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SAN ANTONIO HERON
THE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
Aug. 15, 2021

Dear Heron faithful,

A quick reminder: The Heron is a nonprofit news organization which is primarily funded by readers—not by companies or advertisers. Will you help us sustain our mission or delivery fair and thorough news about downtown San Antonio by donating via GiveGab, PayPal and Patreon?

Now, here's a look at the news you may have missed.

[  PROFILE  ]
District 2 Councilman McKee-Rodriguez’s former students inspired his interest in politics

For District 2 Councilman Jalen McKee-Rodriguez, the path to public office was spurred by a desire to improve the lives of the students he once taught. However, it took a while for him to come to the realization.

"People like me don't run for office very often, much less win, so I'm taking this for all I can get," McKee-Rodriguez said.

Advocating for future generations is the driving force behind the former teacher’s passion for politics. He describes his first year of teaching at Sam Houston in 2018, saying that many times he’d come home from work, sit in his car, and cry.

Read more.

📝 Maggie Ryan @m_rrye | Heron reporter

📸 Stephanie Stokes @stephanieestokes | Heron contributor

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[  DEVELOPMENT  ]
Austin developer gets final approval for 10-story apartment building near Pearl

Sabot Development recently received final approval from the city’s Historic and Design Review Commission for a 10-story apartment tower just west of the Pearl, opposite the San Antonio River.

The development, called Mira, will consist of 299 market-rate units, 12,000 square feet of retail and 429 parking spaces, some of which will be reserved for visitors of the retail shops or restaurants.


Read more.

📝 Ben Olivo @rbolivo | Heron editor
📸 Gensler | Sabot Development

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[  HOUSING  ]
What is 'affordable housing' in San Antonio? City Council to consider adopting this definition
In recent months, San Antonio's Housing Commission has worked to craft a universal definition of "affordable housing." Find out what it is, and why it's important. Read more.

📝 Maggie Ryan @m_rrye | Heron reporter
📸 Isaiah Alonzo | @isaiah__alonzo | Heron contributor
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[  INBOX EXTRA  ]
Allen's Antiques building to become office space
The 1920s-era building in Tobin Hill that has served as the longtime home of Allen's Antiques and Fine Art Gallery is set to be renovated into office space under new ownership.

Local development firm Headwall Investments purchased the two-story brick building at the northwest corner of McCullough Avenue and East Ashby Place on July 7, county deed records show. The firm plans to renovate the roughly 20,000-square-foot building into professional offices, Headwall's President and CEO George Wommack said in a phone interview.

The firm is working on a concept design for the renovations, he said. Allen's is selling its inventory and will remain in the building for at least a few more months.

Wommack raised the possibility that the firm could make more substantial changes to the property in the future—such as adding structured parking or making the building mixed-use—as Tobin Hill becomes a denser neighborhood.


📝 Richard Webner @rwebner | Heron contributor
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[  INBOX EXTRA  ]
Former Flasher Equipment land purchased near Pearl
Two large properties in the fast-growing area of Tobin Hill between the Pearl and the St. Mary's Strip have a new owner.

A Seguin-based company named Berridge Investments bought the following two properties on July 7 from MM Josephine LLC, a company affiliated with local investment firm Milam Real Estate Capital, county deed records show

» A 1.2-acre property at the southwest corner of West Josephine Street and Polk Street, containing several garages and storage warehouses

» A 0.6-acre property at 309 W. Josephine, currently a storage yard Berridge Investments is headed by Jason Berridge, owner of the Seguin-based Pak-Mor garbage truck manufacturer. He did not respond to a request for comment. He personally loaned Berridge Investments $5.4 million to make the sale, the records show.

The properties are part of the former footprint of Flasher Equipment Co., which has sold off its Tobin Hill land since moving to a new headquarters on the West Side.


📝 Richard Webner @rwebner | Heron contributor
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[ IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ... ]
Former WOAI-TV building on San Antonio’s River Walk eyed for hotel-condo 29-story tower
After the Thompson Hotel and Arts Residences proved that a high-rise hotel-and-condo tower could be successful on the River Walk in downtown San Antonio, an unknown development team plans to build a similar but larger project a block away. Read more.

📝 Richard Webner @rwebner | Heron contributor
📸 Ben Olivo | @rbolivo | Heron editor
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Granada Homes’ $63M renovation set to begin this month under new partnership
West Side’s ‘Comprando y Prestando’ mural restored on 25th anniversary
Weston Urban’s 15-story apartment mid-rise behind Continental Hotel gets initial approval
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News roundup
  • Lots of Alamo news last week. The ground breaking ceremony for the Alamo Exhibition Hall & Collections Building, located on the far eastern end of the property will take place on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Alamo officials gave an overview of the $388 million Alamo Plaza plan, which was forced to reset last year after the Texas Historical Commission denied a request to move the Cenotaph. Read more.
  • File this one under "Articles We Wish We Wrote." The Express-News' Liz Hardaway and Jessica Phelps recently chronicled the relationship between outreach worker Valerie Salas and Neville Mupfeka, a homeless man who you see regularly walking around the Walgreens on East HoustonRead more.
  • The housing market saw some fluctuation as home sales dipped in July compared to the previous year. "But that doesn’t mean the market’s frenzied tear is over — it’s just coming off of a record pace in 2020," writes Madison Iszler in the Express-News. Read more.
What we're reading
» LGBTQ advocates target a new way to grow political power: Redistricting (THE ATLANTIC)

» 'They rake in profits – everyone else suffers': U.S. workers lose out as big chicken gets bigger (THE GUARDIAN)

» Are floating cities a real possibility? (SMITHSONIAN)
Our mission

You're still here! So you know ... the San Antonio Heron is committed to reporting on downtown growth and the ripple effect it has on inner city neighborhoods, while mentoring local students interested in serving their community through storytelling.

Will you help us sustain our mission by donating via GiveGab, PayPal and Patreon?

Compiled by Ben Olivo, Heron editor
ben@saheron.com | 210-421-3932 | @rbolivo on Twitter

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