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City Council approves Hemisfair plans for Northwest Zone development

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In keeping with the Council-approved Hemisfair Master Plan, the San Antonio City Council approved today the public-private partnership (P3) agreement between Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation (HPARC) and local developer Zachry Hospitality. The proposed development reflects HPARC’s guiding principles to ensure a vibrant urban design, respect for history, and environmental sustainability. Zachry’s vision for the development is to partner with HPARC and the community to create a place that reflects the vibrant culture of San Antonio and deliver a reason for the people and families of our community to come downtown.

“Great cities have great urban parks that fill downtown with life,” said Mayor Ivy Taylor. “Today, City Council approved an agreement based on the feedback of thousands of citizens from every district, outside experts and local leaders. These new developments will bring vibrancy and energy to parks in the heart of our city.”

The partnership will bring an estimated $200 million in private investment and nearly one million square feet of mixed-use development adjacent to the civic park, the second park phase at Hemisfair. The mix-use development will bring multi-family housing; underground parking; retail, restaurants and shops; office space; and a boutique hotel to downtown San Antonio.

Zachry is partnering with The NRP Group to develop 385 multi-family housing units, making up the majority of the five-acre development. A minimum of 10 percent of these units are designated workforce housing, with adjusted rent rates to accommodate those earning between 50-110 percent of San Antonio’s adjusted median income (AMI). These residences help deliver on housing projections in the SA2020 plan, according to the principles of the SA Tomorrow plans, and redeveloping Hemisfair into a true urban park neighborhood.

Additionally, the proposed development will include 50,000 to 70,000 square feet of ground floor retail space for restaurants and shops and up to 110,000+ square feet of Class-A office space. An urban market will feature small shops and stalls offering unique, locally-owned artisanal vendors to accomplish the vision of creating a great place for San Antonians and visitors alike. The agreement also includes 600 underground public parking spaces. A 200-room hotel will offer full-service amenities, including a restaurant, bar, spa, pool and gym.

Development will occur on designated parcels separate from dedicated parkland and green space, and no developer at Hemisfair receives public dollars for a hotel, including any funds from the 2017-2022 Bond proposal. Developable parcels at Hemisfair are being leased, but not sold to private developers. 

“Redevelopment at Hemisfair is about balance,” said District 1 City Councilman Roberto Treviño. “Expanding green space in the park while adding in new residences, shops and offices will transform the district into a vibrant urban neighborhood once more. After almost 50 years of indecision and inaction, Hemisfair is returning to life.”

Zachry’s proposal was recommended through a rigorous public selection process that began in March 2015 led by the City and HPARC. Of the eleven proposals submitted in response to the request for qualifications (RFQ), the list was narrowed down until the final two firms were placed before an independent, third-party blue ribbon review panel. Their unanimous recommendation led to selection of Zachry.

This agreement is a major step forward in delivering the vision to transform Hemisfair into a vibrant and inviting urban parks district. Leases from P3 developments like the Zachry agreement ensure that Hemisfair will be a multi-generational public space and a model for urban development that is sustainable, ambitious and attainable for many years. 

“After 50 years of waiting and five years of planning, execution of the Hemisfair master plan will soon be visible. Over 600,000 visitors coming to Yanaguana Garden – the first park now open at Hemisfair – affirms that our investment in this redevelopment is for the benefit of locals.” said Andres Andujar, CEO of HPARC. Residents from all 10 council districts make up 86 percent of current visitors.

“We embrace the opportunity to join HPARC and the City in delivering this transformative development aimed at celebrating the authentic ‘heart’ of San Antonio – a true revival of San Antonio’s urban core. We are honored to have the confidence of our hometown community.” said David Zachry, CEO of Zachry Corporation.