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  #21  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2010, 5:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgannaway89 View Post

There have been numerous attempts to redevelop the core. AT&T Center, UTSA-Downtown, Guadalupe Association, and others have not been very successful at changing the areas they occupy. People have decided not to follow these trends.
Each city has a different reason for making such attempts. For us, it's a good way to keep the inner city on life support until demand pushes its way back in, then it won't take much investment on infrastructure when people ask for it.

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Originally Posted by tgannaway89 View Post
I'm sorry that our city still prefers the suburban life, but your opinion isn't going to sway many people.
It isn't my opinion. Like I said, travel some around this country and you will see that this isn't just an opinion. Obviously you didn't "think" about what I wrote. I won't sway people but I bet that increased time spent in traffic and a raise in gas prices will. Suburbia has it's natural limits, and that is not an opinion.
When people do end up "in the middle of nowhere," they will start to think about priorities and if they prefer a cheap house in the sticks to spending quality time with their kids.
Population increase naturally demands density, and SKW is right; it will take a healthy balance between the two to keep the other in check. Urban living demand for SA is simply going to be the result of the expansion of suburbia to its limits. It WILL happen with growth and expect it with 200-400K more in population.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2010, 8:13 PM
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If anybody was wondering about the outcome of the summit, here is a list that was generated by the participants.

Quote:
Summit Participants


List of Top 15 “Doable and Catalytic” Projects

  1. Improve image and media coverage
  2. Friedrich Building Mega Warehouse conversion (employment training/job incubator/meeting facility)
  3. Willow Springs Retail Development (Mixed Use)
  4. Build Hospital in district
  5. Encourage new construction of homes and secure abandoned property
  6. Capitalize on youth (Eastside pride) – assessment too
  7. Create Fort Sam Houston development district (with tax incentive, Business Park)
  8. Development of corridors on Eastside in stages (New Braunfels, Walters, Binz Engleman, Houston)
  9. Create positive marketing campaign (Weed & Re‐Seed)
  10. Reassessment of tax value by City/State of all vacant properties; take over properties that are in default on tax roles and develop; all development should be green; development of both affordable and market rate
  11. Mixed use development (while maintain character of Eastside) of Friedrich Building
  12. Residential over retail structures
  13. Improve schools (unify district, improve facilities, include community services)
  14. Complete development of large, existing parks
  15. Develop Street Car line along Commerce/Houston corridors into downtown and northern neighborhoods.
Some look to be ideas many have had for a while and some are just ???
But I would say that there are at least 3 good ideas out of the bunch.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2010, 3:09 AM
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I like #s 1, 13, 14, and 15. Okay, I like most of them, but I just felt like picking those. I wonder how they'll do # 1 though.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2010, 5:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgannaway89
There have been numerous attempts to redevelop the core. AT&T Center, UTSA-Downtown, Guadalupe Association, and others have not been very successful at changing the areas they occupy. People have decided not to follow these trends.
I'm not real familiar with UTSA-Downtown, so I'll just comment on the one of those that I do know about. The AT&T Center is a horrible example for urban renewal. It's well within the east side which has been slow to redevelopment, but it's biggest problem is that it went up in an industrial area. You can't tell me that building the new arena would magically fix the area. There's nothing else to do around there. It's all industrial stuff, mostly warehouses and distribution centers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tgannaway90
Medtronics, USAA, Valero, NuStar, Tesoro, etc. all chose to locate in areas closer to where their employees live.
This is why downtown is so quiet. Those companies are San Antonio companies. They should act like it. They should be downtown building a headquarters that reflects the city they call home. Having those companies in up to a dozen suburban office buildings on the city's edge does not make them stable employers. There's no incentive for them to stay. One of those could pull up roots and move to another city next month.

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Originally Posted by tgannaway89
Do not pretend Austin is any different. You just tend to separate these areas by calling them Round Rock, Cedar Park, and Pflugerville.
I won't deny that you have a point there. Sprawl is sprawl. The difference though between the sprawl in Austin and San Antonio is that the sprawl in Austin is happening in those suburbs, which have control over their jurisdictions. Austin does not control them. San Antonio though, does control land that far out from its core.

