Inner-City Reinvestment Progress Report From Henry Cisneros

Mar 7, 2013

Mayor Julián Castro's movement to re-energize downtown is at the heart of dozens of active projects, and one of the goals of the mayor's transformation programs, SA2020, is to attract people to the city core by building 7,500 apartment units.

One of Castro's confidants is Henry Cisneros, who leads CityView, a company that works with builders to create homes priced within the range of average families.

Cisneros said it's reasonable to expect an increase in the number of people who will live in or near downtown and he thinks it will attract demand for other services like grocery stores and pharmacies.

"That expectation is solid. It's real," he said. "It can be increased by many thousands of people."

However, because many people still want a yard, he doesn't see the dominant form of growth to be downtown.

"Will there every be a mass movement in which downtown becomes the principal destination of growth? I don't think that'll be the case because patterns of migration show that people still want the suburban life, families want their children in particular schools," Cisneros said.

Still, people like empty nesters, young professionals and those who want to be close to work will flock to the center.

Cisneros has proven to be a go-to for the mayor, who says the decade of downtown is happening now.