West Side Revitalization
5:15 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Old City Service Center On West Side Approved For Redevelopment

The City Council has voted to sell land it no longer needs so that it can be redeveloped into shops and businesses.

The location of the land is on South Zarzamora, where the service center that houses public works, fire and solid waste departments will close this summer. A new service center, currently under construction, will open up at West Commerce and Callaghan Road.

GFR Development Services bid on the old land on Zarzamora to build a shopping center that District 5 City Councilman David Medina said will be a boom on his side of town.

"With the size and footprint of this particular property, there'd be potential for hundreds of jobs to be created for a community, for a part of town that has been requesting and demanding that we as a city take action in order to encourage and spur more development, and create more economic opportunities," Medina said.

District 10 Councilman Carlton Soules, like everyone else, supported the project, but he wanted the sale of the old service center to help pay for the new service center, and made a friendly amendment to do just that.

"It's not a stretch to say we need to take money from one service center to another when we've already approved the plan and we've already purchased property," Souls said.

The amendment put a twist on the ultimate vote because District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal said he would like more discussion on where the money goes.

"I'm not comfortable with on-the-spot horse trading, or on-the-spot allocation of funds because we haven't had a chance to talk about," Bernal said, and when it came time to vote, Bernal motioned for the money to go into the general fund.

Medina already accepted Soules' amendment and interrupted Mayor Julián Castro just before a vote.

"I mean, if I vote on Councilman Bernal's motion, then it would be that I was voting against the project when I'm not against the project," Medina said.

Soules then withdrew his amendment saying that he wouldn't ask his fellow councilman to vote against his own project.

The item passed and the developer will now submit applications to rezone the property.