A perfect example of that is from some news that came out this week about two water parks planned in Austin's metro. One is planned for Cedar Park, and the other for Pflugerville, and we have a third existing one on Lake Travis at Volente Beach. All three of those no doubt serve Austin, but neither one of them is inside the city limits. Now, looking at San Antonio's metro, you guys have 4 water parks in your metro, and only one of those is outside of San Antonio's city limits. By the way, how cool is it that we'll have 7 water parks in the region by 2012? The water park planned for Cedar Park will be a new Schlitterbahn park.

Anyway, back to the topic, the suburban sprawl in Round Rock, Cedar Park and Pflugerville is just as far out as the suburban sprawl in San Antonio is. The suburban sprawl in those Austin suburbs doesn't feel even remotely feel familiar to Austin.

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Originally Posted by tgannaway89
Government officials and wealthy college professors have filled a few sporadic high-rise condos.
That's wrong. Some government officials have bought homes in the condos, and the ones that have live here permanently since they're Austinites. Governor Ann Richards died in her condominium in downtown Austin just across the parking lot from Whole Foods' headquarters. She was a rarity though, most of the government officials don't even call Austin home. They live in their respective city that they represent. They work here, but they don't all live here. In fact, knowing Texas politics as I do, and the kind of people they represent (overwhelmingly suburban in nature) they probably don't prefer urban living at all.

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Originally Posted by tgannaway89
and wealthy college professors have filled a few sporadic high-rise condos.
This isn't necessarily wrong, but still less probable. Most college professors earn modest wages. Unless you're Mack Brown (the highest paid college football coach at $5 million a year), you're probably making at best $50,000 to $60,000 a year, but most only make around $30K to $40K. Even that low end would be barely enough to be able to purchase a condo.

As for college students. First of all, a lesson about condos. Condominiums are to be purchased, not rented. So for a college student it would be pointless, impractical and even impossible for them to buy a condo so that they can go to school for 4 years. At best, they might rent in a highrise apartment. Although, most of the college renters don't actually rent downtown, they're confined to two areas of the city. West Campus, which is a densely packed rental neighborhood of highrise and lowrise apartments just west of UT, and also along Riverside Drive just southeast of downtown in lowrise apartment buildings of say, 3 to 4 floors. Most college students aren't rich either.

Most of the people who are buying and living downtown are normal people with normal jobs, not rich and they don't live fancy lives. I've met several of them. There's at least 10 to 15 people on the forum in Austin who live downtown in highrises. I've met about 4 or 5 of those. They all represented different age groups and were married.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tgannaway89
Most new developments still take place in suburban areas.
Well sure, there's tons of demand there (now). That wasn't always the case when cows outnumbered people. Heck, there were people in one Round Rock neighborhood complaining because a rancher who's property was surrounded by residential neighborhoods, was shooting at coyotes on his land to protect his goats. People in the neighborhood were freaking out from bullets whizzing by their homes. There's still plenty of development, and yes, dense urban development happening right inside of Austin. The area around my neighborhood has become denser, grown and seen more development and amenities in just this decade. There's a new 7-story hospital being built less than 2 miles from me, and ACC built a new 4-story campus just down the street.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2010, 5:16 AM
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I took this photo in July of last year. Kudos to miaht82 for using the sign in his avatar.




"Downtown San Antonio the center of everything" - So true. Downtown is really the heart of San Antonio and everything that the city is. We're not saying turn your back on the suburbs, just give the core and the suburbs equal treatment.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2010, 7:51 AM
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Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
Most college professors earn modest wages. Unless you're Mack Brown (the highest paid college football coach at $5 million a year), you're probably making at best $50,000 to $60,000 a year, but most only make around $30K to $40K. Even that low end would be barely enough to be able to purchase a condo.
Kevin, a full time tenured prof at UT makes well over six figures. UT is a tier 1 research institution. Check out this pdf detailing salaries by dept for the academic year 2007-08. http://www.utexas.edu/academic/ima/s...0Booklet_0.pdf The relevant info starts on page 13 of the pdf but the summary data is on the last page. There are 976 full professors at UT and the average salary is $126,000 a year.
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  #27  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2010, 8:23 AM
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Kevin , how old are you? Your posts tend to indicate you have not yet completed a college degree. You don't seem well versed in economics.

Anytime you spend a lot of money in an area (regardless of the current climate) you are boosting the area. The AT&T center is a large sports arena. This increased the need for restaurants, hotels, stores, etc. in the area. Did that happen? No. The new JW Marriott will spur more development than the AT&T Center ever will. We tend to view our inner-city as low income and mostly minorities. Why? Because most inner city zip codes are over 90% minority and many have mean incomes less than $20,000/year.

