22 thoughts on “Developers Propose New Design of Apartments Next to Hays Street Bridge

  1. I attended the “presentation” farce last night at St Philips (beautiful campus!) and would like to suggest you guys give Greedy Fly (Eugene Simor) another place to build, and restore to a park the site that crooked Anything-For-A-Dollar Skulley and D’giovanni screwed our town over.

    Give Greedy ANOTHER PLACE and do WHATS RIGHT and create the park that the Dawsons generously gave and the neighbors DESERVE!!!!!

    RIGHT IS RIGHT
    WRONG IS WRONG

    It’s simple. Not easy, sometimes. But very SIMPLE.

    • With what money is the city going to build and maintain another park? They currently lack the funds to properly maintain Dignowity Park just two blocks from there. Why build another park when Dignowity Park is so close? I’d rather Dignowity Park be improved than a new park be built.

    • Myfe, Go back to your Country Club. You’re so out of touch, obviously have anger issues and don’t live anywhere near this neighborhood. I think it’s interesting that the angriest people Myfe, Graciela and many others don’t live in the neighborhood and don’t represent the neighborhood. The majority of the DHN is for this project but everytime there’s a meeting the same four people rudely dominate the meeting. When will the Eastside wake up and get out of their own way?

  2. The look of the units is horrendous and architectural firm looks like it phoned in the design. No thought whatsoever!!

    I believe that area should be green space so that we ALL benefit from this historical site not just a chosen few.

    The East Side and San Antonio deserves better that this!

  3. the neighborhood could use this development as leverage for getting an agreement from the developer to continue to allow public access and right of way on the bridge, as well as have them contribute to funding for continued maintenance of the bridge.
    They could also leverage bike and walking infrastructure to connect the streets to the bridge. Try to see it as an opportunity rather than a fight.

    Its a vacant industrial site that the city sold to the developer. If they want to chastise anyone, they should chastise the city. The developer paid a large quantity of money for the property, this ship has sailed, and not his fault.

  4. It’s still plug ugly and even taller than the last reject! The City’s sale of that land to Timor STINKS. I hope the courts rectify that. Then maybe another “plain” park like Dignowity isn’t the way to go. How about low-maintenance green space like a community garden/ butterfly garden/ picnic area?

    • Or maybe concrete stained green and make a roller rink! A couple of food trucks! ! Why is it taking so long for court to decide? That should be resolved first.

      • I will be pleasantly surprised if the Texas Supreme Court agrees to hear this case, but I’m not counting on it. Court has history of giving much deference to sovereign immunity defenses from municipalities. In general, the court tends to side with government and big business and against the citizenry. Remember, Texas judges are elected through partisan system (Republican or Democrat), and all of the judges are Republican.

  5. The city could care less what the people of the Dignowity Neighborhood think. The city will do what they what anytime they want and they will bulldoze anyone that gets in their way.

  6. Go back to the drawing board. Build structures that have character that reflect our City. Not Eyesore buildings that happens when your not born and raise in San Antonio.

  7. This must go before the courts before development proceeds.

    The city council controls the actions of the City. Everyone concerned should be writing Councilman Shaw daily – it WILL get his attention.

  8. The historical Hays Street Bridge was sold ILLEGALLY to developer Eugene Simore by City of San Antonio elected officials. Eugene Simore and COSA are ignoring the current law suit and have the audacity to continue with designs on donated land site next to the bridge. The historical bridge would have been torn down had it not been for the community that raised money to have it restored to the now beautiful sight that photographers and tourists frequent. NOW that it has drawn so much community attention, Eugene Simore has been GIVEN the right to build a residential complex that would be unaffordable for East Side residents and no longer allow access to the bridge for the community. Furthermore, a restaurant is also in the works to profit off the bridge. Give the land and bridge back to the community, Eugene and COSA!

  9. While I believe this design is a small improvement over the last, mainly due to wider sidewalks and the removal of connecting a Restraunt directly with the HSB, I think the design would be much better “flipped” so the building is not blocking the view of the bridge from the corner of Lamar and N. Cherry.

    The “Mini-Park” left in place is better than nothing, but far smaller than what the Hays Street Bridge Restoration Group had in mind during their years-long effort on this project, acting in good faith while the city was not. Question: if this “mini-park” is all that the city finally decides and approves this design, will all cyclists and pedestrians who visit the park have access to the excellent bathroom facility at Alamo Brewery? Every day, during the same park hours found in most parks run by the city? This would include having the gate under the HSB open during these hours.

    • Lauren, why don’t you let the cyclists use the bathroom at your house? It appears you don’t understand the concept of private property.

      • As a matter of fact I do. Have you been to the restroom at Alamo Brewery? If it was opened to the public as part of the under bridge ROW granted by the city to AB (5 years left on ROW) it would be a true community service to help mitigate the view by residents being denied if the proposed development goes through.

        Bobby, you don’t sound as if you’ve done thorough research on this issue (or just an angry troll?). This is not a simple private property matter.

