How To Use This Plan

Plan Purpose

This Plan proposes a medium-term vision, recommendations, and strategies for improving and developing the Downtown Area Regional Center over the next ten years. The Plan is an implementation component of the City of San Antonio’s SA Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan. Adopted in 2016, the Comprehensive Plan is the City’s long-range land use and policy plan that is intended to be a blueprint for future growth and development through the year 2040. The Downtown Area Regional Center Plan is an implementation-oriented Sub-Area plan that will further develop recommendations from the SA Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan to guide growth and development that accommodates projected housing and employment increases, and to fulfill other Comprehensive Plan goals and policies through a community-based planning process.

The Regional Center Plan honors and integrates previously adopted neighborhood and community plans while providing an equitable path for all neighborhoods to participate in planning, to create priorities, and to advocate for implementing their priorities in the future.

Intent of the Plan

The Downtown Area Regional Center Plan will be the essential tool to guide future development and City invest­ment in the plan area based on the vision and goals for the Downtown Area. A diverse assemblage of stakeholders met for a series of nine planning team meetings over 15 months to make recommendations that support both the policy direction of the Comprehensive Plan as well as the community’s aspirations. This work culminated with achievable recommendations and strategies that will be utilized by City Departments, partner agencies, private entities, and community partners to guide policies and investments that implement appropriate and desired development patterns as well as the creation and support of livable, complete neighborhoods.

How to Use This Plan

The vision for the Downtown Area Regional Center can be realized through implementation of the Plan Framework, with recommendations and strategies related to the following topics:  Land Use, Focus Areas, Mobility, Amenities and Infrastructure, Housing, and Economic Development. These recommendations and strategies include policy and regulatory matters, partnerships, and investments. Plan recommendations are written to provide actionable specificity while still allowing the flexibility needed to adapt to unforeseen challenges or opportunities.

Coordination with Adopted Plans

The City of San Antonio adopted several plans in recent decades for individual neighborhoods or parts of the Downtown Area Regional Center. Each of these plans is described in the Downtown Plan. Some specific recommendations from these plans are directly referenced as complementary to achieving the Downtown Area Regional Center Plan vision and goals. Each of the plans was used as a foundational element for creating the Downtown Plan. The previously adopted plans include important historical information, policies reflecting the values of participants at the time of their adoption, detailed information and recommendations for specific places and issues such as for a single neighborhood, for a district in the Downtown area, a park or plaza, and topics not addressed by the Downtown Area Regional Center Plan in the realms of social services, law enforcement, and organizational strategies for neighborhood associations and other organizations that created the plans. These plans include but are not limited to:

  • Lone Star Community Plan
  • Dignowity Hill Neighborhood Plan/Eastside Reinvestment Plan
  • River North District Master Plan
  • Downtown Neighborhood Plan
  • Downtown Neighborhood Plan – West Neighborhood Update
  • Guadalupe Westside Community Plan
  • South Central Community Plan
  • Alamodome Neighborhood Plan
  • Arena District/Eastside Community Plan
  • Lavaca Neighborhood Plan
  • HemisFair Park Area Master Plan
  • UTSA Campus Master Plan
  • Alamo Plaza Master Plan
  • Center City Strategic Framework Implementation Plan
  • Zona Cultural Revitalization Plan
  • Downtown Transportation Study
  • VIA Villa Vision Plan
  • Urban Lighting Master Plan

The Downtown Area Regional Center Plan was also developed to complement and contribute to the implementation of the following regional and citywide plans:

  • San Antonio’s Housing Policy Framework
  • SA Tomorrow Multi-modal Transportation Plan
  • SA Tomorrow Sustainability Plan
  • SA Corridors Strategic Framework Plan
  • VIA’s Vision 2040 Plan
  • River South Area Management Plan
  • SA Parks System Plan

In implementing the Downtown Area Regional Center Plan, further consideration should be given to the recommendations of emerging and ongoing planning processes, including but not limited to:

