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  #241  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2005, 2:44 PM
texboy texboy is offline
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I was talking to a friend of mine last night and he said something that made a whole lot of sense. He said that (in regards to Austin) that it seems like cities will go through a big growth spurt in the suburbs and then downtown will go through a growth spurt after that. He just said its kind of a cycle. That makes sense to me! Although Im not sure there was ever a time that San Antonio went through a downtown Condo growth Spurt, but I think this scenario is very true in terms of Austin. Im hoping this will be the same case for SA, bc we are beginning to see San Antonio explode.
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  #242  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2005, 3:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul in S.A TX
downtown San Antonio has built thousands of new housing since 2000.
That is cool and I believe you. Just wanted to help put all things in prospective. To keep the conversation real....rather than unsusbstancuated comparisons. Thus the facts from the link I gave you.

San Antonio will be having one of the most kick ass downtowns.....in Texas. It is already living and vibrant...and now there is the move of people moving into the core! We do need to get a grocery store down there. I really think....since the 1980's when I use to view the city from the TofA....all they need is to get a grocery store downtown....and that would be such a huge catalyst.
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  #243  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2005, 6:01 PM
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Chicago 3rd, I agree with you. San Antonio is a unique city with a very unique downtown. It is so historical and has so much ambience. None of these nothing but glass and concrete high rises that just looks like any other American city. San Antonio is different and it should stay that way. Downtown living in San Antonio is awesome! I am sure it will continue to grow. I have seen many old and historical buildings being remolded into condos. South Texas Bank Building, Neisner Building and the Old Frost Store Building just to name a few. So, San Antonio wants to keep its style and uniqueness and not be like any other US city. Hardberger knows this concept about S.A. He will do the city wonders.
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  #244  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2005, 6:27 PM
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San Antonio doesn't have a grocery store downtown? I've walked pretty much every street in downtown San Antonio, but I didn't notice that. That's really surprising. There's atleast 1 other major one also and several smaller markets also. One at the Dobie, on 6th Street and Congress, then we have an Eckerds--sp? and a 7-11. And there's atleast 1 more convience store on the western side of downtown.

I think San Antonio definitely has the daytime and evening crowds. I think the thing with San Antonio is that when people go there they just figure that everyone they see walking around is a tourist. And some of the people clearly are, I mean 2 weeks ago when I was in downtown San Antonio walking around I had a family drive up and flag me down asking for directions to the Alamo. I gave them. But obiviously some of those people do live down there and of course work there.

My impression of San Antonio though is that not all of downtown is busy, touristy and vibrant. Particularly on the opposite side of downtown from the Alamo and the convention center. The areas around the Weston Centre, Bank of America Plaza, One Riverwalk Place, the Adams Mark Hotel, (Now called the Crown Plaza Hotel). That area is not busy. Those buildings are of course in use no doubt, but you don't see the heavy foot traffic, or for that matter auto traffic like you do on the other side of downtown near the Alamo and convention center. And the extreme far side of downtown from the convention center, near I-35, that area is really sleepy. There's a lot of parking lots and not much to do in the way of touristy stuff with shops and things. And there's even a few 10-story buildings that are completely vacant and boarded up. I have them listed at Skyscrapers.com, but can't remember off the top of my head their name. I took their pictures also. But the way I look at it is, those are just areas that havn't filled in "yet". A lot of those "gritty" vacant 10-story buildings would be great to be renovated and turned into residential. Every city has those places. Including Austin. Downtown San Antonio has HUGE potential. I have never been to a city that compete with the culture, the atmosphere of it's downtown, in touch with nature, the Riverwalk is the coolest place on the planet. I love walking through downtown for hours getting worn out, tired and hot then taking the Riverwalk back and being replinished by the plants and the water. I especially enjoy the Riverwalk because enjoy plants, growing things, gardening and landscaping working out in the yard. I get that from my dad. So walking a long the Riverwalk and seeing the same kind of plants that I have in our yard, only 3 to 4 times as big is pretty cool.
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  #245  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2005, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
San Antonio doesn't have a grocery store downtown?
There are lots of little grocery markets downtown, but no real bog box place like an HEB or whatever.

