3 thoughts on “Conversation: Renting in San Antonio’s Urban Core

  1. Interesting read. I find the title a bit mis leading but the article good.

    When you say young middle class professionals I think of white collar creative class workers, they usually make 50-150k in which case they make enough to pay rent at almost any place downtown.

    I think what would be interesting to add to this article is the comparison of the costs of spaces outside of downtown that are still really nice places to live. Artessa being one, spaces by La Cantera, off Blanco by the whole foods out there. And in general places to rent by large shopping centers.

    While this might sound boring, I think it would bring insight into why people think downtown prices are expensive when in reality they are not. Any major downtown costs at least 2 dollars a square foot. When I lived in the gables west downtown in Austin it was about 1300 for 650sq feet. Granted I had direct access to the trails with out crossing the street and could walk one street over to whole foods downtown.

    I think a common mistake here being made by developers is the non “organic” approaches they are taking to building out new spaces to live. I feel often they really do not take into consideration the people they are displacing and the social and cultural effects it may have on our city. In order to maintain a melting pot of cultures and social strata I believe we need to look past the idea of just focusing on getting young creative professionals to live downtown.

    A more rounded approach needs to be understood at a larger level.

    A good example of this is with the bridge on the east side. Developers are missing the point and are not listening to the community. They are creating an un needed alienization of a community. They should be listening and finding compromise. While capitalism is great, our town has a large historic culture as well and I think displacing one community for another is a big mistake.

    I am currently working on an art installation that exemplifies this situation.

    My focus is the Lonestar Brewery. What people do not understand about many of these Chicano neighborhoods, while they might have certain connotations, many of the people who live in these neighborhoods own their houses, have little debt and do not work off of our new cultures “debt” based practices.

    So this idea that developers want to come and in “redevelop” these spaces to create condos for middle class professionals to buy is potentially a crock! In actuality they are creating a space for young middle class professionals to continue this proliferation of debt by building 200-500k condos for this class of people to finance (and once all sold the developers have their money and run) and this debt based culture has this social class parking their financed Lexus/Porshce, credit card purchased fixed gear bikes and furniture all in their little condo half to a quarter the size of where debt free people were living.

    So what has really been accomplished other then the rich getting richer?

    Just something to think about…

    And student loans and the creative class, lets not even get started on that…

    • Joey, Thanks for the comment. We rewrote the headline. When we redesign the site (soon, we hope) I think we will brand these Q&As as “Conversations” to set them apart from other things we do. They always feature one interesting person, their work, and, we hope, a unique viewpoint. We are always looking for others. –RR

  2. Joey’s comment about maintaining a melting pot of cultures and social strata is fascinating. My understanding is that a melting pot rarely results from the gentrification of a neighborhood, but it is a worthwhile objective.

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