SAN ANTONIO – Plans to return a piece of property next to the historic Hays Street Bridge are coming to fruition.
District 2 Councilman Art Hall is bringing stakeholders together to figure out a land swap deal that could result in the property on the corner of North Cherry Street and Lamar returning to city management.
Hall said this is a great opportunity for the city to resolve an ongoing issue. A developer had plans to construct a mixed-use building next to the bridge. The plans changed through the years, however, after community concerns over the design.
Under the proposed agreement, the city would give up a property about a mile way for the property next to the bridge.
“The idea is to have a value to value exchange so 1.7 acres for another 1.7 acres. Both properties are on Cherry Street,” Hall said. “We're looking at an additional .3 acres to restrict the height on the new site.”
The property the city would give up is on the corner of South Cherry and Montana streets next to the Alamodome and near Hemisfair.
“The value is — we're not saying at this point because we're still in negotiation,” Hall said about the cost. “But at the end of the day, what I’ve told people is it's hard to put a value on resolving an issue that's been an issue for a number of years.”
Hall said he thinks the deal is going to be good for the community at large. The property the city is giving up was intended for housing, he said.
Brian Gordon, with the Friends of the Hays Street Restoration Group, said he’s not happy with the way the deal is going down. But the bottom line is they wanted to regain access to the land to continue the restoration project.
“We were told this land swap was happening. We weren’t asked what our opinion is and what role we'd like to play in any of it,” Gordon said.
Gordon said there is hope moving forward to have more community involvement in what happens with the property. Hall said those discussions can begin once the deal is finalized. His goal is to have a deal inked by the time he leaves office in mid-June.
The developer could not be reached for comment.