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  #1741  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2009, 5:46 AM
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I went back and looked at the River North pdf file that contained all the information on River North to remind myself exactly of the routes and the lines never go west of Navarro (really west of Broadway within downtown proper). But I did see that there are BRT routes planned east and west for Commerce and Market but I think those should be either LRT or street car.
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When the Multi-modal hub is in place, it would be nice to see street cars brought back on Commerce and Market/Dolorosa and get rid of the street "buses", but that will probably never happen.
It is a little spooky that we posted these at the exact same time.

Don't worry I wouldn't bet on BRT going through downtown. Or at least it shouldn't. BRT should only be used to supplement LRT or such.
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  #1742  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2009, 5:48 AM
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Originally Posted by sirkingwilliam View Post
You're right. What I meant was the proposed street car was mainly only beneficial to the River North area on north to south routes.

I went back and looked at the River North pdf file that contained all the information on River North to remind myself exactly of the routes and the lines never go west of Navarro (really west of Broadway within downtown proper). But I did see that there are BRT routes planned east and west for Commerce and Market but I think those should be either LRT or street car.

Also, the street car line should continue south to Southtown instead of stopping at the CC.
Ah, that's right, in my mind I was combining the BRT map with the streetcar map.
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  #1743  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2009, 4:09 PM
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Seriously, Commerce and market do not need to be four-lanes.
You think I'm going to drive my chromed-out Impala at 7mph down a THREE lane road? Never!
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  #1744  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2009, 9:12 PM
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You think I'm going to drive my chromed-out Impala at 7mph down a THREE lane road? Never!
...But isn't that how a chromed-out Impala is supposed to be driven?
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  #1745  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2009, 9:28 PM
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...But isn't that how a chromed-out Impala is supposed to be driven?
Four lanes, vato. I'm not going to go cruising down a tiny 3-lane road. No way. What do you think this is? Devine? Comfort?
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  #1746  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2009, 9:52 PM
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Oddly enough, Kramer drives an Impala.
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  #1747  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2009, 11:24 PM
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oh the humanity!!
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  #1748  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2009, 3:27 AM
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http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/loc...emolished.html

City Hall Annex Could Be Demolished

The Historic and Design Review Commission supported plans Friday to demolish the City Hall Annex, a 1954 building with utilitarian features, but had concerns about leaving a huge vacant lot by City Hall.

A 2002 study of city-owned structures found the 78,880-square-foot building at 506 Dolorosa St. was the least efficient. It was built as a warehouse but converted to offices.

“It had the most problems of any of our buildings downtown,” Dale Lange, project manager with the city architect's office, told commissioners.

The city has discussed a possible civic center or parking garage at the site, but won't know until after a facilities master plan is developed how the land could best be used. It could be three years before new construction begins, Lange said.

Until then, the site could be used for parking, or as a green space, with sod, a winding sidewalk and possibly some trees, Lange said. Commissioners voiced support for a parklike area, and Lange said the city would return to the panel with temporary plans for the site.

The commission also approved plans presented by the Main Plaza Conservancy for art panels to be displayed on vendor kiosks in the newly renovated plaza. The San Antonio Conservation Society raised concerns in a statement to the commission that “brightly colored abstract art” might not be appropriate for the plaza.

Eduardo Garcia, project manager with the conservancy, said the group would be sensitive to the concerns of the community.

The commission approved the first two “temporary art” pieces by artist Luis Treviño to be on display for three months and agreed to review the conservancy's art program in the plaza in one year. Other works to be shown in the plaza will be subject to review by the commission, unless they're up for special events or festivals for no more than 60 days.

Also Friday, the commission approved conceptual renovation plans for the Esquire Tavern, which dates to 1933 and has long been known as a popular watering hole by the River Walk. Davis Sprinkle, project architect, said the tavern at 151 E. Commerce St. and its features, including its exterior tile and neon sign and elongated wooden bar, would be kept intact but made to look as good as new.

“We've had tourists come up and say, ‘We've heard about the Esquire. When are you opening?'” Sprinkle said. “You'll see a dramatic, welcoming kind of change to it.”
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  #1749  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2009, 11:42 PM
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Park >>>>> Surface Parking Lot.

As for the Civic Center, is this the development with multiple building?
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  #1750  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2009, 2:57 PM
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The development with multiple building will probably never happen. It was a vision that has been dismissed by city planners. It included the parcels directly east of the annex. Preliminary studies came back proving the idea to not be feasible.

The city is still trying to make "Civil Core" a reality, but the numbers have to work. It would be a huge progect. I talked to some people about the temporary surface lot idea and it has been put on the shelf for now. It would take at least six years to pay for itself and would steal a lot of business away from the City's Dolorosa lot.

It could still be a reality, but it is such a big project that it would be difficult fiscally.

I am glade that Dale got this information out so that I can say a little of what I know.
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  #1751  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2009, 9:11 PM
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What is Civil Core? Could you go into detail?
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  #1752  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2009, 2:42 PM
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The "Civil Core" is what they are calling civic center in the article. The Civil Core would house most city departments under one roof. As I stated before...this is still a long shot. The land will eventually be developed with a parking garage and a new city office building. The question is whether it will be the "Civil Core" or a smaller building. If the latter, the city would most likely completely renovate Municipal Plaza.

The combination of a new smaller office building and renovating Municipal Plaza would be very cheap compared to building the Civil Core. If the City did build this "most under one-roof" building, they would still have to renovate Municipal Plaza to lease space or sell it with out renovating it.
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  #1753  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2009, 3:39 PM
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Market Square's future discussed

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Market Square's future discussed

By Craig Kapitan - Express-News

Under private management, Market Square could start generating profits for San Antonio instead of a financial loss, according to a soon-to-be-unveiled study commissioned by the city.