These companies have spent just as much (even more in some cases) to build their sprawling suburban campuses versus a large high-rise downtown. Even a company located downtown (think AT&T) can pick up and move at any time. The COSA cannot force these companies to locate downtown and many would indeed move outside if the city forced them to do so.

Downtown San Antonio is NOT the center of town, and is certainly not central to the money. A more proper depiction of the center of our city (and the money) would be around the medical center.

I never claimed that a college student would (or could even afford to) purchase a condo. There is high-rise college student apartments under construction in Austin (such as 21 Rio).

You counter yourself when you mention how expensive these condos are then go on to to say most residents have normal jobs and are not rich.

Most of "downtown San Antonio" is tourist oriented. Most of the high-rises are hotels. The historic San Antonio you (and most other visitors) see when they travel here is not the same city us residents see.
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  #28  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2010, 8:44 AM
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Um. 21Rio is a proposal that has three towers: A hotel, luxury condos, and apartments. It isn't under construction. Not even close. AND no college student could afford the price they will be asking.
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  #29  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2010, 8:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgannaway89 View Post
Most of "downtown San Antonio" is tourist oriented. Most of the high-rises are hotels.
This is exactly why downtown San Antonio is suffering. We focus too much on the medical center and other areas of town. We need to balance out and give downtown the chance it needs to become alive again. This is the original big city of Texas, why can't we have a thriving cultural center downtown with people actually LIVING there.
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  #30  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2010, 3:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgannaway89 View Post
Anytime you spend a lot of money in an area (regardless of the current climate) you are boosting the area. The AT&T center is a large sports arena. This increased the need for restaurants, hotels, stores, etc. in the area. Did that happen? No. The new JW Marriott will spur more development than the AT&T Center ever will.
This is not an equal comparison. Any development that happens in that area will not be because of the resort, it will be because of the available space and the sprawl being built. The AT&T Center and Alamodome failed because they had YOUR way of thinking when they built them. One project will not solve problems; it is their place in the larger picture that makes them succeed. The biggest problem with the AT&T Center is its lack of being mixed use and disconnectivity with the actual community around it, but thats a whole other topic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tgannaway89 View Post
These companies have spent just as much (even more in some cases) to build their sprawling suburban campuses versus a large high-rise downtown. Even a company located downtown (think AT&T) can pick up and move at any time. The COSA cannot force these companies to locate downtown and many would indeed move outside if the city forced them to do so.
I doubt that USAA spent much on their campus when they first purchased it. A 278 acre horse farm in 1973 would not go for much when the edge of SA at that time was around Loop 410. Even now they don't pay as much on taxes as they should with those deer roaming around and it being a "nature preserve." In the 70's, buildings were still turning into parking lots DT and we didn't have space to build any highrises at the time. Like I said before, the evolution of the city led to the problem we have now. Had Urban Renewal happened a little sooner in our city's history, and actually worked, we would have had a bit more invested in our older neighborhoods and not sprawled out as much so soon. Sprawl also didn't happen by accident; the smaller suburbs of Leon Valley, Castle Hills and Shavano Park had a significant part in the growth of the city in that direction, just as the medium sized suburbs of Schertz, Seguin and New Braunfels are going to play a role in our future growth in the next few years. Although not the only reason for it, it is just one of the many factors of the larger picture.
But you're right that the city cannot force companies to move downtown, but they can offer greater incentives for them to move there and that is what Centro Partnerships' motive is going to be.


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Originally Posted by tgannaway89 View Post
Downtown San Antonio is NOT the center of town, and is certainly not central to the money. A more proper depiction of the center of our city (and the money) would be around the medical center.
Downtown, anywhere, is the community gathering place. The fact that most city functions, county services, and federal courthouses are located there indicate that a majority of business is done downtown; business that affects everyone in SA daily. Add to that Luminaria, Fiesta, New Year celebrations, theater, parades, etc.; I think that our DT still qualifies as a downtown. It may not be the geographic center of the city, but it is still and always will be the heart of the city.

I hate to spoil the ending of the movie for you, but at some point, the city will have experienced just the right amount of growth to make people reject suburbia. This is not the first time in the world that this has happened, and this is not just my opinion.
Around the time you were born (I'm assuming,) I was living in Lavaca. The amount of change in the last 20 years is amazing, slow, but amazing. However, once it catches full momentum, as it is close to approaching now with Southtown, it will spread faster than it has in the last 20 years.
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  #31  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2010, 6:08 AM
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Well no, I don't pretend to be an expert in economics.

