestone facing, tall arched windows separated by Corinthian pilasters and a clock face above the pediment-capped corner, according to the Galveston Architecture Guidebook. Island architect David Watson rehabilitated the building in 1990. Watson was the architect for the most recent renovations.
There’s historic significance in Kempner Capital Management continuing as a tenant, Goldman said.
The Kempner family originally owned the controlling interest in United States National Bank, an outgrowth of a savings bank in which wholesale grocer, cotton broker and real-estate investor H. Kempner acquired an interest in 1885, according to the guidebook. Kempner’s sons bought a controlling interest in the bank in 1902, and in 1923, one of them, Daniel W. Kempner, directed planning and construction of the modern office building, according to the guidebook.