  • VIA’s Rapid Transit Corridors planning
  • SA Climate Ready
  • San Antonio’s Housing Policy Framework implementation programs
  • San Antonio Sidewalk Master Plan
  • Vision Zero San Antonio Initiative
  • ConnectSA

Statutory Requirements

Once adopted by City Council, the Downtown Area Regional Center Plan becomes a com­ponent of the City’s SA Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan. Previously adopted neighborhood, community, and sector land use plans that are contained within or partially overlap the Downtown Regional Center Plan are identified as a foundational part of the Downtown Area Regional Center Plan. However, where a previous plan and the Downtown Area Regional Center Plan have conflicting land use designations within the adopted boundary of the Downtown Regional Center Plan, the Sub-Area Plan will be plan of reference. Similarly, where a previous plan and the Downtown Area Regional Center Plan have conflicting policies or priorities within the adopted boundary of the Downtown Area Regional Center Plan, the Sub-Area Plan will be City policy.

By virtue of the plan adoption process, all proposed projects must be found to be consistent with the SA Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan, and as such, the Downtown Area Regional Center Plan must be consulted when proposing a public investment or a land use project that requires deviation from current entitlements.

Plan Framework Recommendations

Focus Areas

Strategy #1

Major transportation infrastructure projects should be designed to improve mobility and accessibility for multiple transportation modes and contribute to creating unique and high-quality public places in focus areas and mixed-use corridors.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Priority should be given to funding major infrastructure and amenity projects that support the vision for Downtown's focus areas and mixed-use corridors.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #3

Incorporate design justice, environmental justice, and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles into the design process for major infrastructure and amenity projects that support the vision for Downtown's focus areas and mixed-use corridors.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Create zoning districts in the Unified Development Code (UDC) that make pedestrian-, transit-, and amenity-supportive mixed-use development the default and predictable path for new development to use in mixed-use corridors and focus areas.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Evaluate, and update as needed, tree planting, green stormwater management, and access management ordinances/guidelines for their impact on new development feasibility in focus areas and mixed-use corridors.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #3

Review the Future Land Use map and existing zoning of properties within focus area and along mixed-use corridors to identify areas in need of City-initiated zoning changes.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #4

Consistent with the Downtown Area Regional Center Plan future land use plan, zoning code and map changes in the vicinity of VIA's proposed Rapid Transit Corridors and station areas should follow guidance provided by the:
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Downtown's focus areas and mixed-use corridors are appropriate places for the city to apply new affordable housing incentive and funding tools, such as the Neighborhood Improvements Bond funds, Center City Housing Incentive Program (CCHIP), City of San Antonio Fee Waiver Program, density bonuses, Low Income Housing Tax Credit support, public housing, land banking, and other recommendations from the 2018 Housing Policy Framework.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Existing affordable and workforce housing in focus areas and mixed-use corridors should be incentivized to remain affordable and not be replaced by higher priced housing.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #3

City initiated rezoning in focus areas and mixed-use corridors should be done strategically to not preclude opportunities to incent new affordable and workforce housing.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Amend the UDC to create or update zoning districts, design standards, and design guidelines to provide guidance on transitions between higher intensity development and existing lower intensity development that includes considerations for solar access, shade, privacy, drainage, and other factors.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Amend or create design guidelines to require or encourage public spaces to be incorporated in redevelopment projects.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Support the replacement of on-street parking with small, privately maintained public gathering spaces within public rights-of-way, such as parklets. These may include seating for nearby businesses.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #3

Ensure redevelopment of city-owned property provides publicly accessible public space for active or passive recreation.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Priority should be given to complete streets and pedestrian streetscape improvements in and adjacent to focus areas and mixed-use corridors that support the vision for Downtown's focus areas and mixed-use corridors.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

As redevelopment occurs within focus areas and mixed-use corridors, encourage private investment in amenities that support safe and accessible multi-modal transportation for all users, so that each infill development is contributing to the vision for Downtown's focus areas and mixed-use corridors.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Mobility