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Originally Posted by tgannaway89
This increased the need for restaurants, hotels, stores, etc. in the area. Did that happen? No.
The reason for that thus far is that area of town is still zoned industrial. Even if the demand was there and even if a developer wanted to build there, they would first have to request a zoning change from the City. I think the AT&T Center was a poor example of your's for urban renewal or some attempt at it. That area is heavily industrial. Nevermind needing rezoning permits, where would the displaced industrial go if it were to move? That is a decent area for industrial since there's a Union Pacific(?) line through there. The reason the areas like those around the JW Marriott and 1604 grow like wildfires is that they require no rezoning. It's largely vacant land that hasn't even been zoned yet for one particular use. It's hard to move a city's industrial district or even chop it for new development. It's much easier to build farther out when the only things standing in your way are trees.

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Originally Posted by tgannaway89
These companies have spent just as much (even more in some cases) to build their sprawling suburban campuses versus a large high-rise downtown. Even a company located downtown (think AT&T) can pick up and move at any time.
That goes back to what I was talking about. The fact that none of these San Antonio companies are investing in downtown or building their headquarters there doesn't just say they don't have faith in downtown, but might not be fully committed to San Antonio. I really sort of saw the AT&T move to Dallas coming. The San Antonio forumers always hoped and called for AT&T to build a nice new headquarters downtown, but when they never did I took it as a sign they weren't planning on staying around. What the city should be doing is giving those companies incentives to stay and doing things downtown to entice them to move there, instead of nearly outside the city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tgannaway89
I never claimed that a college student would (or could even afford to) purchase a condo. There is high-rise college student apartments under construction in Austin (such as 21 Rio).
That was my fault for not reading your post clearly enough. At first I thought you had said college students, not college professors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tgannaway89
Most of "downtown San Antonio" is tourist oriented. Most of the high-rises are hotels. The historic San Antonio you (and most other visitors) see when they travel here is not the same city us residents see.
That's sad.

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Originally Posted by wwmiv
Um. 21Rio is a proposal that has three towers: A hotel, luxury condos, and apartments. It isn't under construction. Not even close. AND no college student could afford the price they will be asking.
He's talking about 21Rio, an 18-story, 236 foot apartment tower in West Campus. You're talking about 21C, which is in downtown. Two VERY different projects. 21Rio is complete and occupied, and 21C is still proposed.
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  #32  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2010, 8:18 PM
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tgannaway89, your flogging of the central city is odd.

First, the reason the AT&T Center never developed too strongly was because:
a) It's not zoned properly
b) The Stock Show and Rodeo steering committee has a strong stake in the entire area and refused to allow them to release more of the grounds for purposes other than parking, precluding building an "entertainment area" like a lot of arenas. This is also the reason for the untraditional small footprint
c) Willow Creek Golf Course, a petroleum establishment and heritage residential areas abut the property
Similarly, UTSA Downtown has the following issues:
a) Not zoned properly
b) Abuts city, state and university property
c) Would require rehabilitating former industrial areas

Secondly, the reason those suburban areas are more desirable are not the residents in the inner-city, the tourist slant of the central city or anything like that-- it's the price and availability of the land. To developers, the area outside of 1604 is the Cherry Street of development areas. Homes are priced accordingly. They can shop around for the right size and shape because all the prices are low. Of course, the low price comes with the eventual sickness of being detached from the central city, but for the immediate foreseeable future, it's worth the risk. So they roll down their windows and wave their fingers and, ta-da, they have all the land they need for a campus.

Finally, when you point to the areas outside of 410 and 1604 and make a light assertion that the real money in the region is going there, you're kinda wrong. Were there space, they'd otherwise be living in Olmos Park or Terrell Hills. Or, god forbid, the 09 or Tobin Hill. When my friend is showing homes, most folks want to see OP and Terrell Hills first, but since those are priced higher per square foot and there's limited options ("a lot of them ask if there's something other than an art deco or hacienda style home"), they go, again, to the Cherry Street of real estate.

For someone who claims to be well-versed in economics and similar ordered sciences, you seem to back-fill your arguments with fallacies instead of realistic statistical proof. The truth is this: there is no contiguous land left in the central city to support large-scale developments. There is plenty outside the loops. The companies you cite require contiguous existing or potential space, something not offered in the central city for various reasons.

