Residents give input on design of new Hemisfair Civic Park


SAN ANTONIO – Downtown San Antonio is on the verge of some big changes -- in particular Hemisfair Park.

Under the Hemisfair Redevelopment  Project, the area is expanding from 6 acres of usable park space to 19.

The first phase of the project, Yanaguana Garden, has already been designed.

Now developers are looking into designing the second phase of the project, the Hemisfair Civic Park, which would be located off of South Alamo and Market streets, where the Henry B. Gonzalez building stands now.

On Tuesday during a public workshop residents had chance to bring their ideas to the table on what design of the park should look like.

"We often hear a series of concerns," said Andres Andujar, Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation CEO.

"The shade is one that's at the top. The other is when you are doing a park, how are you going to water it? We have water restrictions, how do you want to do fountains?"

Anya Bartay, who attended the public workshop, said she's excited about the future of Hemisfair Park.

"I'm just really interested in seeing how the city is going to develop the park," said Bartay. "And I live on the Eastside as well, so I'm very interested in the development of the city to come to fruition."

Andujar said the civic park will serve as the Hemisfair version of Main Plaza, complete with trees, gardens and courtyards.

Three different designs were presented at the workshop.

"I think we should use previous pavements instead of impervious, which is just regular sidewalks," said Bartay. "I think we should capture all the water and keep it in the city."

"I think it's important as a community to bring our children, our grandparents, our elders to participate, be active and have a voice," said Helen Garcia, a member of Native American Nation. "If we're not here than nobody knows and we have to stand up for what we believe."

All of the input gathered Tuesday night will be taken into consideration when designing Hemisfair's Civic Park.

Construction on the first phase of the project, the Yanaguana Gardens, gets underway next week.

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