By Bill O’Neil
Finally–after years of discussion–the City of San Antonio officially has a plan for the Red Berry Estate.
City Council has given a green light to a re-development proposal that will see commercial development, new jobs and the construction of new apartment homes on the property.
“It (the housing portion) includes 330 multi-family housing units” the City’s Lori Houston said, adding “50% will be at a market rate level, and the remaining 50% will be at or below 80% of the area’s median income.”
Councilman William “Cruz” Shaw sees the plan as a first-class project for the Eastside.
“We’re looking at 500 to 550 jobs in the immediate area” Shaw told his colleagues, seeing the development plan as a potential anchor that might convince some Eastsiders who moved away to come back home.
The plan includes incentives for the creation of additional jobs as well.
“Those opportunities were not there–they were lacking. I think this project provides that opportunity so we can start training for a succession plan for our community” Shaw said.
There are some critics however who raise the question of whether or not the City will get enough cash back out of the project–given the amount of money it has poured in to the Red Berry Estate over the years.
“From that perspective, it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to me for what the City did to invest in that property and what we’re going to get back out of it over twenty years” Councilman John Courage said, also questioning whether the housing component will really create affordable spaces for people living in the area.
Work could begin in the weeks ahead.