AT&T and Tesoro both required lots of space, which is not offered properly in the central city, nor is it particularly attainable with current regulations.

USAA is a particularly special case in that its built HQ had to accommodate a central location and options to expand. They moved to a parcel that outstrips any other non-military single-occupant parcel in the entire central texas area and their primary office building is 4,000,000 square feet. To put that into perspective, the World Trade Center was 4.3m square feet. Noting that the WTC had footprints larger than the average legally allowed footprint in San Antonio, USAA would need at least 200 stories and over 3,000 foot of building. This ignores, too, that they've outgrown that area and are leasing at least another 1mil+ square feet elsewhere.

Unfortunately, the maximum floor area you can build nowadays in the central city is about 600,000 square feet, which fails to meet the needs of companies like AT&T, Tesoro or USAA.

None of these, not a single one, are evidence that the suburbs are more desirable for any social, cultural or mental reason. Those are all red herrings. They are simply evidence that previous Mayors were not good at promoting the central city with the proper incentives that make an area affordable, which is the only reason the suburbs are currently desirable (because as anyone with a lick of sense could tell you, anyone who wants to move to the suburbs to escape the city already has).

The central city is only kept down by draconian laws regarding conservation, none of which actually have any bearing on the aesthetic qualities of the city. This is why, unlike most major cities, classic buildings are surrounded by parking lots in San Antonio.

To illustrate all of this, from eyeballing empty lots, I see that you could fit at least 10 500' Fourth and Madison-style buildings within the west end of the central loop with a more reasonable set of development laws while still keeping down below the height of the Tower of the Americas, adding 8.5mil square feet and accommodating thousands more office workers. On the east end and just outside the central loop, where Vidorra and such are being built, you can plug in at least a dozen 400' Vancouver-style condo towers and add thousands of residents in the central city.

It all depends on how Castro moves.

Of course, there is River North, which will add thousands of residents when it gets going without upzoning, but a bit of upzoning couldn't hurt.
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  #33  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2010, 11:06 PM
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Castro is making his moves in regards to the inner city.

And I like it.
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  #34  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2010, 1:23 AM
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Alot of reinvestment has occured for a long time, but it seems that Tobin Hill has finally reached the point of wanting to have true neighborhood recognition. They now have a website. Nothing fancy, but it does go to show that they are coming along in turning things around and this is just another reason why I believe that Center City wil be okay.
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  #35  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2010, 6:59 AM
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It is really hard to convince a crowd of pipe dreamers what can be seen by the naked eye. Keep making excuses for why our inner city continues to decay. Large scale developments CAN take place in the inner city. It has happened in numerous other cities across the US. It will not happen in San Antonio because God forbid we level a few 60-year old houses. HDRC and this cities attachment to the historical aspect of EVERY building is harming any potential revitalization efforts. You cry out when anything must be demolished, but complain that nothing new is moving in. We cannot continue to reuse the same facilities over and over. Newer demands will require different floorplans, updated utilities, and unique aesthetic qualities. This is one reason San Antonio's downtown continues to be a focal point for tourist, but lags in most other aspects.

Downtown San Antonio is NOT the gathering place for most residents. Most people visit only a few times a year if that. Yes, there are a few government officials (such as our mayor and city council) that conduct business downtown daily. There really isn't much other employment downtown. When you compare us to Houston, Dallas, and Austin you'll find we are severely lacking.

Properties outside 410 are not exempt from zoning laws. They too face the zoning commission. Take a look at the zoning commission agenda sometime and see.

You all keep coming up with excuses why more people (and most businesses) live outside loop 410 than inside. Is it really that hard to accept the truth?

I hope this forum is still around in 5 or 10 years so I can pose another reality check. Downtown San Antonio is NOT going to change dramatically. Our suburbs will continue to attract most of the growth. Keep hoping, praying, and sharing your "ideas" on what should happen.