Strategy #1

Continue evaluating and implementing proven strategies and best practices improvements, potentially including traffic calming and Complete Streets principles, which improve safety for all users and help achieve San Antonio's Vision Zero goals. Highest priority areas are the identified Severe Pedestrian Injury Areas (SPIAs). Analysis of pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle crash data, along with community input, identified as priorities the following:
  • Flores Street from Euclid Street to El Paso Street;
  • Martin Street from Comal Street to Flores Street;
  • Commerce Street from Alamo Plaza to Bowie Street;
  • Commerce Street from Smith Street to Santa Rosa Street;
  • St. Mary's Street from Commerce Street to Travis Street;
  • Market Street from St. Mary's Street to Alamo Street.
Encourage coordination with Bond projects, Infrastructure Management Plan (IMP) projects, and partner agencies such as TxDOT.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

In anticipation of adding more density to land use and due to current needs, make investments in well-designed crossings that incorporate best practices for safety and placemaking at the intersections of:
  • IH-10 and Martin Street;
  • IH-10 and Houston Street;
  • IH-10 and Buena Vista Street;
  • IH-10 and Cesar Chavez Boulevard;
  • IH-10 and Presa Street;
  • IH-10 and Probandt Street;
  • IH-37 and Jones Avenue;
  • IH-37 and Brooklyn Avenue;
  • IH-37 and Nolan Street;
  • IH-37 and Houston Street;
  • IH-37 and Commerce Street;
  • IH-37 and Cesar Chavez Boulevard;
  • IH-37 and Carolina Street;
  • IH-37 and Florida Street;
  • Roosevelt Avenue and the Union Pacific Railroad Underpass;
  • Probandt Street and Cevallos Street;
  • Probandt Street and Lone Star Boulevard;
  • Probandt Street and Alamo Street;
  • Mission Road and Steves Avenue; and
  • South Presa Street and the Union Pacific Railroad Tracks
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Conduct a Complete Streets study to find opportunities to reduce pedestrian crossing times, increasing pedestrian crossing opportunities, consolidate and/or relocate driveways, and reduce operational speeds. The following street segments are ideal for study and implementation:
  • St. Mary's Street (from Cesar Chavez Boulevard to Roosevelt Avenue);
  • San Pedro Avenue (from IH-35 to Main Avenue);
  • Martin Street (from Colorado Street to Broadway Street);
  • Houston Street (from IH-37 to Cherry Street);
  • Frio Street (from Cesar Chavez Boulevard to Alamo Street);
  • Cherry Street (from Dawson Street to Iowa Street);
  • Probandt Street (from IH-10/ US Hwy 90 to West Theo Avenue);
  • Mitchell Street (from Flores Street to Presa Street);
  • Alamo Street (from Frio Street to Probandt Street);
  • Flores Street (from IH-35 to Mitchell Street);
  • McCullough Avenue (from IH-35 to IH-37);
  • Nolan Street (from IH-37 to Cherry Street);
  • Guadalupe Street (from Flores Street to Alazan Creek); and
  • Cesar Chavez Boulevard (from Santa Rosa Street to Cherry Street)
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Incorporate pedestrian supporting streetscape improvements into complete streets projects and in segments of other prominent streets that serve or will serve a large number of pedestrian users including:
  • Pedestrian priority zones;
  • McCullough Avenue from IH-35 to St. Mary's Street;
  • McCullough Avenue and Nolan Street from Bonham Street to Cherry Street;
  • San Pedro Avenue from IH-35 to Main Avenue;
  • Flores Street from IH-35 to Martin Street;
  • Martin Street from IH-35 to Flores Street;
  • Frio Street from Martin Street to Commerce Street;
  • Frio Street from Cesar Chavez Boulevard to Guadalupe Street;
  • Cherry Street from Commerce Street to Iowa Street;
  • Labor Street from Cesar Chavez Boulevard to Presa Street;
  • Flores Street from Guadalupe Street to Cevallos Street;
  • Cevallos Street from Flores Street to Probandt Street;
  • Alamo Street from Flores Street to Probandt Street; and
  • Steves Avenue from Probandt Street to Roosevelt Avenue
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #3