  10. Years before Eugene/Alamo Beer came along, I visited the Hays Bridge. We took in the wonderful view of downtown & the bridge itself. As we looked over in the direction of the proposed apartment building, we were mortified. What we saw, I will never forget. It was a homeless man sprawled out on his back pleasuring himself, in broad daylight. Awesome. Thank you for the memory, Seems that nobody seemed to give a damn about that area before Eugene came along. Please.

  11. Once upon a time the Old Post Office Building downtown was going to be used for another purpose and a new central P.O. was to be built on land near King William, acquired by the federal government. Plans changed and the new P.O. was built on Perrin Beitel, turning the unused original parcel into “Government Surplus Proerty.” After a designated time period, if Fed-owned property is not developed by the Fed, the Government Surplus Agency has to offer it to the local taxing entities, starting with the City. In this case, Congressman Henry B. Gonzales wanted the SAISD to get it, to build a refrigerated warehouse for school lunches and a depot for the school buses and refrigerated food delivery trucks. So the City backed the plan, gave up its first rights to the property, and SAISD was awarded the land. It was bounded by Gunther, S. Flores, Sheridan & Main, a grassy area full of trees. Neighborhood objected to this industrial use. The SA Conservation Society brokered a deal to get SAISD to relinquish their claim to the parcel, in exchange for a piece of land that SACS offered to buy for the SAISD that was better suited to the purpose, with better highway access, and in the bargain get the Fed to award the Government Surplus parcel to the Housing Authority instead, for low-rise Section 8 senior housing, saving as many trees as possible and in keeping with the residential nature of the area. It was a complicated deal (SAISD had to give the property back to Dept. of Ed, who had to give it back to the Fed, who had to give it to HUD, who then gave it to our Housing Authority) but it worked. My point is, maybe the Conservation Society could get involved, if they aren’t already, to work with the neighborhhood for a better outcome. They have considerable resources (from their NIOSA operation), political clout and negotiating expertise which they have used many times to help preserve historical places in our city. They may be involved, but I didn’t see them mentioned in the article so I thought it worth a mention. And, if Councilwoman Sandoval wants to establish new rules on view protection, there are examples in force, often including air space regulation such as that employed by NYC Landmarks Commission.

  12. I tend not to hold back (or proofread well) with sharing urban design and development opinions on Rivard Report comments — sorry y’all — including about past versions of this proposal. From the latest rendering above . . . I like that there looks to be an effort at a connected awning on Cherry, and the sidewalk appears to be slightly widened in areas from the last design version.

    However, the zag / narrowing by the bridge isn’t a downtown or historic pattern and it doesn’t add any value — it’s uncomfortable for urban walking and creates maintenance issues. HUD and the City should stop doing these in SA, too. They’re about as anti-urban as zag crossings where they aren’t needed (the recommendation has always been to use these sparingly, as they can inconvenience pedestrians).

    Also, he bulbouts depicted aren’t helpful and they suggest that the designers still don’t understand the City’s downtown design standards or good urban street design (look at E. Commerce west of Cherry). The project needs wider sidewalks, most likely by further stepping the proposed building back.

    The rendering also doesn’t show what’s happening on Lamar, but I wish the awning wrapped the building. In addition, a ten foot wide sidewalk zone minimum would be needed on Cherry and/or Lamar to accommodate a comfortable loading area for VIA buses, car share, moving vans etc.

    The designers and the City really should look at sidewalk conditions on E. Commerce west of Cherry for guidance (no planted bulbouts there). Arguments about the bridge and land aside (which are valid), the project proposal should also draw the City’s attention to how VIA and bikeshare have abandoned this sector of downtown — a beer and live music and now proposed higher density housing zone.

    The nearest bus stops are on Nolan. The nearest B-Cycle is over at Ellis Alley. It’s strange and apparent that there aren’t good VIA services to Ella Austin nearby (events there require driving and parking that overflows into the neighborhood). The City and VIA need to come up with a Cherry and Lamar service route that links this area with the rest of downtown and that new development should help fund.

    Most cities wouldn’t approve new higher density downtown housing development (or grant a liquor license) without alternative transport options in place or considered and improved with the proposal. Without additional VIA services and bikeshare, the overall area (Cherry to Lamar to Austin to Houston) reads like a DUI zone, and I wonder about enforcement.

    The proposed development should probably help revive or establish and maintain a B-Cycle station, but it is past time for VIA service in this sector. The proposed development should support VIA (or just car share and apartment dwellers) by anticipating bus loading zones with seating, shelter, trash cans and sidewalk passing/walking space (again, look at E. Commerce west of Cherry).

    There can be arguments about the infringement of the project on public space and views and past promises or understandings. Regardless, San Antonio should stop accepting poor pedestrian urban design from new projects — private and public.

  13. I don’t live in this neighborhood. But I’m disappointed to see ANOTHER ugly apartment design proposed. We call them “ant farms”.

    Daresay that if the developers were planning something attractive they would win over a few people from the neighborhood. The apartments at 302 Madison Street in the King William and Isabela Court Apartments 3917 Main Street in Houston are personal favorites.

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