Yes, I am young. I have only lived in San Antonio for 3 years. Guess what? There are A LOT of young transplants moving to your city. You better get used to it.
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  #36  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2010, 3:45 PM
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Originally Posted by tgannaway89 View Post
It is really hard to convince a crowd of pipe dreamers what can be seen by the naked eye. Keep making excuses for why our inner city continues to decay. Large scale developments CAN take place in the inner city. It has happened in numerous other cities across the US. It will not happen in San Antonio because God forbid we level a few 60-year old houses. HDRC and this cities attachment to the historical aspect of EVERY building is harming any potential revitalization efforts. You cry out when anything must be demolished, but complain that nothing new is moving in. We cannot continue to reuse the same facilities over and over. Newer demands will require different floorplans, updated utilities, and unique aesthetic qualities. This is one reason San Antonio's downtown continues to be a focal point for tourist, but lags in most other aspects.

Downtown San Antonio is NOT the gathering place for most residents. Most people visit only a few times a year if that. Yes, there are a few government officials (such as our mayor and city council) that conduct business downtown daily. There really isn't much other employment downtown. When you compare us to Houston, Dallas, and Austin you'll find we are severely lacking.

Properties outside 410 are not exempt from zoning laws. They too face the zoning commission. Take a look at the zoning commission agenda sometime and see.

You all keep coming up with excuses why more people (and most businesses) live outside loop 410 than inside. Is it really that hard to accept the truth?

I hope this forum is still around in 5 or 10 years so I can pose another reality check. Downtown San Antonio is NOT going to change dramatically. Our suburbs will continue to attract most of the growth. Keep hoping, praying, and sharing your "ideas" on what should happen.

Yes, I am young. I have only lived in San Antonio for 3 years. Guess what? There are A LOT of young transplants moving to your city. You better get used to it.
Unfortunately, I agree w/ you! You touched on some very solid points and it's a travesty that HDRC revels in the notion of preserving outdated and dilapidated buildings. Mayor Castro should decapitate the head of that ugly HDRC snake!
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  #37  
Old Posted Feb 15, 2010, 6:05 PM
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Large scale developments CAN take place in the inner city. It has happened in numerous other cities across the US.

Downtown San Antonio is NOT the gathering place for most residents. Most people visit only a few times a year if that. Yes, there are a few government officials (such as our mayor and city council) that conduct business downtown daily. There really isn't much other employment downtown. When you compare us to Houston, Dallas, and Austin you'll find we are severely lacking.

You all keep coming up with excuses why more people (and most businesses) live outside loop 410 than inside. Is it really that hard to accept the truth?

I hope this forum is still around in 5 or 10 years so I can pose another reality check. Downtown San Antonio is NOT going to change dramatically. Our suburbs will continue to attract most of the growth. Keep hoping, praying, and sharing your "ideas" on what should happen.

Yes, I am young. I have only lived in San Antonio for 3 years. Guess what? There are A LOT of young transplants moving to your city. You better get used to it.
You are right, it is happening across the US but that's what I've been trying to explain to you. It doesn't randomly happen. It isn't an act of coincidence that cities evolve the way they do.
Like I said before, travel some, PLEASE, and you will see that the evolution of every American city is pretty much the same. Sure there are different factors that affect that growth, but the trends are fairly simliar.
I have traveled around the US and the world looking at data and historical growth trends in major cities; kind of how I'm coming up with my "pipe dream." What are you basing your statements off of? Midland growth stats? Recent SA growth stats? The amount of cars at La Cantera vs. the amount of cars at Rivercenter? What you "think" is going to happen?

If I was to base any statement solely on one item I cherry-pick, then I could assume that the suburbs are going to fall apart. More foreclosures happened outside 1604 than inside: Do I think that they are going to be a ghost-town based on this stat? No, but it does make a strong case for the need for sustainable development.

Of course Dallas and Houston have more business DT; they have a 30+ year head-start on us! They had 1.8 mil. in the late 70's and 60's, respectively(back farther for DFW.) I'm sure the fact that alot of people work for the state government and UT being located there have a little something to do with DT Austin's business climate.

Excuses or no excuses, you are comparing an area that is similar to Victoria, TX, (~35 sq. miles/Center City) to an area that is larger than the CITY (not metro) of Austin in sq. miles (>300 sq. miles.) I wonder which one, realistically, is going to have the most growth? Let's see: land-locked vs. surrounded by open space? Hmmm.....

And I too hope that this forum is around in 5 or 10 years, so that you will see that not ALL of the growth will have happened in the burbs; majority, of course, but not all. Making a blanket statement doesn't really help your argument.

You didn't have to say you were young, I could tell that by your statements. And yes there are alot of young transplants moving here; I am "young" and have also lived in SA for less than 3 years this time around. Not all share your thoughts that the suburbs are "cool." And it's not just young people that work DT that move to DT. Even in the Vistana, over half of the residents are over 30 and close to half work in the burbs. Just goes to show that the demand, however low it is, is there.

