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Demolitions to pave way for development at Brooks City Base

$1.2 million federal grant to knock down 23 buildings

SAN ANTONIO – The federal government will send approximately $1.2 million to San Antonio to pay for the demolition of 23 vacant building on the former Brooks Air Force Base campus.

City, county, and federal officials gathered near the base Tuesday to make the announcement.

"Unless we get those buildings demolished and moved and the sites clear, we're not going to have the development that we need for the jobs that we're projecting to bring to Brooks City Base," said the development authority's president and CEO, Leo Gomez.

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett applauded the public-private partnership that has led to the areas current development, but he said more needs to be done. He met with Brooks officials last year and told them to seek the grant funding from the Federal Economic Development Administration.

"In order to build up here at Brooks, we were going to need to do some tear down," he said.

The 23 buildings have been deemed as not suitable for reuse. The development authority plans to demolish every building on the now defunct campus to make room for more commercial and residential development.

District 3 Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, who oversees the area, said the demolitions could be the spark that ignites an economic explosion on the south side.

"I look forward to all the new announcements, the new jobs, new opportunities, new economic development that is going to be here at Brooks City Base," she said.

The cost to demolish all of the buildings on the campus is estimated to be approximately $6 million. More than half of that amount has already been secured.

The entire project is scheduled to take three years.