Continue to complete the Downtown Area bicycle and sidewalk network by implementing priority projects and adding facilities as streets are repaved or reconstructed. As shown on the Mobility Recommendations Map, priority locations to implement this strategy include:
  • Navarro Street/St. Mary's Street/Roosevelt Avenue (from IH-35 to Hansford Street);
  • Alamo Street (from IH-35 to Houston Street);
  • Jones Avenue (from IH-35 to IH-37);
  • Nueva Street (from South Pecos La Trinidad to Cherry Street, through Hemisfair Park); and
  • Probandt Street (from IH-10 to Theo Avenue)
Corridors identified for complete streets should also incorporate cycling infrastructure as a component of the design based on future studies by the Transportation and Capital Improvements (TCI) Department to determine feasibility and the types of facilities needed.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #4

Initiate a Bike Master Plan update to prioritize and understand the feasibility of critical bike network links.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #5

Update the Downtown Transportation Plan to align strategies with current and ongoing planning by VIA Metropolitan Transit and the Texas Department of Transportation.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Conduct a feasibility study to investigate the costs and challenges to acquire right-of-way, fund, and construct an extension of Cesar Chavez Boulevard including a railroad crossing and bridge spanning Alazan Creek.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Conduct a Complete Streets study to find opportunities to reduce pedestrian crossing time, improve pedestrian lighting, expand bicycle networks, and reduce operational speeds on Guadalupe Street from Alazan Creek (the western extent of the plan) to Flores Street.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Develop curb space management and right-of-way guidelines that accommodate new technologies, including shared mobility options and autonomous vehicles. Shared mobility and micromobility choices, such as Transportation Networking Companies and rideshare platforms, are already changing travel behavior in Downtown. Micromobility, such as scooters, also provides a popular way to complete shorter trips or overcome first/last mile challenges. As more residents and visitors utilize these options (versus defaulting to private vehicle trips), street and station area design will need to accommodate these preferences while ensuring the continued safety of pedestrians. The following actions will allow San Antonio to anticipate and facilitate these shifts in travel demand and behavior:
  • Create a working group of transportation technology industry leadership to understand forthcoming technologies;
  • Collect and analyze curbside utilization data, utilize smart sensing technology to understand changing demand, and connect these patterns to curbspace management and provision;
  • Offer flexible curb space allocation that will change according to new transportation options; and
  • Partner with autonomous vehicle and shared mobility representatives to integrate operational needs into parking, roadway, and transit station design.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Develop freight delivery management policies that accommodate changing delivery patterns and needs. Curbside delivery designations should be considered alongside parking to allocate space for competing demands. These policies should ensure access for commercial traffic downtown, recognizing the economic importance of on-time deliveries.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Develop parking management strategies for the Downtown area integrating both privately- and publically-operated facilities that provide information on parking availability and help route one-time or infrequent visitors to these parking areas more efficiently. The system would include information on parking availability at key locations, as well as traffic conditions, and utilize guide signs to help visitors find their way to desired parking areas.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Evaluate street and intersection design for transit reliability chokepoints, like common violations of bus-only lanes, at-grade railroad crossings, and vehicular traffic, and prioritize multimodal investments to ensure reliable alternatives to vehicular travel. Most of Downtown experiences levels of congestion that interfere with transit service reliability. However, identified focus areas where existing service faces travel time delay include:
  • Flores Street from IH-35 to Alamo Street;
  • Martin Street from IH-35 to Houston Street;
  • Cesar Chavez Boulevard from Frio Street to Presa Street; and
  • IH-37 from Jones Avenue to Cesar Chavez Boulevard
Potential multimodal improvements that would require study before implementation include:
  • Peak hour or bus-only lanes that give priority to buses in times of heavy traffic;
  • Queue jump traffic signals to allow buses a chance to get ahead of the traffic;
  • Special event priority lanes that give priority to buses during the traffic surges of planned events; and
  • Bus bulbs to allow buses to pick up passengers without entering/exiting traffic.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #3

