43 thoughts on “‘We Don’t Want It:’ Highland Park Residents Oppose Planned Mixed-Income Apartments

  1. While I understand an overall concern if a project is not a good fit for a neighborhood’s zoning, style, or infrastructure, this makes me sad. I remember facing similar attitudes when I was in a business class is undergrad. We were updating a row home to sell to a Section 8 recipient. I was coordinating the purchase and installation of hardwood floors. Some fellow students were arguing that low-income residents did not need hardwood floors or french doors, and the students strongly suggested cutting those costs out of the renovation. I stood up and gently explained that is was inappropriate to assume who can and cannot have nice things or a safe neighborhood. I bought the flooring from a local supplier, and we learned to install them ourselves. The french doors, too. That was a fun class, but I was truly saddened that people made assumptions like that.

      • Uh. Where should poor people live if they can not afford to own?

        If this is 58 units it hardly seems to stuff people in there.

        I hope they get to build it and would be happy to see it where I live.

  2. People get upset when developers want to build Class A apartments near downtown because they don’t cater to the lower and lower-middle class of San Antonians. Now developers are building a nice, affordable project to satisfy exactly this and now people are upset that lower income residents will occupy it. I respect NRP for this proposed project and hope to see it come to fruition soon.

    • Where do you live? So we can give NRP your address…. they can build it right in front of your house since you’re all for it.

      • Bruuuuuhh really? So is your opposition to the project based on the number of units or the income of people that would live there?

        • I’d be happy to have it in my neighborhood!
          Building less housing will only exacerbate home prices and cause more displacement. The neighborhood is using every excuse to not have “those people” living next door. I certainly hope NRP and Council have the gall to support it as a 90 unit development and not change it to 58 units – we need more affordable units and we need more housing in San Antonio to accommodate the growth, particularly inner urban areas such as this.

          Single family homes and zoning are exclusionary to lower income households and renters. Someone mentioned being concerned about renters – if you are truly concerned, you will let more rental housing be built, especially a project like this.

          • The people who own homes in the area oppose this project. You rent or own in another part of town and you feel the need to give your support for the maximum number of units. Pretty irrelevant comment, but thanks for letting us know where you stand.

          • The development will be horrid for everyone involved. Stuffing poor people in a 90 unit apartment building on a 2 acre lot is morally reprehensible.

          • Stuffing poor people into an apartment
            complex like the one proposed is an insidious form of violence. If you’re really concerned with the plight of the poor, you would stop making ignorant comments.

          • Who said homeowners get to dictate decisions for a neighborhood? That is discriminatory. Renters should be involved in decision-making, too, and leaders should be advocating for renters, as the city is made up of 50% of renters (and more and more people are choosing to rent over owning for various reasons).

            no one is “stuffing” low-income households into apartments. That is a ridiculous comment. I lived in apartments for much of my adult life, and there is nothing wrong with apartment living – way less to take care of than owning a home. Also, this is a mixed-income development, so that means that the tenants will range in income levels.

        • Thank you !!!! This neighborhood seems like a bunch of non-good doers! This article is totally wrong !it’s not 90 units of low come housing! The reporter wrote the entire article wrong! People opposing it idiots! They kept bringing up King William is an example! ? Why it brought up their housing area or the value of their houses extremely high! If these people don’t want it in the neighborhood let them put their money where their mouth is in buy that property! Raise the taxes in that highlands area to pay for it! In theory every house in that area could be registered as section 8! Also this is not a low income apartments if people were paying attention they would know that a small portion would’ve been for low income!

          • Harry you feel, owner occupants should pay higher taxes because they don’t want this project. How Trump-like of you. Let those who oppose, be punished the most.

          • Harry, they MUST have 90% low-income to receive the 75% Federal Funding. Read the article again please.

      • Dawn H. I’m sorry you don’t own a home and feel the tenants in the area should dictate development based on their needs. I’m sorry you didn’t attend the meeting to hear that this location is only selected because it meets the Federal and State Rubric that is used for awarding incentives. The neighborhood isn’t important, only that this locating qualifies for many many incentives. Also, why are you so against the owners, especially once they’re over 50?

  3. Highland Park residents did not say anything disparaging about low-income residents. It sounds like Arechiga is trying to make himself into the good guy here. The residents were concerned that the way the rentals are tiered would lower the value of the homes in the neighborhood. It’s a valid concern. The rents of this housing unit would be about 90% low income with rents ranging from $450 to $1000. The lowest amount you can rent in the neighborhood right now is around $775 and up. Plus, it was never referred to as mixed-income at the meeting, only mixed-use. A truly mixed-income development in a scale that matched the neighborhood would probably be welcome. Unfortunately, the developer plans to use affordable housing tax credits for this project, so they would not make as much money if they put in mixed income. Also, as much as the City, along with our own council woman, has been clamoring about how segregated San Antonio is, why are they trying to put lower-income housing in a neighborhood that is already low- to lower-middle income in the first place? Our housing values are finally starting to increase Give us the mixed income and put the mainly lower-income in a wealthier neighborhood – that’s how you desegregate San Antonio.

