SAN ANTONIO – With the help of millions of dollars of incentives from the city, and possibly some from the county, banking and insurance giant USAA plans to locate 2,000 jobs downtown.
Alfredo Pisano, of Rio de Gelato, has been making pizza since he was 9. He thinks he can make some dough with 2,000 more people downtown every day.
“I don’t think it could hurt,” he said.
The move is sort of a trickle-down effect that Centro San Antonio, a public-private partnership that promotes progress in the downtown area, can foresee happening.
“You have 2,000 more people downtown. You have 2,000 more mouths to feed. Probably additional families are going to move downtown with them,” said Noah Almanza, vice president of innovation and strategic alliances at Centro San Antonio.
Almanza thinks USAA’s downtown move is a “catalytic project.”
“It really speaks to, again, the flagship company making a statement about the vibrancy of the downtown area in San Antonio and what that means for other companies that are looking for a place, a home, for somewhere else to take their business,” Almanza said.
With 2,000 more people downtown, there will almost certainly be some growing pains.
“It’s going to be congested for lunch hour,” said Kenya Wilson, who works downtown.
Almanza said that’s a natural byproduct and thinks future investment in the core will ease that. More important than obstacles, he said, will be the positive growth.
“When you're looking at the city and you're thinking about how we expand and grow as we focus on that downtown, focus on that core and how we improve that — you're going to see growth across the city,” he said.