Encourage more support for transit choices during special events, better information on parking availability, and improved information on road closures due to special events and construction. Work with venues to create special event parking zones, especially off-site parking and shuttles, and designate pick-up zones and policies for rideshare vehicles. Working with venues and third-party providers (e.g. TNC applications or Waze) can also help disseminate information about these options through ticketing purchases or mobile applications. Special events and construction create additional transportation management needs. Numerous Downtown events significantly increase congestion around performances, festivals, and other special events. Similarly, construction in Downtown also strains roadways, limiting usage of lanes and creating navigation challenges for vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Implement first/last mile strategies, such as sidewalks, curb ramps, crosswalks, bicycle facilities, etc., at VIA Metropolitan Transit Transfer Areas and Primo and Rapid Transit Corridor station areas, in order to promote access to transit by creating inviting, quality public space at stations. Investments focused in station areas should consider the implementation timeline and prioritize areas of both rapid transit and fixed-route services based on current VIA rapid transit corridor studies.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

When VIA Rapid Transit Corridor Stations are designated, complete studies determining the application of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) zoning Future development in these station areas should be consistent with the VIA Urban Design Guidelines for Transit Station Areas, including:
  • Density - Increased neighborhood amenities and destinations near stations and stops influence the type of transit services offered in an area. Transit frequency is directly dependent on density - the more people and jobs within an area, the more transit frequency is justified.
  • Design - Buildings designed for the pedestrian; placed and oriented along the front of the street with parking on-street, placed behind or structured, and with direct access to first-floor building activities are vital components of transit-supportive design.
  • Mix of Uses - Providing a mix of residential, employment, and retail uses within walking distance of a transit stop or transit station is beneficial to the community and make walking and riding transit more efficient choices for meeting daily needs.
  • Walkability - Pleasantly designed, walkable places are attractive areas where people desire to travel on foot or by mobility device. An active street with development continuous along many blocks encourages economic activity. Investments to improve the pedestrian realm include streetscape enhancements in public spaces, such as continuous level surfaces, street furniture, lighting, landscaping, and shading devices, where applicable.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Amenities and Infrastructure

Strategy #1

Include street trees when reconstructing sidewalks, curbs, and gutters to provide additional shade within focus areas and along mixed-use corridors and other priority pedestrian routes in and around Downtown. Where possible, tree placement should be done in conjunction with low impact development (LID) using elements such as curbside tree wells and planter boxes.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Maintain and improve a healthy tree canopy throughout Downtown's residential areas.
  • Developers should be given credit towards tree maintenance and landscaping requirements for planting and successfully maintaining street trees that are large enough to shade sidewalks. This will contribute to more comfortable walking temperatures in the neighborhoods as well as Downtown's focus areas and mixed-use corridors.
  • Planting strips should be preserved or added between the streets and sidewalks and used to plant trees that can provide shade within the neighborhoods.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #3

Encourage public art, murals, greenscaping with vines or green walls in highly urban, Downtown environments, such as the Downtown Core Investment Area, where blank walls face a secondary street. This strategy will contribute to creating a more comfortable streetscape environment while promoting a more human scale along frontages with blank facades.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #4

Improve street lighting in the Downtown core, and in the surrounding neighborhoods and districts.
  • Street lighting is important in Downtown, especially in focus areas and mixed-use corridors for the same reasons that it is valued in neighborhood areas, primarily to make people feel safe, secure, and visible at night
  • Street lighting in focus areas and mixed-use corridors can also contribute to the unique character of each area with decorative light fixtures/poles and can serve to highlight that a certain set of street segments or a mixed-use node at a particular intersection is special, with extra lighting that is intentionally designed to complement the character of the place and encourage night time use.
  • As investments are made to implement the San Antonio Urban Lighting Master Plan, street lighting should be installed at selected commercial mixed-use nodes within focus areas and mixed-use corridors identified in this Plan where the mix of uses, transit service, and density will support active pedestrian uses at night.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #5

