The Denominator: The Spread of Mollusks and Office Space

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A current draft rendering of the San Antonio Light Building.

Courtesy / Ford Powell & Carson

This rendering draft shows what the San Antonio Light building could look like after redevelopment.

The Denominator is a weekly brief of significant numbers underlying our latest news stories.

Downtown Office Space Spreads

2 million square feet of rentable office space are either under construction in urban San Antonio, or well on the way to completion.

Since the Weston Centre was built 30 years ago, not a single office building larger than 50,000 square feet has been developed downtown. Over the same time period, more than 65 office buildings generating more than 7.4 million square feet were built primarily on the city’s North Side.

Investments in public projects and a shift in housing preferences by millennials and retirees sparked multifamily and infill housing that has led to the development of more downtown office space. In the past eight years, thousands of new multifamily and infill housing units have been added to downtown, making the area more attractive for businesses to locate near a growing number of new residents.

Zebra Mussels Blaze Through Texas Lakes

14 Texas lakes are known to contain zebra mussels, an invasive species of mollusk, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).

A single female can produce 1 million eggs a year. The mussels feed on algae, which puts them in competition with many essential creatures in Texas waterways.

The mussels spread by attaching to motorboats, anchors, and other watercraft. State officials recommend to “clean, drain and dry” watercraft to prevent the spread of the invasive species. Sightings of the mollusks can be reported to the Texas Invasives website, which helps map the spread of invasive species through reports from citizen scientists.

City Council’s Full Plate

2 days are left before the full City Council returns Wednesday from a one-month break to address a stack of programs and policy recommendations.

Over the next month, Council will have an almost $3 billion budget to allocate. It also is expected to consider whether to reactivate or modify urban core development incentives to promote affordable housing, a short-term rental ordinance, and electric scooter regulations.

Common Drug Shown to Reduce Risk of Prostate Cancer

19,000 men participated in a more than two decade-long study that recently determined that finasteride, a common hormone-blocking drug used to treat prostate enlargement and male-pattern baldness, significantly reduced the risk of prostate cancer in men over 55.

Dr. Ian Thompson, president of CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital Medical Center and vice president of oncology, presided over the cancer prevention trial that led to the discovery which may benefit tens of thousands of men each year in the United States.

In an interview with the Rivard Report, Thompson discussed prostate cancer treatment and prevention, and access to health care in San Antonio.

City of San Antonio Awarded Highest Bond Rating

9 is the number of consecutive years that the City of San Antonio has been given the highest bond rating.

San Antonio is the only U.S. city with more than 1 million residents to achieve a “AAA” rating from any of the major bond rating agencies, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, and Moody’s.

Higher bond ratings essentially makes infrastructure projects cheaper by lowering the interest entities have to pay when borrowing funds.

However, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s noted that if voters approve changes to the City’s charter in the November election, that rating could be jeopardized. Those propositions, brought to the ballot via petitions launched by San Antonio’s firefighters union, would restrict the salary of future city managers and limit the City’s ability to negotiate with the union, among other changes.

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