Bexar County Commissioners on Tuesday accepted an application for staff to begin negotiating a nearly $500,000 tax abatement for the Blue Star II residential project, which is on top of the $5 million in incentives the city approved earlier this year for the mixed use development planned for Southtown.
"We're really excited," said Dan Markson, Senior Vice President of the NRP Group. "We're going to begin construction in April."
After three years of intense planning, Markson is ready to see his $41 million dollar development take shape along the banks of the San Antonio River, which has already undergone tens of millions dollars in improvements as part of the Mission Reach project.
The project is being built on 7.5 acres on the former Big Tex site, which served as grain silo. It certainly doesn't look like much now, but Markson said when the project is completed in early 2015, the former industrial site will be totally transformed into one of the premier places to live in Southtown.
"If you look at how many people actually live on the river here, you could probably count them on two hands and two feet," Markson said. "This is going to put 500 people on the river."
The development will have a modern industrial feel, incorporating the main grain towers and repurposing several of the old silos into the project.
"Some of them are going to be cut and made into gazebos, some of them are going to be cut and made into fountains," Markson said. "Some of them will be just as is and be objects of art so we're going to do some creative and fun things with those."
Markson said the street leading into the development will have a familiar feel. It is designed to resemble the look and feel of Commerce and Houston Streets in Downtown San Antonio.
"This is going to create a very similar experience to the Houston Commerce feel, where you'll be able to walk down and see these cool buildings on both sides but with openings going out onto the river," Markson said.
With so much development taking place North of downtown, Markson is excited about the possibilities his project brings to the Southside.
"There's really not much that's happened South of Downtown," Markson said. "You go two blocks South of here and you can encounter some real poverty so we're pulling the bar of prosperity Southward."
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