Utilize decorative lighting and other pedestrian treatments to encourage pedestrian connections across IH-10, IH-35, and IH-37 into surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Establish a Cultural Network that provides connections between many of the existing cultural assets and amenities within the Downtown Area Regional Center and adjacent neighborhoods in the Westside Community Plan and the Eastside Community Plan Areas, areas in the Midtown Area Regional Center Plan like San Pedro Springs and the Broadway Cultural Corridor, and the Historic San Antonio Missions.
  • Prioritize a main loop and then connect to additional cultural assets and amenities with extensions and spurs stemming from the main Cultural Network loop.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Create better signage and wayfinding directing people between the waterway trails and pathways and the street level of Downtown.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #3

Ensure that the street level of buildings along the San Antonio River and San Pedro Creek are active and inviting.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Reduce the impact of the freeway loop by incorporating better lighting, art, public spaces and other means of activating what are typically dark and uninviting spaces.
  • Projects should be prioritized that improve and activate underpasses with public art, improved lighting, and other amenities. Pedestrian and bicycle crossings should be safe and comfortable.
  • Development adjacent to the highways should better leverage the adjacency to activate the areas.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Improve railroad crossings, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Roadway improvements at rail crossings should provide more definition to the right-of-way and enhanced pedestrian and bicycle amenities where possible.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #3

Ensure that crossings of major roads are frequent and designed to optimize safety for people walking and biking in Downtown.
  • Crossing locations, especially along major roads, should be prioritized for improvements to reduce crossing distances, prioritize pedestrians, integrate identity and gateway features, and improve overall comfort and safety.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #4

Consolidate and/or bury above ground utilities as new development and redevelopment occurs.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Continue to invest in existing parks and plazas to make them attractive and inviting to all potential users.
  • Improvements should include addition of public restroom facilities, in addition to places to sit, shade, kiosks and other amenities, to ensure basic human needs are met and to create attractive, engaging places.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Integrate new community gathering spaces into public improvement projects.
  • Opportunities should be prioritized to add additional community gathering space to the southern half of the Downtown Area Regional Center.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #3

Encourage the incorporation of publicly accessible community gathering spaces into private development projects.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #4

Ensure that streetscapes incorporate interactive elements that allow children to play.
  • Spaces that empower children to safely play, with murals or games painted on the pavement, imaginative street furniture, and shade trees, are also pleasant and inviting spaces for adults to occupy and can serve as a reminder that Downtown is a neighborhood.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Incorporate art and lighting into alleys to make them more attractive and celebrate the unique character of different buildings and blocks within Downtown.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Work to coordinate schedules and explore consolidation of trash removal, deliveries and other alley uses to allow for temporary or permanent alley activation with tables, chairs and other furnishings and amenities.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #3

Evaluate the network of alleys to identify one or more that should be improved to bolster pedestrian connectivity within the Downtown core. In some downtowns, one or more alleys have been used to supplement the pedestrian network where other on-street or pathway connections are constrained or lacking. In these cases, communities have invested in hardscape and landscape improvements to make the alley or alleys even more inviting and legible as a priority pedestrian corridor.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Identify opportunities for enhanced green infrastructure when streets, alleys, and other public properties are improved and/or rebuilt throughout the Downtown Area Regional Center.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Encourage Low Impact Development techniques in site planning, design and landscaping of private development projects.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Downtown's future land use plan was created to accommodate significant population and employment growth, which in turn should support additional full-service grocery stores. Subsequent future land use decisions should support additional grocery opportunities.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Support alternative healthy food sources, such as a local cooperative grocery, farmers markets, community gardens, and gardens at homes, businesses, schools, and places of worship.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Land Use

