SAN ANTONIO – City Council will vote next Thursday on the sale of nearly two acres of donated land valued at $295,000, for a proposed microbrewery at the historic Hays St. Bridge just east of downtown.
Juan Garcia, president of the Dignowity Hill Neighborhood Association, said the $5.7 million project that also will include a beer garden and restaurant, will help create jobs and stir economic development.
"It's beneficial for the neighborhood, the city, for downtown," Garcia said.
Garcia said the majority of residents support the idea, while many opponents don't even live in the neighborhood.
However, Marisol Cortez said she lives near the Alamodome and is very familiar with the Hays St. Bridge, its history, and the decade of effort by the community to save the long-neglected bridge.
"Let's listen to the voices of the community, honor the work of the restoration group," Cortez.
She said the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center where she works is assisting those who believe their voices were not heard.
Cortez said she questions selling public land donated as a park for commercial use.
Garcia said there are two other parks in the area. He also said he personally spoke with the donor who told him the project would anchor the east side of the bridge and serve as an economic generator for the surrounding area.
However, Cortez said there is concern plans to put restaurant tables along 100 feet of bridge railing would restrict movement by the public.
As an example, she said hundreds gathered on the Hays St. Bridge to watch the Fourth of July fireworks display downtown. Cortez also said cyclists and joggers cross the bridge daily, especially in the early morning and early evening hours.
But, Garcia said the tables would only take up less than 12 feet in width, instead of the original 15 feet.
He said, "The space has been a public space. It's always been a public space. That's not going to change."
Cortez, who is producing a video to show City Council, said Thursday's vote should be postponed.