I'm not trying to convince you of anything, as your views are just that, and merely a matter of choice or preference. You're also not going to convince me of anything either.
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  #38  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2010, 4:48 PM
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Originally Posted by tgannaway89 View Post
It is really hard to convince a crowd of pipe dreamers what can be seen by the naked eye. Keep making excuses for why our inner city continues to decay. Large scale developments CAN take place in the inner city. It has happened in numerous other cities across the US. It will not happen in San Antonio because God forbid we level a few 60-year old houses. HDRC and this cities attachment to the historical aspect of EVERY building is harming any potential revitalization efforts. You cry out when anything must be demolished, but complain that nothing new is moving in. We cannot continue to reuse the same facilities over and over. Newer demands will require different floorplans, updated utilities, and unique aesthetic qualities. This is one reason San Antonio's downtown continues to be a focal point for tourist, but lags in most other aspects.

Downtown San Antonio is NOT the gathering place for most residents. Most people visit only a few times a year if that. Yes, there are a few government officials (such as our mayor and city council) that conduct business downtown daily. There really isn't much other employment downtown. When you compare us to Houston, Dallas, and Austin you'll find we are severely lacking.

Properties outside 410 are not exempt from zoning laws. They too face the zoning commission. Take a look at the zoning commission agenda sometime and see.

You all keep coming up with excuses why more people (and most businesses) live outside loop 410 than inside. Is it really that hard to accept the truth?

I hope this forum is still around in 5 or 10 years so I can pose another reality check. Downtown San Antonio is NOT going to change dramatically. Our suburbs will continue to attract most of the growth. Keep hoping, praying, and sharing your "ideas" on what should happen.

Yes, I am young. I have only lived in San Antonio for 3 years. Guess what? There are A LOT of young transplants moving to your city. You better get used to it.
Wait, so you admit you've basically got a very pedestrian view of the city, have barely lived in SA and haven't really done your homework and you're chiding us for seeing the bigger picture?

Well, bless your heart.
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Old Posted Feb 17, 2010, 6:08 AM
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I don't really know what your trying to argue anymore. You claim a "boom" is going to hit downtown San Antonio that will overshadow the suburbs (I've seen these claims made on this forum for the past 3 years mind you), and then claim that the suburbs will continue to outgrow our inner-city. We haven't seen any catalyst to encourage development of the inner-city aside from minor commitments from the COSA. Streetcar will definitely promote urban growth and encourage residents to move in. The only problem is that the project isn't even funded yet. Mayor Castro isn't going to bring a windfall of development to our downtown. It is good that he seems committed, but it is important to remember he is a politician. I take with a grain of salt anything that comes from a politician. A majority of downtown developments will still be targeted to tourists. Our growth since the world fair was hosted here has been concentrated on tourism.

Your right it's not fair to compare our downtown to Austin, Dallas, or Houston. It is much more like El Paso. If that's fine with you then continue to design imaginary buildings and get excited about every 12-story hotel that gets built on the Riverwalk. I'm going to be realistic and not offer a false projection of our CBD.

More people live outside 410 than inside. That fact should tell you that with what we are offered people prefer to live in the suburbs. It wouldn't be difficult to level buildings and encourage new construction where currently defunct structures exist. As I have mentioned this city prides itself too much in denoting many structures historical. There are restrictions for developments outside the inner-city, especially properties over the recharge zone or near Camp Bullis.

If my argument seems too difficult for you to understand let me simplify. San Antonio will not at anytime in the foreseeable future have any "Miami Beach-like" residential developments. Our suburbs will continue to grow on par with other major metros. Even with the declining economy and large number of foreclosures we still see new subdivisions constantly built.

I think I have done more homework related to SA than most posters on this forum. How many other people on here actually watch city-council meetings, read board agendas, and research developments (inner-city included) on a daily basis? Look at a population density map sometime. The inner-city isn't our most dense area. It is only projected to become LESS dense.
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Old Posted Feb 17, 2010, 3:29 PM
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Originally Posted by tgannaway89 View Post
I don't really know what your trying to argue anymore. You claim a "boom" is going to hit downtown San Antonio that will overshadow the suburbs (I've seen these claims made on this forum for the past 3 years mind you), and then claim that the suburbs will continue to outgrow our inner-city. We haven't seen any catalyst to encourage development of the inner-city aside from minor commitments from the COSA. Streetcar will definitely promote urban growth and encourage residents to move in. The only problem is that the project isn't even funded yet. Mayor Castro isn't going to bring a windfall of development to our downtown. It is good that he seems committed, but it is important to remember he is a politician. I take with a grain of salt anything that comes from a politician. A majority of downtown developments will still be targeted to tourists. Our growth since the world fair was hosted here has been concentrated on tourism.

