SAN ANTONIO – A campus geared toward healing education, training, entertainment and living is inching closer to breaking ground.
The Valor Club project has evolved for many years, but the first phase design is nearly complete. If all goes well, the project could be breaking ground by next summer said Steven Upchurch, co-managing director of Gensler Dallas.
“We hope that within a year we would be under construction and moving forward with the project. I mean, that’s our schedule that we’re on here as the architects and planners,” Upchurch said.
Their mission has always been to create a place that’s all encompassing to help veterans transition, Upchurch said.
“There’s really nothing like what we’re developing. It’ll be the first of its kind in San Antonio,” he said.
According to Upchurch, the overall campus is over 200 acres and a $200 million investment. The first phase will involve the construction of 324 units, one to four bedroom apartments-on roughly 20 acres. About 227 units will be eligible for Section 8 housing or Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing.
Jeff Anderson, lead case manager of the veterans program with SAMMinistries, hopes the model and vision will work to help prevent veterans from becoming homeless in the first place.
“If you can get someone in a $400 apartment and it has a low utilities to where they can pay and they still got money to get a cell phone and still get money for the basic things that they do not have -- now it’s going to help their their self-worth, their self awareness, their ability to sustain themselves, have pride again and feel like, ‘I don’t have to rely on agencies,’” Anderson said.
He also said it creates a place of community for veterans where they can connect and share with one another.
Partnership with the San Antonio Housing Trust means the property gets a tax exemption along with issuance of tax exempt bonds. According to SAHT president, Pedro Alanis, the project will need to receive reservation bonds from the Texas Bond Review Board to be able to apply for low-income housing tax credits with the state.
In the May 26 SAHT meeting, the board said the first phase of the project had received the support of the area school district and Pecan Valley Homeowners Association.