But I like that about downtown, mom and pop grocery stores beat big box anyday!
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  #246  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2005, 8:53 PM
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Not all are new construction but old historic building conversions like the the few examples that I linked.
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  #247  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2005, 8:55 PM
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What about the Handy Andy downtown on Presa .Did the chain close last year?
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  #248  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2005, 9:31 PM
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maybe not last year, but it closed recently
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  #249  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2005, 5:56 AM
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The Handy Andy near my house is now a La Fiesta.
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  #250  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2005, 2:42 PM
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This is good news for the business community in San Antonio! United Finally adds a flight to Washington Dulles!

San Antonio to Washington nonstop flight announced
Web Posted: 08/02/2005 12:00 AM CDT

David Hendricks
Express-News Business Writer

United Airlines announced Monday it will begin nonstop, daily roundtrip service between San Antonio and Washington Dulles International Airport on Oct. 31.

The service will be on United Express' CRJ-700 regional jet seating 70 passengers. The daily flight schedule and fares will be announced later this week, United Airlines spokesman Jeff Green said.

San Antonio economic development leaders hailed the news as a breakthrough, since a nonstop route to Washington has been a priority for the business and military communities since the 1990s.

"A nonstop to Washington, D.C., has been one of the highest transportation destination travel issues for literally a decade or more," said Joe Krier, president of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

"Our members have repeatedly urged us to work on getting a nonstop to Washington, so the United Express announcement to Dulles is great news. We certainly will encourage the business community to take advantage of it, and we hope it is a great success," Krier said.

Green said the route was selected because of the company's market research. "We see a demand," Green said.

Krier said demand for the San Antonio-Washington nonstop flight will come from three categories.

Many military officials often travel on business to Washington but cannot travel on military aircraft. Numerous San Antonio businesses contract with the federal government and must fly to Washington often, and many of the national associations that hold conventions have headquarters in the Washington area.

A nonstop flight to Washington could lead to more meeting planners to schedule more conventions in San Antonio, not only because the association staffs will like the flight arrangements better but more speakers from Washington could be added to convention agendas, said Marco Barros, executive director of the San Antonio Area Tourism Council.

"The city Convention & Visitors Bureau will send e-mails to meeting planners to notify them of this new flight," Barros said. "They basically need six months to one year in advance. The sooner the better."

Krier said his chamber will work immediately with United to assure the flight's success.

"The first thing we'll do is get United's guy down here and get more information," Krier said. "We need to know what level of support is needed and what the test period is. Can we get a plane (eventually) with first-class service? Competitors will watch this route to see how well this does."

Green wouldn't speculate on that. "We constantly review our schedules and routes to make sure we're operating at the proper level of demand, but I cannot predict anything about future service," he said.

Barros said the more the San Antonio's business community supports the flight, the more airlines will support it with more flights and bigger aircraft. "We'll need passenger loads of 80 to 85 percent capacity on this first flight to start," he said.

According to United Airlines' Internet site, airline miles accumulated on United Express flights count toward United's Mileage Plus frequent flier program.

Krier said the chamber's long-term goal will be to get a flight into Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport, which is across the Potomac River from the capital city. Dulles airport is a little more than 20 miles west of Washington, D.C., near Reston, Va.

But Krier acknowledged that the Reagan airport's perimeter rule, which prohibits flights longer than 1,250 miles, remains a challenge. San Antonio is 1,381 miles away.
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  #251  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2005, 1:30 AM
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For the first time in my life I can now say that downtown is kickin' every weekend. I mean there have always been mad crowds but for the past few months, almost every bar and club downtown is brimming on the weekends and this summer it seems like it's a week-long thing. The best part is that most of the people supporting downtown are locals now. My only complaint is that everything seems to close at 2am. You should see the people spill out onto the streets of downtown at 2am looking for somewhere to go.....I see another untapped market.
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  #252  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2005, 2:32 AM
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Untapped is an understatement! lol bars stop serving alcohol at 2am in the state of Texas. Thats why.
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  #253  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2005, 4:46 AM
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well I'm not old enough to get into clubs and bars, only 17 here, so lucky you guys that you get the full experiance!
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  #254  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2005, 11:08 PM
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So what is the latest on Piazza San Lorenzo.....is there a website? It seems like there is no news.....on anything recently. Hmmph......slow summer.
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  #255  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2005, 2:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starvinggryphon
So what is the latest on Piazza San Lorenzo.....is there a website? It seems like there is no news.....on anything recently. Hmmph......slow summer.
Raba recently/finally bought the three buildings that will now become Piazza San Lorenzo, that was the only hold up.

