The '68 apartments feature 151 units and four retail spaces at Hemisfair. Credit: Stephanie Marquez / San Antonio Report

The sound of construction equipment still prevails in parts of The ’68, the new apartment complex at Hemisfair.

But neither the construction nor chain-link fencing around the eight-story, 151-unit building has deterred future tenants from already moving some of their belongings into what will be the first residential community in Hemisfair in more than 50 years.

Local developer David Adelman’s $25 million project is sandwiched between the Yanaguana Garden playground and the John Wood Jr. U.S. Courthouse.

But the new apartment community is set to forge a path for other residential, retail and recreational spaces that are expected to arise at Hemisfair.

The ’68 is set to fully open for service within a few weeks, according to apartment manager Emily Bryand and leasing agent Bianca Fuqua on Wednesday.

Miggy Moncada, assistant manager for 1221 Broadway Lofts, another development by Adelman, has been helping to facilitate initial lease contracts.

She said on Wednesday that about 30 units have been leased and tenants have begun to move into 10 of those units.

Excitement around the development of The ’68 has been building among urban dwellers eager to see the latest in an increasing variety of living spaces options in and around downtown.

That The ’68 is marketing at least half of its units to residents earning 80 percent or less of the area median income adds to the development’s allure.

The ’68 offers seven floor plans involving studio and one- and two-bedroom units, with square footage ranging from 465 to 1,638. Rents run $1,109-$3,609.

The Hemisfair Coalition, too, is excited about the imminent opening of The ’68. The grassroots group has been helping to rally community, financial, and programming support at Hemisfair and for the Hemisfair Conservancy.

Nearly 20 coalition members and other interested individuals gathered Wednesday at Con Safos, where they enjoyed drinks from the Hemisfair cantina and bites from neighboring Dough Pizzeria Napoletana before touring The ’68.

Moncada said enthusiasm is growing for the new apartments and for the redevelopment of Hemisfair. She hopes prospective tenants understand the site’s past — decades ago when longtime neighborhoods existed on downtown’s southern edge before being razed to make way for the 1968 world’s fair and eventual growth of what was then HemisFair Park.

“I would tell people they’d be standing here on a piece of history, where people came together to make lives in San Antonio,” she said.

Moncada is thrilled that tenants could soon go a very short distance from their apartments to an expanding range of amenities around Hemisfair: “It’s amazing to hear they can walk to a coffee shop, get a beverage or have their kids play (in Yanaguana Garden). It’s really just amazing.”

Each unit features concrete floors, tall ceilings, large horizontal and vertical windows, washer-dryer connections, spacious closets, and contemporary kitchens.

Click through the gallery below to see the interior of The ’68.

Local architecture firm Lake / Flato designed each unit to have full views of Hemisfair and beyond. Vertical shades of brick red, tan, and blue on the building’s exterior break up the massive scale of the apartment complex.

On-site amenities will include a fitness center, a rooftop grill and lounge, a station where pet owners can groom and wash their pets, and a separate area where tenants on the higher floors can let their pets relieve themselves without having to go downstairs.

The parking garage will have enough space for tenants, guests, and visitors coming to shop, dine, or play at Hemisfair.

Additionally, the structure will be home to ReRooted Urban Winery, the first winemaking and tasting room facility in downtown San Antonio.

This area will face the old federal courthouse and the future second local storefront for Lick Honest Ice Creams.

There’s also room in the building for a restaurant, but no culinary venture has claimed the space, Bryand said. Both the restaurant and winery will be open to everyone.

Those who toured The ’68 on Wednesday were quickly impressed with what they saw. Nathan Simmons said it was his first time inside the apartments.

“It’s really fun to walk through and see views from different floor plans,” Simmons said.

Hemisfair Coalition President Kristen Henry said The ’68 has potential to further “activate” all of Hemisfair.

“With people living in (Hemisfair), I just think the energy will increase and there’ll be even more to do than there already is,” she said.

Edmond Ortiz, a lifelong San Antonian, is a freelance reporter/editor who has worked with the San Antonio Express-News and Prime Time Newspapers.