Diego Bernal

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

Downtown San Antonio may be changing with the construction of the first office tower built there since the late 1980s.

A plan by Frost Bank, Weston Urban and the city of San Antonio is in the works in a public-private partnership to build an "iconic" office tower catty-corner to the current Frost Bank Tower on Houston Street.

In explaining the concept, Mayor Julián Castro said Thursday it's nothing but momentum that resulted in this complex deal. City leaders say that it will be cost-neutral to the taxpayers of San Antonio.

Flickr User: Brandon Watts / cc

San Antonio is a poor city by several metrics. We have below average home ownership, above average poverty. San Antonio is also a cheap city with cost of living significantly lower than other like-sized cities. But what happens when housing prices valuations start to go up?

A study being conducted by Christine Drennon, director of urban studies at Trinity University, has had early findings coming in and the results are showing several neighborhoods with ascending property values.

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

District 1 City Councilman Diego Bernal said soon the city will look at the most aggressive policy it has ever seen on empty buildings. On Friday he outlined that promise at his second State of the Center City address.

As TPR has reported, San Antonio has a downtown vacancy rate of 29 percent. That figure is 19 percent citywide, which is why Bernal said he will be introducing a bold measure to take care of empty buildings.

Gonzalo Rodriguez / Duable

In a city like San Antonio, the question has become: Is the city growing in a way that is pushing long-time residents out of neighborhoods as it transforms?

Seeing examples from across the country of growth that completely takes over a town and forces generations of families out of their homes due to wealthier people infiltrating areas, District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal thinks it's time to study how San Antonio grows.

It may not ever be a problem, he said, but he doesn't want to be caught off guard.

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

For the second time leaders with SA2020 are asking San Antonio residents to make resolutions to make the city a greater place to live and work.

Nineteen local leaders are hopping on the resolution bandwagon with personal resolutions to impact their city. Mayor Julián Castro wants to make a difference with mom and pop restaurants.

"What I'm going to be doing this year is going to at least 25 new restaurants that I have never eaten at before that are small, locally owned restaurants in our city to try and support small businesses. That's my resolution," he said Tuesday.

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