Where I Live: Five Points

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Abe Juarez walks to his truck through his front yard.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

Abe Juarez walks through his front yard in the Five Points neighborhood.

Located north of downtown, bounded by San Pedro Avenue, Interstates 10 and 35, and San Pedro Springs Park, Five Points is one of the oldest neighborhoods in San Antonio.

Among the most walkable neighborhoods next to downtown, Five Points is historical, with some homes dating back to 1882. It is the early stomping ground of the legendary Henry B. Gonzalez, longtime Congressman and namesake of San Antonio’s convention center, and a hidden gem bursting through the cracks of a city abundant with ambition and opportunity.

Today, Five Points steadily evolves into a community of character with its own food and entertainment enterprises – a hybrid of urban and suburban life.

I can wake up in the morning and walk just two blocks to 5 Points Local for freshly brewed coffee and a healthy breakfast sourced from local, organic products. The venue also showcases a yoga studio, but since I’m more the barbacoa and Big Red type, my walk takes me past MK Davis Restaurant and up Flores Street to La Michoacana Meat Market where I can purchase fresh, ripe avocados as well.

MK Davis has been a San Antonio staple for generations, with its fried fish, chicken-fried steak, and chilled schooners of draft beer. Other dining establishments – some doubling as live music venues – have added new excitement to Five Points. Sancho’s Cantina is hailed for its extended happy hours and authentic Mexican street tacos, and along with The Cove provides dynamic musical entertainment. It features both local bands, such as the Los #3 Dinners, and international bands, such as Chase the Comet, a punk band from Russia.

Anyone in need of a coffee or fast food fix can walk to San Pedro Avenue and find a Starbucks, Jack in the Box, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, or the Texas standard 24-hour Whataburger. The neighborhood is also home to a local dry cleaning service and a Walgreens pharmacy for those needing supplies or prescriptions.

I discovered the Five Points area in 1995 while searching for office space. My wife, Dina, and I then purchased our first property in 1996 on the corner of Euclid and North Flores and married in Five Points in 1997. Shortly after, I helped initiate the revival of the Five Points Neighborhood Association, which had been dormant for three years. I reached out to property owners in the community, and a few of us organized our first meeting. We were pleasantly surprised when Diego Bernal, at the time our newly elected councilman for District 1 and now a state representative, showed up to introduce himself. He loved the neighborhood so much, he purchased a home shortly after he got married to raise his family here.

Things began falling into place to improve the neighborhood. All the while, my faith and passion in Five Points led me to purchase and restore multiple homes; subsequently, my family’s Airbnb enterprise took off.

This VIA stop is located where five streets converge, giving the Five Points neighborhood its name.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

This VIA stop is located where five streets converge, giving the Five Points neighborhood its name.

Ten years later, Dina and I left our home in Monte Vista, a historical house built in 1884. We moved our family into one of our Five Points Airbnbs as we plotted to build our “forever home” in our newly adopted community. We now live, work, and play in District 1, specifically in Five Points, moving from one vacation home to another as we anticipate the completion of our dream home that overlooks the growing downtown skyline.

But of course, every neighborhood has its issues. One continued frustration is that city planners have continuously overlooked Five Points, beginning with the lack of invitation to our community via signs off I-10 and I-35 exits to North Flores Street. That’s despite Flores Street being part of the El Camino Real de los Tejas, the national historic trails born in the 18th-century Spanish colonial era and vital to the settlement, development, and history of Texas, where the King of Spain and many others traveled to the Alamo. San Pedro Springs Park – the original site of Mission San Antonio de Valero, today known as the Alamo – provided water to the residents and businesses through acequias flowing down Flores Street, right near the original Stagecoach building, which still stands. Most neighbors are thrilled about the San Pedro Creek Culture Park, yet the creeks that flow through our neighborhood have been neglected since 1993. When I walk the area, I see street signs but no streets, dirt and overgrown weeds but no sidewalks. Somehow our tax dollars are not always working in Five Points.

Abe Juarez gives a driving tour of the Five Points neighborhood.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

Abe Juarez gives a driving tour of the Five Points neighborhood.

It’s not the Pearl, but it is a five-point gem that offers great local fare, affordable housing to locals, and plenty of short-term rental homes for visitors. Five Points invites the experience of living in one of San Antonio’s most unique neighborhoods, and we are grateful to those who share our vision and believe in our little neighborhood – most notably Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1) and the San Antonio Police Department. Newly appointed Bexar County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez (Pct. 3) also has reached out to us and is working to support our continued growth.

Twelve years in the making, our streets are safe and well lit. As the president of the neighborhood association, I receive police reports and updates about neighborhood activity. Residents have created a network of support; they look out for each other and call one other when issues do arise.

While its nearby restaurants, live music, and basic services provide what every neighborhood desires, Five Points’ proximity to downtown offers its residents and visitors convenient access to our city’s center of activity. I love our neighborhood because it is part of the original fabric of San Antonio culture.

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