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  #3001  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2011, 11:27 PM
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Downtown Christmas light update: Marriott Rivercenter is now lit red and green along with Tower Life...Weston Centre has large, changing multicolored lights along the roof..Tower of the Americas is the same as previous years...Grand Hyatt appears to have clear lights running along the roof....Riverwalk lights are now multicolored LEDs (very different lighting ambiance as a result)...Houston Street lit with clear lights
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  #3002  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2011, 3:24 PM
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Here is the picture of the Gunther Apartments. It wasn't showing up.

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  #3003  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2011, 3:43 PM
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Thanks, ydoc that's very informative, especially for tourists that are coming for the holidays to our city! Here is a list of the top 10 destinations for Christmas lights according to Yahoo! Travel: we are the 8th top city, and the only city in Texas picked for the most dazzling Christmas lights. New York City, is number one.

http://travel.yahoo.com/ideas/top-10...080000057.html
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  #3004  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2011, 6:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirkingwilliam View Post
Here is the picture of the Gunther Apartments. It wasn't showing up.

Great, thanks!
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  #3005  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2011, 5:36 AM
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New rendering of 1800 Broadway, currently under construction.



Four mixed-use developments currently under construction in the Lower Broadway/River North/Pearl Districts. All told, these four developments will add nearly 1,000 residential units to the urban core.

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  #3006  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2011, 2:28 PM
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Love it. Only thing i would change is to put some retail at the bottom, other then that. Its kewl...
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  #3007  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2011, 6:05 PM
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Base of crane is set at Mosaic, 3rd floor is going up at Steel House Lofts.
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  #3008  
Old Posted Dec 20, 2011, 6:05 PM
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I guess this is the hotel proposal/concept for rivercenter?

http://sapartnership.com/?portfolio=...elodeon-hotels
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  #3009  
Old Posted Dec 20, 2011, 6:22 PM
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Ahhhh these concepts always tease me; If only actual construction looked like concepts more often. But hey that potential underground entrance with a link to the Riverwalk looks pretty cool in the second pic.
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  #3010  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2011, 4:29 AM
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Originally Posted by necropolis View Post
Ahhhh these concepts always tease me; If only actual construction looked like concepts more often. But hey that potential underground entrance with a link to the Riverwalk looks pretty cool in the second pic.
That's an interesting idea. I work in the old Joske's building and I've been underneath Rivercenter Mall-- it's a real space. It's where the loading docks and freight elevators are.
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  #3011  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2011, 5:41 PM
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The Joske's building looks a little different than the other renderings I've seen of it.
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  #3012  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2011, 6:59 PM
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Does anyone have any info on the proposed Monterrey Village downtown? I saw it on here:
http://www.smartapartmentdata.com/sh...nstruction.pdf

It says that it is mixed use with 1000 units and the developer is Hodges and Associates. I thought it was the Monterrey Village on the far north side at first, but that one is listed below as cancelled. So does anyone know anything about this project?

EDIT: I found this. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantoni...30/story3.html Error on pdf I assume.

Last edited by UrbanTrance; Dec 23, 2011 at 8:48 PM.
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  #3013  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2011, 2:37 AM
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No information here; but it says it's on 151 and 410, so I don't really consider it to be downtown.

What I found more interesting was on the link you provided for projects it showed Big Tex to be cancelled. I knew it ran into problems with the site being possibly listed as a superfund site. I thought they were working on cleaning it up, but I guess that was bad enough publicity to kill that project.
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  #3014  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2011, 3:44 AM
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No information here; but it says it's on 151 and 410, so I don't really consider it to be downtown.

What I found more interesting was on the link you provided for projects it showed Big Tex to be cancelled. I knew it ran into problems with the site being possibly listed as a superfund site. I thought they were working on cleaning it up, but I guess that was bad enough publicity to kill that project.
I think this article from May explains the current status of Big Tex:
http://www.mysanantonio.com/business...fe-1364172.php
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  #3015  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2011, 3:07 PM
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I think this article from May explains the current status of Big Tex:
http://www.mysanantonio.com/business...fe-1364172.php
Thanks for the link. It certainly makes sense.
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  #3016  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2011, 3:16 PM
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I read this from the Current:
http://sacurrent.com/news/recall-dec...-one-1.1249963
Quote:
San Antonio's central business district saw a dismal 2 percent growth rate over the past two decades, coming in dead last among major U.S. cities like Houston (119 percent growth), Dallas (94 percent growth), Los Angeles (66 percent growth), or Austin (41 percent growth). "There's no other comparable city that has seen less downtown growth than San Antonio," HR&A consultant John Alschuler told members.
Here is a link to HR&A
http://www.hraadvisors.com/

Looking back to 1990, it does seem that the efforts of the city to invest in downtown have not paid off in any real growth. There have been a number of hotel rooms added during that time, but still all that is there is the riverwalk. You would think that with the number of visitors the city gets there should be block after block of restaurants, bars and shops. Why has this not happened?