  4. Their concern lies in the fact that there are apartments all along Pecan Valley and surrounding areas that are in total disarray…their concerns, arent what occurs in the immediate time frame, their concerns are what will occur 10+ years down the road. As it is, NRP can’t find residents for their East Meadows property so they hope an area with a lighter shade of residents is something they can push for profit. At least Highland Park isn’t dealing with a monstrosity of a bridge being built like the Zarzamora/Frio City Rd project that 5 of the largest neighborhood associations have shot down, but the city and councilwoman remain persistent.

  5. Highland Park is a very diverse neighborhood of good people. It is an old neighborhood of homes from the 1920’s on. The complex they are talking about would not fit the neighborhood in scope and size. They did not do their reseach, they did not know the types of homes in the area. That was surprising. For many of us it is not about what the people that live there make for an income, it’s about bringing good people and families into the neighborhood in housing that blends with the area. There is nothing historic about the Moose Lodge. It is not a architecturally period building, so really it is not about that. It is about improving our neighborhood. We have two low income complexes and a possible 3rd with a mile of this site. It is an overload.
    Highland Park is an old school, know your neighbor, neighborhood. There was not much communication about this land sale or project. They people were informed word of mouth, neighbor to neighbor.

  6. Today, I learned that the D-3 Councilwoman avoided the meeting choosing to go to another one where zoning had already been decided years ago with no need for her to attend, yet knowing how hot this meeting was going to be she sent Sal to avoid it. Not accountable for all the back room deals that got things this far, just like the scandalous situation we face at E. Southcross and Roosevelt Ave. with a similar proposed project where no one seemed to know where it came from. Not to mention the two additional blocks of prime real estate she plans to hand over to developers under the Housing Bond all next to five existing major multi family section 8 complexes the most anywhere in the City with the highest geographic crime not to mention economic segregation supported by ourvMayor and the rest of the City Council. Under this Housing Bond we would add eight more for a total of 18, all of them next to each in the Mission San José World Heritage area! Of course put all the affordable housing in the already most economic stressed, social-economic-ethnic segregated part of the city no matter the impact on S.A.I.S.D. Schools, Oh by the way Debra Guerrero is NRP VP and is on the S.A.I.S.D. Board who has remained silent. The hypocrisy and conflict of interest, and not in my back yard City Council, and Mayor is down right scandalous just like in Dallas where a non-profit sued, and won against the city last year for the same type of housing segregation practices. Excercise your right vote for change, and learn the truth!

    • This property is zoned as well. If the developer is willing to go 2 story then that at least is working with the neighborhood to put something smaller in scope. Better than 4 stories which supposedly is allowed.

  7. I don’t know what this project looks like, but San Antonio is 150,000 affordable housing units short already and needs to add 500,000 more over the next twenty years. Where are all those people supposed to live? In someone else’s neighborhood? Twenty miles out on the freeway where we can pave over more farmland and countryside?

    • When doing research on these type of apartment projects it seems that the city has a non profit whose board is 5 council members. They are the ones that choose the developers. This is the problem with that. No taxes will be paid. No city, no county, no school taxes will be paid for any part of it. How are to improve our children’s education if too many of these apartments are built within the same school district? Think about that. We want families to appreciate these old homes and pass them dowm to the future generations byt how will you fund their education if developers dont have to contribute to it?

    • It’s sad honestly. I agree to the NIMBYism but want to be constructive to the discussion. I don’t know how to tell people Yes in my backward is not a bad thing. Being afraid of your community diversifying sounds reclusive and discriminatory IMO.

      • Agreed – very discriminatory and exclusionary type of language being used and SF zoning in and of itself is exclusionary.
        And, there doesn’t appear to be a single person under the age of 50 in the photo…if we are planning for the future, shouldn’t younger generations have a say and be involved in the decision-making process? They will be the ones most affected by the rising home prices and lack of housing options. NRP needs to reach out to renters and people of all ages to get a better understanding of what is needed.

        • We wish the younger generations in our neighborhood would have been there. There are plenty of young people here. They did not publisize the meeting, word spread by word of mouth. A lot of our younger neighbors were working or just getting home at 6pm. Some were there. Yes a lot of are old. A lot of are mulitgenerational neighbors. A lot of leave and come back. Also kniw that up until a couple of years ago the vaule of most of HP houses was under $70,000. Lots of low income people live here.

  8. I commend the residence for their voice and cohesion. It takes time and devotion to preserve history. Highland Park as well Dever Heights are two of the most beautiful neighborhood in SA. Of course they are not McMansions just beautiful example of cottage and bungalows. I do see regentifcation as a positive and inevitable future for both neighborhoods, low income housing certainly insures that process will be delayed. It saddens me to drive through those lovely streets and see so many houses barely hanging on..Is that NOT low income housing? Please be realistic concerning neighborhood socioeconomic status. The age of a neighborhood generally means older resdenidents on fixed incomes. Please do not turn SA in to Houston. Council woman D-3, your voters will remember your lack of support.

