In 2001, the Pearl Brewery was purchased by Silver Ventures, led by Christopher Goldbury, to launch one of the biggest re-development projects for mixed-use real estate in the history of San Antonio.
More than a decade later, the 22-acre property now features some the City’s most celebrated restaurants, key businesses, popular events, and residential properties – a model for how mixed-use properties provide the urban, “live, work, play” ideal. The development has sparked several residential complexes to pop up in the neighborhood including apartments for rent and condos for sale. The cultural and commercial sector has also blossomed along the Broadway corridor.
While Hotel Emma, considered the final piece of the Pearl, is close to completion, many citizens and leaders are looking to replicate its success by revitalizing another area of San Antonio. There is much speculation about which area of the city will be the next big thing for San Antonio’s urban core. What do you think it will be?
Candidates for the “Next Pearl”
Hemisfair Park is a natural, strong contender as there are big plans in the works with plenty of support from the City. The nonprofit Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corp. is leading the efforts to build mixed-income residential property, 19 acres of parkland, a concert venue, and numerous restaurants and shops. Located in the heart of Downtown, this project seems to have all of the components of our “Next Pearl.”
The El Mercado Zona Cultural is an interesting district located on the west side of Downtown that is expected to undergo major re-development. The area was approved by City Council as an official Arts and Cultural District in 2014, making it eligible for state and city funding. An application was submitted last month to the Texas Commission for the Arts for official recognition. Alongside popular fixtures of the area, like Mi Tierra Restaurant, more businesses are expected to open doors as public space is improved and a marketing campaign is launched.
Looking in the Eastside, the Alamo Brewery and Hays Street Bridge area is a longer shot but perhaps a more organic re-development of this area is already underway. The Alamo Beer Company recently opened the doors of a brand new $8 million brewery, outdoor bar, and event space. This investment is expected to attract more interest from developers as businesses and citizens look for less expensive, near-downtown opportunities.
The old Lone Star Brewery on the Southside is a another potential area that could see major development. Aqualand Development, an Austin-based company, purchased 36 acres of the 60-acre site in May of 2015. Like the Pearl, the Lonestar Brewery has some attractive historical features and is located on the San Antonio river. However, there are challenges in re-developing this area and help may be needed from additional investors.
Who gets your vote?
What area of the city do you want to see go under re-development? Maybe it’s not on the list above. Or maybe you would like to see an area of the City re-developed in a different way.
You can submit your idea and feedback by visiting IdeasForCOSA.com/NextPearl. Your idea will be submitted to the community where other members can comment and vote on your idea. The top ideas will be delivered directly to the San Antonio City Council.
*Featured/top image: A view of downtown at night from the Pearl brewhouse’s copula. Photo by Scott Martin.