Now the city is talking about redeveloping Hemisfair Park (which will cost a lot of money). Does anyone see their current plan as some sort of catalyst for growth? Is this the right place to start (should the money go elsewhere)? Is it addressing any of the real obstacles for growth downtown?
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  #3017  
Old Posted Dec 31, 2011, 6:26 PM
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No. they need to get a major housing, and employment downtown and the rest will follow.
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  #3018  
Old Posted Dec 31, 2011, 8:49 PM
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And this becomes the issue of the Riverwalk. It is a dream for cities to have but it is also a detriment to cities as well. We do have block after block of restaurants and shops downtown, however, they are all located below street level along the river. With this funneling of people one level below the street it makes downtown seem empty and void of ground level retail. Even in the summer time the Riverwalk is packed but the streets remain relatively void of people in terms of how many are actually visiting downtown.

I think the Riverwalk is the reason why there is not much at the street level in downtown. So much emphasis has been poured into the Riverwalk that the street level areas are often neglected.

As far as the HemisFair redevelopment, I believe it will have its greatest success as long as the city can work with the private sector as a public-private partnership. Within the past few years it seems as though San Antonio can support a moderate rental market downtown so it is possible that it may work if it is designed well and is aesthetically appealing.
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  #3019  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2012, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by kornbread View Post

Now the city is talking about redeveloping Hemisfair Park (which will cost a lot of money). Does anyone see their current plan as some sort of catalyst for growth? Is this the right place to start (should the money go elsewhere)? Is it addressing any of the real obstacles for growth downtown?
I don't see it as a catalyst for growth, but I do see it as a good place for investment for the city. As for the money going elsewhere; I could think of a few ideas, but then that would only kick the can on Hemisfair farther down the road, which might not be such a horrible thing, and I'll come back to that in a minute.
If the Mayors goal is X amount of new residents downtown by 2020, I think that this (or some other) money should focus on that exact thing. I would say that X amount of dollars should be allocated to fund new housing (large scale, say at least 150 apartments to qualify) in/around DT until we reach a certain number, and you can even stagger down the number per year until you reach 0. So the city would pitch in to help dirt turn on the first 800 apartments this year, 700 next year, 600 the following year, and so on, until we reach 0, which would be 2020, and hopefully by then, you wouldn't need to "beg" developers to build and you would have helped in the building of at least 3500 or so units which would double the amount we currently have.
Now, that's not to say that "investments" that the city made in the last 2 decades were a waste; if anything, they kept our DT afloat. Like Necropolis said, too much attention was placed on the riverwalk. But that attention that was placed there led to investment on the street. Think of what DID happen in the last 20 years that this study doesn't consider "growth." Now I may miss some but this is just to give a small idea of what has happened: I'm a couple of years off, but RC mall was built in 1988 and Marriott RC added 1001 rooms, Alamodome was built, hotels added include Westin, Homewood Suites, Hotel Contessa, Drury renovated and added on to Alamo Bank, the "other" Drury on St. Mary's, Marriott Courtyard, Valencia, Embassy Suites, Home 2 Suites, Indigo, Towneplace Suites, Marriott twins on Bowie, La Quinta, Staybridge Suites, Grand Hyatt, plus a few others on Cesar Chavez, and a couple of others that renovated a couple of our old buildings. I don't know the exact number, but it has to be at least 20 hotels... makes you wonder where our visitors stayed before 1988. And because of the investments recently made on Houston St., we are now starting to feel the pulse as tenants move in to take advantage of the added feet on the street.
That's just the hotels... and it doesn't include the library, additions to city buildings, replacement of Victoria Courts, personal improvements in Southtown, Tobin Hill, Pearl, Dignowity, SAMA, UTSA DT campus, River extensions, etc. After listing all that, it looks like the decades with "no growth" actually had 1000x the growth than the previous 4 decades (1950-90), and the lack of investment in the previous 4 is probably why so much focus was pushed as it was for the last 20 years.
Now, just like adtobias said, we should focus on residential, and I think that once we see that build-up of critical mass, then they should take the Hemisfair plan and ask the "new" residents what they would like in a park. Of course that is not the case and the plan is going forward sooner rather than later, but that is the way I would do things.
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  #3020  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2012, 6:41 AM
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If the mayor really wants downtown to be something lively and resembling 24x7 atmosphere then they have to do something to get employers back into the core. I've seen that from recent articles there are some incentives that are being offered. Does anyone know if there were any efforts done to get feedback as to what prevented employers from moving into downtown? I can imagine some of the following would be issues: rent, parking, transportation, employee base.

I did acknowledge the Riverwalk and would agree that it has received much emphasis, but even so it is still small compared to what other cities have in their entertainment districts. It seems like the support of the city is needed to really build and sustain this and it is not happening. The city has moved north and generally stays there. In general the recent investment to the Riverwalk feels more like a gift to the residents with the goal of having the linear park. We'll see what develops. If the residents want to be there, developers will be happy to oblige. You'll know soon enough with the Pearl/Broadway projects.

I also mentioned that the growth was mainly in hotel rooms. Rivercenter is trying to reinvent itself now. The Alamodome is considered outdated and Sunset Station never took off even when the Spurs played in the dome. Houston Street started as a development targeting locals and has since moved towards tourists. Instead of office space and residences (excluding Vistana) we have more hotel rooms.

To me there are some good ideas with Hemisphere (like the idea of opening it up to Market street), but it also kind of feels like they are rushing through a sweetheart deal. What they would accomplish is updating the convention center. Which is needed, but it basically feeds the tourism industry again.
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