Strategy #1

When rezoning properties in this plan area, properties west of Salado Street and the railroad and south of Martin Street should maintain/or/retain zoning districts appropriate for the Employment/Flex Mixed-Use land use category. The zoning of properties East of IH-37, south of Virginia Boulevard and north of Carolina Street should also be consistent with the Employment/Flex Mixed-Use designation. This will create appropriate transitions to the neighboring communities while stimulating reinvestment and redevelopment that is appropriate for the area.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

The Downtown Design Guide should be revisited for possible revisions to create transitions in scale and intensity along the periphery of the "D" Downtown Zoning District.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

The Downtown Design Guide, River North Master Plan and Form-Based Zoning District, and the Standards for the Downtown Zoning District are the major regulatory instruments which guide site design and development downtown. For each of these documents, standards should be evaluated and revised for: parking requirements; parking lot landscaping, screening and lighting; building heights and setbacks; pedestrian-oriented streetscaping; building facades and fenestration; pedestrian-scaled lighting requirements; bicycle parking requirements; sidewalks; street trees; permitted first floor uses, temporary uses, and accessory uses.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Implement the vision for the Madison Square/River North Focus Area through updates to the River North Master Plan and other applicable plans.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Work with Downtown stakeholders to identify potential revisions to the “D” Downtown zoning district to create a more balanced mix of land uses and building forms that provide transitions to surrounding areas and clear districts within the central business district.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Where appropriate, amend zoning to allow for vertical mixed-use development near transit facilities. Key mixed-use corridors were identified for this plan area, including Flores Street, Frio Street, South Alamo Street, and Probandt Street. For each of these corridors, development and site design should be transit-supportive and pedestrian-oriented. Aggregation around transit facilities, lower parking requirements, and an engaged public space should be encouraged through zoning and other entitlements.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Amend zoning in the Cattleman Square focus area, to align with designated land uses including Urban Mixed-Use, Employment/Flex Mixed-Use and City/State/Federal Government. Alternative transportation options should be incorporated into design and development in this Focus Area, including ample public spaces for pedestrians, bike parking facilities and pedestrian-scaled streetscaping where appropriate. Uses should draw from and be consistent with the VIA Centro Plaza station and UTSA Downtown Campus, while transitioning appropriately to the Westside community.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #3

Legacy industrial properties should be preserved and repurposed through adaptive reuse. To this end, zoning of legacy industrial properties should be amended to align with the Employment/Flex Mixed-Use or Business-Innovation Mixed-Use categories, as indicated on the future land use map. In cases where infill projects do not conform to one of the city's base zoning districts, the use of the "IDZ" Infill Development Zone zoning category might be more appropriate.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Identify and initiate rezoning of residential properties in existing neighborhoods where current use and current zoning is not aligned. This will ensure neighborhood preservation and help to guide residential redevelopment in this plan area.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Housing

Strategy #1

Identify under-utilized publically owned parcels that can be used to catalyze additional redevelopment and housing development with a focus on parcels within focus areas.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Maintain land ownership or long-term control or influence of public lands used for catalytic housing development and affordable housing when possible. Utilize land leases, development agreements/convents, deed-restrictions, the public facilities corporation, and duration of income restrictions to maintain and preserve long term affordability and control of public land assets.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #3

Collaborate with local housing partners to solicit development interest in publically owned sites to create needed housing products in the Downtown Area including (but not limited to) affordable housing, student housing, senior housing, transitional/homeless supportive housing, and others.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Continue to use and periodically revise the Center City Housing Incentive Policy (CCHIP) to help catalyze housing development, especially high density housing in Regional Mixed-use areas and identified focus areas and mixed-use corridors.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Collaborate with UTSA, Alamo Colleges Districts, and other education providers to estimate future needs for student housing and develop a strategy to create student housing options that are affordable and accessible to students in Downtown.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #3

