San Antonio’s urban core will experience a slew of construction along San Pedro Creek, at the site of Weston Urban's Frost Bank Tower, and the construction of a new U.S. Courthouse, in the months leading up to the City’s 300th anniversary in May 2018. The designs and the coming disruption were the subject of discussion at City Council's B Session on Wednesday with the design team leaders and San Antonio River Authority.
Muñoz & Co. Principal Steven Land Tillotson and Mexico City landscape architect Mario Schjetnan presented the latest designs for San Pedro Creek, including the relocation of a proposed amphitheater and the removal of the Salinas Street Bridge to make way for an overlook deck. (Click here to read more about the design updates).
The project’s first two phases will extend construction from the Tunnel Outlet to West Commerce Street, putting it adjacent to the Weston Urban and federal courthouse projects, all major projects that have deadlines related to the City's coming Tricentennial in May 2018.
City officials noted that in addition to the creek project, Henry Muñoz, CEO of the Muñoz firm, is working in collaboration with Lake/Flato Architects on the design of the federal courthouse on West Nueva Street.
“Do you see this (construction) folding in nicely with our Tricentennial year?” asked Councilman Joe Krier (D9).
City Manager Sheryl Sculley assured him that they would work with the River Authority to coordinate with Weston Urban and the new federal courthouse to schedule construction and staging throughout the length of the projects.
The County has committed $125 million to the San Pedro Creek project based on the project’s original $175 million cost. The River Authority hopes to expedite a contract-vetting process to get a general contractor selected and in place to make up for lost time spent on design revisions. The project cost has risen to $206.8 million as the scope has changed along the creek path and adjacent properties.
The River Authority submitted a request for 2017 bond money earlier this fall, but there’s no set amount requested. If the request is approved by voters in May 2017, the City would help fund the downriver Phase 3 construction.
“You own the (San Pedro) Creek, and the additional parcels that you have provided us have been very helpful in ensuring that we get the look and feel of the project,” River Authority General Manager Suzanne Scott told the Council. There still are land parcels in private hands surrounding the development that will add additional cost as those properties are purchased.
The City has contributed land valued at about $4.2 million for right-of-way along the creek. The majority of the project’s construction will use public funds. The only philanthropic efforts expected in the project will be the public art in Phase 4 of construction.
“The more we can get donated, the more we are closing that gap,” Houston said.
*Top Image: A rendering by Muñoz & Co. of San Pedro Creek in the downtown reach with added plantings and creekside and elevated walkways. Image courtesy of Muñoz & Co.