But if not properly handled, such an option also risks diluting the popular tourist area’s “local unique character,” the study also noted. About 50 Market Square vendors, meeting Thursday to discuss the findings with city officials, greeted the study’s ultimate suggestion — that the city turn over management to a third party — with ambivalence and unease.

The report, which included similar recommendations for management of La Villita, is expected to be presented to San Antonio’s Community Development Advisory Committee at the end of the month.

Although parts of Market Square are privately owned, the city owns the bulk of land on which the Mexican-themed stores and restaurants sit, and it has been responsible for marketing and upkeep of the premises.

Last fiscal year, the city took in nearly $1.3 million in revenue from rental space — but operating expenses are exx pected to top that by almost $227,000, according to the report by consulting company Urban Marketing Collaborative.

Private-sector management would present the best chance of increasing rent to rates more closely resembling the market, although a nonprofit trust also could have some effect, the agency determined.

For many vendors, increased marketing that could come with a different management model seemed like a great idea. The possibility of higher rents, however, didn’t.

“This is our livelihood,” said Claudia Peña, speaking in Spanish after the meeting as she pointed out that some merchants have done business at Market Square for generations. A tenant for 11 years after starting out selling fruit on the street, she expressed worry that a more profit-driven model involving higher rents and shorter leases could damage what she has fought to build for herself.

Market Square does offer San Antonio more than the potential for profit, an executive summary of study acknowledged. A survey conducted by the consultants indicated it is the third-most popular tourist destination in San Antonio, after the River Walk and the Alamo. And it has the potential of being the best Mexican-themed market in the country — if managed well, the report summary states.

Jaime Herrejon, owner of Little Mexico Imports and president of El Mercado Merchants Association, said it is definitely good to see an interest in improving Market Square. But tenants know the area best and should have a place at the table if a nonprofit trust is formed, he and others said.

If such a route is selected, the group could submit a proposal like anyone else, city officials indicated.

The city first solicited the management study in 2007, one year after the Convention & Visitors Bureau released its Destination SA study that also suggested, among other things, contracting with an outside vendor.

The City Council will ultimately decide what the best option is, said Colleen Swain, assistant director of the city’s Downtown Operations Department. Another option the council could choose is to pump more money into bolstering the city staff. But, she told the merchants, “the study clearly says the city shouldn’t run it unless there are some drastic changes made.”

“The city’s core business is not retail,” she said. “That’s what we’ll present to council.”

Tenants’ unease with change is nothing new, said Robert Santiago, who owns Earth to Market and Santiago Mexican Imports. He recalled a similar sense of panic a decade and a half ago, when the city decided to restructure the Farmers Market Plaza. Some businesses didn’t make it, but most people now agree the move was a success that brought more visitors and benefited everyone, he said.

Though Santiago said he doesn’t personally know if a nonprofit trust or a private contractor would be better for the area, he’s open to new ideas.

“The fear that everyone has — of the unknown — drives a lot of the comments from the tenants,” he said. “But we can all find common ground. I think we just need to have faith that the city really does want us to continue in a manner that is better for both parties.”
Who knows what the future holds for the Market Square; I always thought that it could be expanded upon some.
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  #1754  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2009, 4:22 PM
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The City has been trying to figure out what to do with these properties for a while now.

Here is an exhibit of the Market Square properties that the City owns.

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  #1755  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2009, 4:38 PM
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I have been hearing more and more about the possibility of a new City building that would house most city staff, with an exception of service station personel and Uniformed city employees.

This is the City Manager's "baby". She wants to centralize City staff not only downtown, but in one location. As I have stated before at this point it is a ways off, and still just a pproposal of an idea. Numbers are being run, and from what I have heard they are not looking good. That doesn't mean it won't happen, just that it is not definate.

If the City can get this thing built in the next 5-10 years, the pd/fd headquarters somehow gets guilt on the KMart site, the New Federal CH topples the old PD HQ, with the Bexar County expansion, and a populated Vistanna; the West side of downtown would be drastically changed. By the time these things happen UTSA will hopefully have housing on their downtown campus and some more aps/condos around the Market square area to accompany Vistanna.

The crazy thing, is that these things could all come to fruition.

Lets hope they do.
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  #1756  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2009, 5:14 PM
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Originally Posted by miaht82 View Post
Who knows what the future holds for the Market Square; I always thought that it could be expanded upon some.
From the article you posted:

Last fiscal year, the city took in nearly $1.3 million in revenue from rental space — but operating expenses are exx pected to top that by almost $227,000, according to the report by consulting company Urban Marketing Collaborative.

1st. Not everything is suppose to make a profit.
2nd. Why wasn't the state sales tax revenue added into this picture?
3rd. Why isn't the value added by people coming to San Antonio...because of the Market added?

I know when I lived there the Market was a large draw for all of my out of town guests.
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  #1757  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2009, 1:02 AM
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Just looked at the Vistana webcam and looks like the trees are planted along the sidewalk. Thought it was interesting given that it will add more greenery in that part of DT, considering the park across the street. Anbody know if the bank is open? last time i was down there was in early Jan. but didn't get a chance to check
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  #1758  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2009, 1:41 AM
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Not open yet, although I did see the corner palms planted yesterday. I'll take pics tomorrow and post.
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  #1759  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2009, 2:58 AM
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Originally Posted by necropolis View Post
Just looked at the Vistana webcam and looks like the trees are planted along the sidewalk. Thought it was interesting given that it will add more greenery in that part of DT, considering the park across the street. Anbody know if the bank is open? last time i was down there was in early Jan. but didn't get a chance to check
earliest occupancy is feb. no occ permit until the entire south facade is complete.
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  #1760  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2009, 5:15 AM
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You would think Market Square would make a profit considering it is a tourist attraction for the city.
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