San Antonio Under Construction, Project by Project

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San Pedro Creek project renderings in The 80/20 Foundation Report, "San Antonio: Under Construction."

San Pedro Creek project renderings in The 80/20 Foundation Report, "San Antonio: Under Construction."

Lorenzo Gomez 80/20 FoundationWould you like to see what the San Antonio of the future will look like? I can actually show you. How you ask? Well to answer that question, let me tell you a short story.

Just over a year ago I was introduced to a firm called Duarte. They are who some would call the world’s leader in storytelling. I began to work with them to help us figure out what the story of The 80/20 Foundation would be and through that work we were able to set a course for the foundation’s philanthropic mission.

Growing up in the inner city of San Antonio I can honestly say I have never met anyone that was the best in the world at anything so I was pretty nervous to meet the Duarte team. I went online and researched everything I could about the company. Finally I came across the video below, a TEDx talk that the owner, Nancy Duarte, gave about the structure of great communicators.

So if you don’t have 18 minutes to spare for the video below, I will give you the executive summary here. In her TED talk, Nancy dissects Steve Job’s iPhone unveiling speech and Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech.


As she analyzes these two world changing orators she points out the anatomy of what every good communicator does.  In each of these speeches both Jobs and Dr. King take the audience by the hand, walk them through the status quo, that is, the current state of the world, and then both paint a picture of what could be the new bliss.

So what does this have to do with the future of San Antonio? The answer is that in my work at the 80/20 Foundation I get pitched regularly on projects that people are doing for a wide range of things. A park here, a building there, a program to come, etc.

What started to stick out to me was that every time someone would pitch a capital campaign, they always came armed with architectural renderings.  Meeting after meeting the organizations would come into my office, tell me about the lowly state of San Antonio today, and then dazzle me with renderings of the new bliss embodied by their particular project.

San Pedro Creek project renderings in The 80/20 Foundation Report, "San Antonio: Under Construction."

San Pedro Creek project renderings in The 80/20 Foundation Report, “San Antonio: Under Construction.” Also courtesy of

The 80/20 Foundation, however, does not invest (for the most part) in capital campaigns. We are more interested in what is going on inside the buildings than having our names on the outside.

Still, as I sat there looking at all of these beautiful renderings I began to get very excited about my hometown. Looking at future buildings, parks and sculptures, that is the San Antonio I want to live in.

I also thought it was unfair that I was one of the few people seeing these plans simply because I represent a grant foundation. If people I grew up with or people I once worked with at Rackspace could see the same renderings, I told myself, they would be just as excited about the new San Antonio as I am.

So, in true entrepreneurial fashion I decided to do something about it. The 80/20 Foundation set out to find every project and rendering we could get our hands on to put together in one report, and show it to the citizens of San Antonio.

One of three project maps in The 80/20 Foundation Report, "San Antonio: Under Construction."

One of three project maps in The 80/20 Foundation Report, “San Antonio: Under Construction.” Click here to download. Also courtesy of

Some of these are ideas that we have been pitched at The 80/20 Foundation, some we have discovered on The Rivard Report and most via The Downtown Blog. We’ve worked with a new site that we are happy to share with you in tandem with its creator, Todd Morey, with this article. For continued updates on projects that are happening in the urban core please check out

So, without further ado, I would like to paint for you the San Antonio new bliss. Open the report below and see what the San Antonio of tomorrow will look like today.

This is the city I want to live in. I hope you will think so too.


Lorenzo Gomez works for The 80/20 Foundation. He is also an SA2020 board member, the founder of the nonprofit technology blog eSamaritan and former ten-year Rackspace employee. You can follow him on Twitter at @lgomez123.


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11 thoughts on “San Antonio Under Construction, Project by Project

  1. First comes residential then comes office jobs. At least that’s supposed to be how it plays out . Will be an interesting remainder to the decade for dtsa

  2. Thank you, Lorenzo, Scott, 80/20 Foundation, and The Rivard Report for your continuing support of our Confluence Park project. We are very excited by all of the efforts to make San Antonio the best place to live in the country, and we’re so happy to play a part. If anyone has questions about our park, please send them my way. Thank you, again!

    Celeste Derozier, capital campaign director at the San Antonio River Foundation

  3. The proposal for the creek is very encouraging. I recently spent Saturday morning, along with a lot of other volunteers, dredging an astounding amount of litter out of one of these creeks. It was the most disgusting thing ever, and didn’t even contain actual water, more like just a streak of toxic sludge. The local residents evidently think it’s the receptacle for their household garbage, and take zero pride in what’s supposedly the land of their ancestors. I don’t get it. But maybe if we made these creeks at least -look- like places worth caring about, the citizens of SA would eventually learn to care about them. It could be a step in the right direction, toward 1st-world status!

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