New mixed-income apartments coming to near West Side

There are concerns some units won't be affordable enough

West Side warehouse demolished to make way for new apartments

SAN ANTONIO – An old warehouse on the near West Side is coming down to make way for Tampico Apartments, which will have 200 mixed-income units.

David Nisivoccia, president and CEO of the San Antonio Housing Authority, said Tampico Apartments is among other public-private partnerships on the near West Side. He said the community hasn't seen investment in years.

"We're happy to be at the forefront of recognizing the quality of the near West Side and the people here," Nisivoccia said.

However, Graciela Sanchez, director of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, said although she's excited about the project, she's concerned it may exclude current community members.

"We're concerned that the housing that's being built is not affordable enough for the people who live in this neighborhood," she said.

Kayla Miranda, who has lived in Alazan-Apache Courts with her four children, said she agrees. She said rents that are subsidized vary depending on income and the size of each family.

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Miranda said she pays $76 a month, excluding her electricity bill.

"We're squeezed together, but for what I pay a month, I'm good with it," Miranda said.

When asked if she'd consider moving to Tampico Apartments, Miranda said she'd worry that the management would side with tenants with rents at the higher market price.

"It's not fair. It's not right. But it does happen that way," she said, based on her experiences living elsewhere.

According to SAHA, the rents for Tampico Apartments will start at $324 at the lower end for nine affordable units and up to $1,550 for market price units.

It's expected that those at the higher end could attract a new influx of students and professors when the University of Texas at San Antonio downtown campus is expanded.

Former San Antonio mayor Henry Cisneros, who is involved in the project with Mission Development, said he understands the concerns about the rents for new affordable housing and others voiced by the Mi Barrio No Se Vende campaign’s message that their neighborhood isn’t for sale.

He said they’re saying, “‘We want new development. We want new capital. We want new investment. But we don’t want it at the expense of the people who have been here and who can’t afford to pay higher taxes.‘”

West Side warehouse demolished to make way for new apartments

About the Authors:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

Bill Caldera has been at KSAT since 2003. He covers a wide range of stories including breaking news, weather, general assignments and sports.