Construction should begin soon,
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  #256  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2005, 3:46 PM
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Hotel Contessa's timing favorable
Web Posted: 08/05/2005 12:00 AM CDT

Adolfo Pesquera
Express-News business writer

Some interruptions are a blessing.

Had the hotel that was once to be named Embassy Suites started construction as originally planned, its first anniversary in business would have been marred by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and its bookings dried up by the travel drought that followed.

Today, the timing is much better and the name is more appropriate. What is now the Hotel Contessa is, after all, on a bank of the San Antonio River in a former colonial possession of the Spanish crown.

Under construction since the spring — after delays caused by a dispute over an exclusivity deal — scaffolding still surrounds the project. Dust, wooden planks and a beehive of construction workers provide a shroud to a luxury hotel whose coming out is scheduled for early November.

Judging by its lobby alone, the 12-story hotel will be among the most impressive in the city.

Guests entering the terraced lobby at street level will have an immediate view across its expanse to the river. There are similarities to the Hyatt Regency with its interior water features and stories-high atrium. Down the stairs of the lobby to the river level, Hotel Contessa guests will arrive at a two-story waterfall graced with tall palm trees.

A skylight that spans more than 1,200 square feet beams natural light down 12 stories. Balcony terraces on each floor provide views down to the lobby.

Dave Lagarce of hotel management company Benchmark Hospitality International will be general manager.

"We have 28 hotels in our portfolio," Lagarce said. "This is the only one in San Antonio."

That exclusivity works for the owners now. But exclusivity obligations with the previous management company were a deal-breaker six years ago when Hixon Properties Inc., the developer, tried to go with the Embassy Suites Hotel chain.

The Embassy name, under control of Hilton Hotels Corp., caused a lawsuit with Palacio del Rio Ltd. The owner of the only downtown Hilton-managed property had enjoyed an exclusivity agreement dating to 1968 and wouldn't tolerate Hilton having dual loyalties with a newcomer just a few blocks down the river.

With the litigation behind it, Hixon joined forces with giant Houston developer Hines Interests. They own the property through Riverton Suites Ltd. and are building with a $30 million loan from Frost National Bank.

Benchmark's strategy for filling up the 265 rooms, all suites, is to market Hotel Contessa as a high-end locale for corporate meetings. There will be 10 state-of-the-art private meeting rooms totaling 10,000 square feet for executive sessions.

Lagarce is quoting room rates between $129 and $289 per night. Amenities include a river-level bar, a restaurant featuring rotisseried meats and other Spanish cuisine, a rooftop pool and a spa.

Hotel Contessa also has the advantage of being the only luxury hotel scheduled to open in 2005. And though Moody's Investors Service has warned investors away from San Antonio's limited-service hotel market, claiming it's overbuilt, there is still confidence in the high-end market.

Second-quarter hotel occupancy rates were the city's strongest on record, noted David Cooksey, research and development director at the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau. San Antonio's 70.3 percent occupancy rate was second only to San Diego among its Southwest competition.

"This year, especially this summer, has been our best ever," Cooksey said. "Next year should be a strong year, just like this year. So (Hotel Contessa) is opening at a great time."
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  #257  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2005, 12:13 AM
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Texboy, I totally missed your pics of downtown San Antonio in this thread on page 3. I just now saw them, and they're nice. Would you be up for adding the pics of the Hotel Contessa to Skyscrapers.com? I took a few pics of it last month from two parking garages but haven't gotten them developed yet. Your's look nice.
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  #258  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2005, 5:01 PM
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I would love to add those pics of Contessa to skyscrapers!
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  #259  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2005, 6:27 AM
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Cool. If you'd like to become a photographer for the website you could add more pics, not just the Hotel Contessa. It's easy to do and it's a lot of fun. I've been doing it for 5 years now.

Check these two links for info.
http://www.emporis.com/en/ab/he/pa/ph/

Go here to apply.
http://www.emporis.com/en/ab/he/pa/ph/ap/

If you don't want to become a photographer for the site, and just add a few pics that's ok. You can email them to me in a few weeks or so and I'll add them. My email is still down now so I can't send or recieve emails. I'm also swamped with work to do for the site. If you decide to do it you'll really enjoy it. Your pictures are really nice so they'd be a lot of help to the San Antonio page.
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  #260  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2005, 8:03 AM
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Hey Kevin,
What happenned to Chris Patriarca from emporis.com? Is he still with emporis? Used to communicate with him via internet, but haven't heard from him in awhile.
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