Residential growth and new business development are quietly moving forward in an area where it might be least expected. The City of Leon Valley is marking the progress with its first major facilities expansion in 40 years.
Nestled in the near-Northwest area of San Antonio, Leon Valley is pretty much land-locked on all sides.
“I would say we are about 90 percent built out." City Manager Manny Longoria said.
Leon Valley is working on redevelopment, but current growth in the city is evident with infill and pockets of new housing. In particular, Longoria said the city is looking forward to seeing development on a prime tract of land zoned for single-family housing.
“West of Bandera Road off of Seneca Road we have about 40 or 45 acres of vacant land there that’s available for residential development," Longoria said. "And then there are little pockets – 10 acres here, 15 acres there – different segments of land that’s available.”
Leon Valley’s population has increased more than fivefold since its incorporation in 1972. And even though there are twice as many city employees, they don’t have any more space than they did since the facility was first built.
In 2012 voters approved a $7 million bond package to construct a new fire station and renovate the other buildings. Kirk Kistner of Bartlett Cocke General Contractors is overseeing the expansion that will give some breathing room to employees that, in some cases, have been occupying closet-sized spaces.
“Right now, police and city administration are sharing a current space. And what’s going to happen is, police will get probably almost double what their current space is because they’re going to take over what was the old fire station. And then city administration will probably increase their space by about a third," Kistner said.
When the project is complete, residents will be able to watch city council meetings online with new technology installations. Leon Valley also recently expanded its new library -- doubling its size -- and is working on hike and bike trails along Huebner Creek that will tie into the City of San Antonio hike and bike system along Leon Creek.