Identify opportunities and remove barriers for existing neighborhoods to accommodate additional housing by allowing for smaller lots, accessory dwelling units and middle-density housing types (e.g. duplex, townhomes) where appropriate, particularly in areas of transition between established low-density residential neighborhoods and higher density neighborhoods.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Develop a goal for the number of new housing units affordable to households earning less than 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI) created in Downtown by 2030. Strive for 20% of new units, based on the CCHIP incentive tiers, until a formal goal has been established.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Utilize and promote the use of current and future Neighborhood Improvement Bonds to create new affordable housing units that match with the needs identified in the Housing Policy Framework.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #3

Identify and initiate rezoning of residential properties in existing neighborhoods where current use and current zoning is not aligned. This will ensure neighborhood preservation and help to guide residential redevelopment in this plan area.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Develop and proactively implement a plan to address involuntary displacement of existing residents in Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Identify a strategy and financial tools that can help mitigate impacts of increases in property values on property taxes and other impacts of escalating property values for lower-income homeowners or owners on fixed incomes.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Economic Development

Strategy #1

Work with the UTSA Downtown Campus to identify strategies to jointly address the addition of amenities and services the Campus will need to accommodate future growth including, but not limited to, student-oriented housing, retail and commercial services, mobility needs, urban place management and security, and parking.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Identify changes to Unified Development Code (UDC) to support the Campus Master Plan and associated development. Explore the need for design guidelines to help create a unified character for development in and around the campus.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #3

Proactively attract to the campus area corporate research activities related to areas of research occurring at the UTSA Downtown Campus. Help form strategic partnerships with the University, public, private, and non-profit sectors to increase commercialization of research through shared data, intellectual property agreements, and addressing technology barriers in the area and region.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Work with Downtown businesses and the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation to develop a promotional strategy for Downtown's technology businesses, support agencies, and employment opportunities to attract tech workers to San Antonio.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Create a center for research commercialization and business incubation near the UTSA Downtown Campus and Downtown Tech Corridor in coordination with regional technology and research partners and UTSA. Create accessible and affordable work spaces for new and growing businesses by providing needed laboratory, testing space, maker spaces, training program space, and co-office spaces. Locate City business support services in or near the center to reduce barriers to business formation and increase access to resources.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #3

Invest in and implement strategies developed for Downtown that are being created as part of the Innovation Zones Smart Cities partnership program, SmartSA.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #4

Incentivize and invest in the creation of new office space within Downtown with a focus on increasing the amount of co-working and flexible office layouts that are supportive of small and growing businesses through the use of under-utilized public lands and assets, fee-waivers, expansion of tax abatement to facilitate new building development, master lease programs, and other economic development resources.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Work with Downtown arts, culture, and historic attractions and institutions to create regular events and programs, such as doors open events, to increase awareness of Downtown attractions.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Utilize locally commissioned art in place-making and focus area designation through installations within areas identified on the Amenities and Infrastructure Framework Plan.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Expand existing and attract additional hospitality education institutions, course offerings, programs and internships programs within Downtown. Explore the creation of applied educational opportunities within Downtown hotels in connection with local and national hospitality education providers.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Work with Downtown stakeholders to identify strategies to address barriers to development of non-hospitality uses and to collaborative parking solutions to allow for the development of Downtown land currently used for parking.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #3

Identify opportunities to attract and increase the presence and number of repeatable tourism events in conjunction with the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Hemisfair, and other area institutions to increase awareness of the central Downtown Area and increase repeat visitation.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #1

Identify a strategy and organization to serve as an urban place management organization for the UTSA Downtown Campus and near Westside Area. Align public financing mechanisms, such as a public improvement district, to support the creation and maintenance of public spaces in the Downtown Campus area.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments

Strategy #2

Identify strategies and partnerships to support the urban place management and activation of public spaces within Focus Areas 3 (Alamodome and St. Paul Square) and Focus Area 5 (LoneStar Brewery, EPICenter) as redevelopment of these areas continues.
  • Regulatory + Policy

  • Partnerships

  • Investments