Developers plan on constructing a walk-able mix of office space, retail stores, restaurants and apartments over 114 vacant acres in the UTSA area. The project (part of the SA Tomorrow Plan) will be bounded by UTSA Boulevard, Hausman Road, Interstate 10 and the Leon Creek Greenway. The development is still in the early stages of design, but its creators and investors have described it as being a very social area, similar to the Pearl in downtown San Antonio or the Blue Star Arts Complex in the neighborhood referred to as Southtown.

Southtown, home of many swanky restaurants and hip boutique storefronts, is a great place to take a date. It’s a San Antonio story of refurbishment and revitalization.

It is also a glaring example of a disturbing trend in urban neighborhoods: gentrification.

Gentrification is a common and controversial topic in urban planning. The “revitalization” of ur- ban neighborhoods usually results in increased property values that dis- place lower-income residents and small businesses.

For students who live near UTSA, the glimmer of new restaurants and shops may fade with the potential of residents being “priced out” of the area near campus.

In a community inundated with “luxury student housing,” (Prado, Luxx, Tetro) will this development result in even fewer affordable housing options for students who would like to live in close proximity to UTSA?

The multi-use development will be five times larger than the Pearl and is estimated for completion in 2019-20. Incoming freshman will be seniors as the development is underway and will be the first class to feel its economic effect.

The cost of attending college is more than the price of tuition and textbooks.

Without affordable housing options, student debt will only increase.

 

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