Your right it's not fair to compare our downtown to Austin, Dallas, or Houston. It is much more like El Paso. If that's fine with you then continue to design imaginary buildings and get excited about every 12-story hotel that gets built on the Riverwalk. I'm going to be realistic and not offer a false projection of our CBD.

More people live outside 410 than inside. That fact should tell you that with what we are offered people prefer to live in the suburbs. It wouldn't be difficult to level buildings and encourage new construction where currently defunct structures exist. As I have mentioned this city prides itself too much in denoting many structures historical. There are restrictions for developments outside the inner-city, especially properties over the recharge zone or near Camp Bullis.

If my argument seems too difficult for you to understand let me simplify. San Antonio will not at anytime in the foreseeable future have any "Miami Beach-like" residential developments. Our suburbs will continue to grow on par with other major metros. Even with the declining economy and large number of foreclosures we still see new subdivisions constantly built.

I think I have done more homework related to SA than most posters on this forum. How many other people on here actually watch city-council meetings, read board agendas, and research developments (inner-city included) on a daily basis? Look at a population density map sometime. The inner-city isn't our most dense area. It is only projected to become LESS dense.
This "boom" that say will happen is more like a time in the near future when the growth trends change. Regardless of what you think, the next 200,000 people will come to this city in a different way than the last 200K and the following 200K will also be different. You can't say that from here on out, only the suburbs will see growth.
I never said the inner city will outgrow the suburbs; that is physically impossible, but there will be a time when it will see growth, and even as you have claimed (that it is to be less dense,) any movement in the opposite direction (growth) is seen as a positive. Once the city does reach that point in time, it will resonate throughout the inner-city in a snowballing effect of development. THAT scenario is not specific to SA; it has happened throughout the country. Think Denver from 2000 to now. They've had hundreds of units added in the last decade; a few years after they hit that "boom." They had a population of 1.8 million in 1994 and that is when they got LRT. At that time, LRT was mostly used for about 1000 or so park and ride users. Things have changed since. Do you think that someone in 1989 imagined that the city would have hundreds of new residential units in their DT in a span of 20 years? Not only that, but in this same time period that DT added more units, the neighborhoods in center city also gained hundreds of units as well; adding to the overall density of some areas that were decaying and left for dead when they had their suburbs explode.
I also watch/attend city council meetings, read board agendas, and research developments as well. I also communicate with city officials, businessmen and attend DTA events and vaious community meetings. That's good for general curiosity, but using the same data you come up with, I compare our situation to others across the nation that have recently gone through this too.
You could look at density maps but that is always going to be yesterdays stats. And of course the inner city is "projected" to be less dense; someone takes the stats for the last 20 years and assumes that it will be the trend for the next 20. Too bad that's not how it happens. You do all this "homework," but what good is all that info if you don't have comparable data? It also helps to do some research on what led to other cities growth trends and then you might see what SA's future has in store instead of assuming that every year is going to be and look the same. Look at the bigger picture.

side note: You keep bringing up that our DT is only tourist driven, and that is true, but if you read some case studies from other cities, they envy our DT for the fact that it has some draw and a base to get residential growth started. Other cities have tried to do it with nothing else in DT but a bunch of office buildings and parking lots.

And we are not like El Paso; they are like us in the 60's. They still have some retail downtown, kind of how we had Houston St. in the 60's. The difference though is that they have learned (hopefully) from other cities and won't allow their inner city to turn like others across the country. Actually, they have DT living with some lofts which is a good head start for them. Because of the timing of their growth, they can begin to focus on redeveloping their inner city now instead of waiting for it to become a true ghost town. Their growth around town (for the next few years) will be town centers, mixed-use and built slightly "new urbanism;" the trends in development now. They possibly won't have as many new single use developments and think of "planning" their growth.
You get how this stuff works?
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Last edited by miaht82; Feb 17, 2010 at 3:46 PM.
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