  9. Building this in Highland Park would highly affect the quality of life of the people around the complex. It is the amount of people that is the major problem. The coming and going of people, the parties, the fights, the crying children. Multiply that by 90 units. This is a neighborhood where people have bought single family homes to avoid these high volume, lower quality of life issues. Highland park has definitely been a transition neighborhood for the past 10 years. Some pockets are well on their way to becoming fully beautified. Most pockets need a lot of work. Over the past 3 years home prices have gone up noticeably, and there is hope that the neighborhood will make a full transition. However, not much has changed in terms of people taking care of their properties. The residents already concede to a range of quality of life issues that a transition neighborhood affords. If the apartment complex is built, the neighborhood can only be hurt by this project.

    • people opposing new housing projects in San Antonio need to decide their argument…some oppose new housing because they say it will make their property values rise too much, and some oppose new housing because they say it will lower their property values…which is it? I’m confused. I think people just want to oppose new housing projects in general, especially rental properties, and they will say whatever it takes to make it not happen.

        • Rising property values are a good thing. The only other option is lower property values and nobody wants that. Rising property values shows that your neighborhood is growing, maturing, getting better. Lower property values indicate just the opposite; crime, poor schools, empty lots, abandoned retail. What’s the problem with poor people anyway? I’ve been around both and I have to say I’d rather be around poor people than rich people any day.

      • I’m am not understanding your point of view Dawn H. You want all of the people who live in Highland Park to have the same opinion? We are a very diverse neighborhood of people. I prefer to be around and live around people that don’t think just like me. That would be quite boring indeed. If we all thought alike then every house would be painted the same color. Boring.
        “Agreed – very discriminatory and exclusionary type of language being used and SF zoning in and of itself is exclusionary.
        And, there doesn’t appear to be a single person under the age of 50 in the photo”
        this is a quote from a statement you made in this thread.
        How is it not discriminatory to complain that the people in the photo all look over 50? Age discrimination is still discrimination.
        And before you look it up I am 61 yrs old and have lived in Highland Park since I was 19 yrs old, because I love it. I love the old houses, I love the nearby parks and I love my neighbors. Maybe some think differently but most will go out of their way to help any neighbor no matter how rich or poor, what color they are or even how old they are. Some of the best people I ever met were a lot older than me and live in Highland Park.

  10. We wish the younger generations in our neighborhood would have been there. There are plenty of young people here. They did not publisize the meeting, word spread by word of mouth. A lot of our younger neighbors were working or just getting home at 6pm. Some were there. Yes a lot of are old. A lot of are mulitgenerational neighbors. A lot of leave and come back. Also kniw that up until a couple of years ago the vaule of most of HP houses was under $70,000. Lots of low income people live here.

  11. As long as the building follows the zoning restrictions and building code laid out by the relevant authority – country/historic district, it should be allowed to proceed. If you let people decide on who should or shouldn’t live in a locality, it will lead to more segregation.

  12. I sure wish this neighborhood took more pride in its appearance. A whole lot of people spoke out at the meeting about how their families have been here for many years,. I’m sure the developers took a quick drive around here and saw a very large portion of unkept homes. It’s sad that we have too many rentals with owners that do not keep up the homes. It makes the entire community look bad. So basically not only should we fight for what is right but we should “show” what is right!

  13. I am a younger resident that teaches in the neighborhood as well and I was at the meeting where the information was presented. I am not completely opposed to the project but I cannot comprehend how 90 units could fit in the space and I understand the concern of those immediately surrounding the area. They will lose their privacy and traffic and noise could be a concern. I have no issues with the amount of low-income units or the people that would live there because those are my students already. What I don’t appreciate is the criticism of the residents and their reasons…Highland Park has been a hidden gem for a long time and the residents want to maintain that. If this had been a Northside neighborhood I doubt there would be such crtiticism for the residents standing up for themselves…in fact they would likely be applauded for their active participation. We the residents of Highland Park know we have something special here and now that the neighborhood is trying to preserve it we are being unfairly labeled. We chose to live here and not move north to cookie cutter homes whose front entrance is the garage. I love my crystal door knobs, front porch, doors that stick when the house settles, and cracks in the drywall that I have to patch…its called character and that is what we are trying to preserve and what we show everyday here in Highland Park.

  14. wow, the old IGA store and the Summers Drug Store was here back in the 1940s thru 1971 when Summers closed and IGA was a thing of the past. The building next to the Moose . the brown building that is owned now, by the Church on Avant Ave, held the Guarantee Cleaners, Bonnie Brae Barber, The Closet, Highland Park bakery, Hauslers Hardware, Highland Park flooring and finally, on the very end………the washateria

    I hope they don’t tear it down, lots of memories for me, I spent my youth in that block. I lived on Avant and went to the store every day. Hung out all the time at IGA and the vacant lot on the corner……….Good old memories for me at that location. I see HP coming back , used to cut many lawns on Bailey, Avant and Highland Blvd in the summers……..great neighborhood….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *