Downtown News

  • March 09, 2013 4:03 AM | Deleted user

    By Valentino Lucio, Staff Writer

    Updated 8:18 pm, Thursday, March 7, 2013

    They had no idea downtown San Antonio was in the market for a small grocery mart, but a Laredo couple plans to open one about a mile south of the Pearl Brewery.

    Molinas will be a hybrid shop, functioning as a grocery market, restaurant and fuel station, co-owner Juan Manuel Molina said. It's expected to open by June.

    The 4,200-square-foot shop will be housed in a former convenience store at 700 N. Alamo St., at Brooklyn Avenue.

    There will be six gas pumps and the restaurant will feature traditional Mexican cuisine and smoked barbecue platters.

    While the idea might call to mind a glorified corner store, the shop will operate mostly as a grocery store, featuring a meat counter, produce section, beer and wine section, dry goods and household items.

    “I'd call us a grocery store, just on a smaller scale,” Molina said.
    The store's size will be just a fraction of what the city wants in a downtown grocery market.

    Earlier this week, the city began soliciting proposals for a downtown market about 15,000 square feet in size.

    Through the “request for information” process, the city will choose a qualified grocery operator and could

    provide incentives such as a $1 million grant.

    The deadline to submit a proposal is 3 p.m. June 4. A review committee is expected to select a finalist by the summer, and City Council could take action by September.

    Already there are about two dozen grocery stores, corner stores and small markets in and around the downtown area. And more are planned.

    In Southtown, there are plans for a 2,000-square-foot grocery store at the Blue Star Arts Complex, and Bexar County Commissioner Kevin Wolff and his wife Sandi Wolff are planning a grocery store near the Pearl Brewery.

    Leonor Molina, Juan Manuel's wife, said they became aware of city incentives after closing on the property. Nevertheless, she said they won't pursue them for the store.

    The couple have owned and operated a similar market in Laredo since 1995.

    Late last year, they purchased the former gas station in downtown San Antonio and are currently waiting for permit approval to begin construction.

    Before signing the deal, the couple wasn't aware of the hype surrounding the need for a downtown grocery store.

    “It was an opportunity for us to expand our business,” Leonor Molina said. “We weren't aware of the any of that. We landed a great space. It's all just a coincidence.”

    While the part of North Alamo near the Pearl is seeing development activity, the stretch near Molinas is quieter, noted Terri Rubiola, a vice president of commercial real estate firm DH Realty Partners.

    But in the long run, added development along Broadway and the possibility of a nearby streetcar line could benefit the couple's venture.

    “It's a tough call whether or not there's enough to support something like that right now,” she said.

    “Something like that is really untested there. The area is in its infancy, but it could develop into a thriving little street.” 

  • March 05, 2013 12:00 PM | Deleted user
    I’ve attached the latest offers for you.

    The Book of Mormon is on the website now, but this is the 1st show that is limiting the number of tickets I can sell. And they are only allowing me to make tickets available through the website until the end of the month. So please let the residents know, this isn’t like other shows, where they can get them until the week before the show.

    The offer will end at the end March 31st.

    Sherrie Villani
    Box Office Manager
    Group Sales Manager
    Arts Center Enterprises, Inc.
    208 E. Houston Street
    San Antonio, Texas 78205
    (210) 226-5967
    (210) 226-3377 (fax)

  • March 05, 2013 11:33 AM | Deleted user

    Click here for more info
  • March 03, 2013 2:47 AM | Deleted user

    Downtown Residents Association

    General Membership Meeting

    The St. Anthony Hotel

    March 15, 2012

    6:00-8:00 pm

    President Joan Korte called the meeting to order at 6:32pm.


    March 1, 2011

    Were accepted as read.

    Treasurer’s Report

    Dru went over the treasury report including the Fiesta luncheon, fiesta medals, and a donation for the band. Expenses included Fiesta luncheon, medals, National Night Out, Downtown Alliance Board,

    Our balance is $4,654,79

    Members applauded Dru for her service.

    Joan said she hopes to use the money to do some exciting things such as renting a barge for a special event.

    Membership Report

    We have 120 paid memberships as of today. We have 70-80 outstanding memberships that are not up to date.

    Newsletter Report

    John Bonny sent out 185 copies of our newsletter.


    New Business

    Joan reviewed the 5 events DRA hosts: Holiday party, Fiesta luncheon, (which is scheduled for April 25 starting at noon at Barribas on the River Walk; ($35 for members-$40. for nonmembers). Joan reviewed DRA’s work to help develop and pass the Aggressive Panhandler Ordinance to curb the “professional” panhandlers who take advantage of downtown residents, tourists, and employees. Joan recognized Olga Kucerak for her work on getting this Ordinance passed.

    Joan introduced Diego Bernal, District 1 councilman. He discussed the strategic plan for downtown. Councilman Bernal also discussed the bond election and asked members for their vote, promising to follow up with a presentation with more details later.

    Election: Joan presented Joan Amaral a certificate of Appreciation for her time served on the Board of Directors.

    Joan asked those running for the board to introduce themselves.

    Joan asked if there were any nominations on the floor.

    Since there were none, Tom De Brooke made a motion to accept the slate as presented and to vote for the nominees by acclamation? Dru Van Steenberg seconded; all were in favor

    Joan congratulated new Officers and Board members.

    Old /Other Business

    Alyse Garber Craun made a motion to change the DRA boundaries; Tony Cantu seconded it. Joan asked for a vote to accept the new boundaries for the Downtown Residents Association and change them in the bylaws.

    Lynn Knapik suggested DRA do a better job of welcoming new residents to downtown. Joan said we would work on new brochures and distribute them to new residences and real estate agents.

    Joan also discussed her daily/weekly emails on various downtown issues.

    Joan asked members if they would like to conduct quarterly meetings. She asked members to send her an email if they would like to see that happen.

    Joan discussed Zocolocos as a bi-monthly local social event

    Lynn Knapik suggested holding the next Zocolocos at Cevallos Lofts or at other downtown residences.

    JD Simpson from Bike Share was introduced and spoke to the members. They have over 1100 annual members currently. Over 6,000 day passes. A 50% discount is being offered to DRA members (normally $60).

    Jon Turton, COO of Baptist Hospital, was introduced and spoke about the services

    offered by the hospital. Every Tuesday and Thursday Baptist provides exercise classes. He asked members to email him with suggestions on how Baptist can serve the community better. Thank you to Baptist Hospital for providing the refreshments



    Joan introduced Lloyd Doggett, the U.S. Representative for Texas's 25th congressional district. Congressman Doggett spoke about his latest accomplishments for the State of Texas. His email address is He asked about more information regarding the Young Professional effort led by Downtown Alliance.

    There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 7:47pm.

    Respectfully submitted: Alyse Garber Craun, Acting secretary for Arleen De Brooke

  • February 21, 2013 1:46 PM | Deleted user
    Join Trinity University Press, City Design Center, imagineSanAntonio, NOWCastSA and Plaza de Armas for a conversation about SA's skyline and built environment. Architects, developers and city planners will discuss the obstacles, opportunities and latest trends that hinder or enable creative urban design. Trinity University Press Associate Director and PdA columnist Tom Payton will moderate. Panelists include Mark Brodeur of the City of San Antonio's City Design Center, Irby Hightower of Alamo Architects, Dan Markson of NRP Group, Anita Devora, Executive Director of Build San Antonio Green, and Timothy Cone, Chairman of the Historic Design and Review Commission. Made possible by the generous support of Big Grass Living, Centro Properties and Briones Design and Engineering.

  • February 12, 2013 5:49 PM | Deleted user

    At Wednesday’s City Council B session, the findings of a grocery store study will be revealed in an information gathering session, which, by the way, is open to the public. Afterward, the city will issue a request for information (RFI) to see what companies undefined large and small undefined are interested in the $1 million cash incentive the city has earmarked for a downtown store.

    Already, there have been several players undefined including the La Fiesta chain; chef Johnny Hernandez; Josh Levine, owner of Uncommon Fare at the Cevallos Lofts undefined who have said they’d pursue the $1 million carrot.

    The study itself says downtown San Antonio can support a grocery store up to 20,000 square feet. But it also suggests the incentive should be higher undefined between $2.5 and $3 million undefined to cover higher costs of development, and to do business in general, in the center city. It also suggests a 10-year real estate tax abatement, which would cover the net increase in property taxes. “We believe that after a ten-year period of catalyzed Center City growth, an urban grocery store should be able to operate self-sufficiently.”

    Click here to read the report.

    Some questions going forward: Will the city add to its $1 million incentive to be closer to what the report recommends? I’ll have more analysis on the report, after the B session, on Thursday.

    City seeks larger store as more grocers open
    Le Fiesta exploring downtown grocery store
    Downtown seen able to support a grocery right now

    undefined Benjamin Olivo

  • February 07, 2013 9:20 AM | Deleted user

    The Milam Building

    The Milam Building was the first air conditioned building in the world, and was also the tallest all-concrete structure in the United States when built in 1928.

    Today that charm of the 1920's still exists, with added conveniences unmatched at other comparable building locations. While preserving the rich and historical architectural appointments, the lobby offers residents a host of services. Because in business, time is money, residents appreciate the convenience of a U.S. Post Office substation, a travel agency, a printing company, on-site management, a cafe and other related retail services which expedite every executive's workday.

    This downtown landmark, is located in the heart of the central business district. With a convenient entrance to the famous Riverwalk, the Milam Building places residents only a few blocks from the epicenter of San Antonio tourist and retail attractions. The Milam Building is distinctly accessible from all points of the city and the central business district, allowing both residents and their visitors congestion-free access to and from the building.

    Through the generosity of owner, Terry Casey, the Milam building is the new home of the Downtown Residents Association.The DRA is honored to be housed in such a historic, centrally located highrise. The suite satisfies all our needs and it's good to know that we finally have a home of our own.

    Downtown Residents Association
    115 E. Travis St., Suite 1727
    San Antonio, Texas 78205
  • February 03, 2013 3:05 PM | Deleted user

    Click here for newsletter
  • February 03, 2013 1:42 PM | Deleted user

  • January 21, 2013 6:45 AM | Deleted user

    Out & About Downtown
    by Jim Mery, Interim Director, Downtown Operations

    Don't you just LOVE downtown...especially when there is free parking? Downtown Tuesday, which offers free parking every Tuesday evening after 5 pm at City-operated garages, lots and meters, celebrated a one year anniversary this month! In honor of the occasion, an online photo contest is going on now through March 12. Read more about how you can win great prizes, including six months of free parking at the St. Mary's Garage.

    What else can you do for free downtown? Check out Luminaria, the arts night in San Antonio, on March 9 at HemisFair Park. This celebration of the arts featuring lights along with visual and performing artists is not to be missed! Plus, you can see art all month long throughout downtown during Contemporary Art Month in March.

    There is always something happening downtown, and every month we are making sure you know about it. I look forward to seeing you out and about downtown!

    We're located at 400 N. St. Mary's, #100. Contact us at (210) 207-3677 or via email at for questions or assistance related to downtown San Antonio.

    Happy Birthday Downtown Tuesday!
    by Kelly Rafferty, Assistant Director

    Happy Birthday to Downtown Tuesday, which has been offering free parking on Tuesday evenings for a year! Park in a City-operated parking garage, lot or meter after 5 pm on Tuesday to enjoy free parking while exploring your downtown.

    Mayor Julián Castro along with Councilman Diego Bernal of District 1 and City Manager Sheryl Sculley, as well as other downtown stakeholders, celebrated the one-year anniversary of Downtown Tuesday during a press conference at Ocho Lounge at Hotel Havana, one of the Downtown Tuesday partners.

    Mayor Castro speaks at
    press conference

    "San Antonians need to know: If you haven't been downtown in a while, you don't know what you're missing," Mayor Julián Castro said. "Downtown Tuesday is just one of the ways we are making downtown more convenient and more vibrant for residents."

    In honor of the one-year celebration, the City announced "Freeze Frame", a new online photo contest featuring weekly prizes and a Grand Prize winner (see details at

    "Over the first year of the program, we parked more than 36,000 cars for free on Tuesday evenings at city-operated garages and lots," Councilman Bernal said. "For our garages and Market Square and Dolorosa lots, this represents a 48 percent increase in car counts over the past year."

    More than 75 businesses participate in the program by offering specials on Tuesday nights. Downtown restaurants and bars, museums, hotels, and entertainment providers participate in the program.
    For a complete list of partner specials, or for more information, visit

    Be sure to also check out the Express News article on the success of our first year!

    Freeze Frame Photo Contest
    by Veronica Garcia, Executive Assistant

    Enjoying Downtown Tuesday? We gotta see it to believe it! In honor of the one-year celebration, the Downtown Operations Department unveiled "Freeze Frame", a new contest that asks you to post photos of a Downtown Tuesday experience on the Downtown Tuesday social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

    Submit your photo(s) showing how you enjoy Tuesday night downtown. Maybe you are with friends, family, or going solo - you are only limited by your imagination! We invite you to send us your pics for a chance to win prizes from our Downtown Tuesday business partners. Winners will be selected each week, and you can look forward to books, Rio Cruises barge tickets, restaurant gift certificates from The Bike Waiter, Zocca Cuisine D'Italia, and ORO Restaurant, and complimentary hotel night stays from Hilton Palacio del Rio, Omni La Mansion del Rio, Crockett Hotel, St. Anthony Hotel, Grand Hyatt, Towne Place Suites, Holiday Inn Express and Residence Inn Alamo Plaza.

    Plus, one lucky grand prize winner will receive free parking at the St. Mary's Street Garage downtown for six months! That is free parking - any day, any time - at a downtown garage for six months. The contest continues through March 12.

    Thank you to our contest sponsors, including Rio San Antonio Cruises, Crockett Hotel, Grand Hyatt, Hilton Palacio del Rio, Holiday Inn Express, Omni La Mansion del Rio, Residence Inn Alamo Plaza, St. Anthony Hotel, Towne Place Suites, San Antonio Hotel & Lodging Association, and The Bike Waiter.

    For details, visit or like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Get your camera phones ready and show us just how Tuesday is the new Friday!

    An Evening at Travis Park
    by Veronica Garcia, Executive Assistant

    Join us for "An Evening at Travis Park" with mobile food trucks in Travis Park on Tuesday, February 26 from 5 to 8 p.m. for Downtown Tuesday. On Downtown Tuesday, visitors can park for free after 5 p.m. at City-owned parking garages, lots and meters.

    Food trucks scheduled for the event are Cheesy Jane's and Bite Street Bistro. Food truck selections range from juicy burgers, healthy salads and eclectic gourmet options. In addition to great food, enjoy live music by the Dan Gonzalez Band.

    Food trucks are still located at Main Plaza, Soledad Street near the Weston Centre, Travis Park and at Madison Park. The food trucks serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For a complete schedule of food truck vending options, visit Check back weekly for an updated list.

    Need details on food trucks, hours, locations, menus and more? There's an app for that! Visit to get more information on food trucks downtown and throughout San Antonio. You can also download the free app at the App Store or Google Play.

    Calling all food truck vendors! We need YOUR help to make the program successful. Reach a downtown audience full of customers looking for new food options. Contact Downtown Operations at 207-3677 for more information on how to get involved in the program. You can also download a vending application and program requirements at

    Enjoy food trucks and live entertainment in Travis Park
    February 26
    5:00 - 8:00 pm

    Confluence Park
    by Dawn Robinette, The CE Group

    Just south of downtown and the infamous River Walk, the San Antonio River Foundation is working to transform a vacant lot into an educational facility and recreational area with the design of Confluence Park.
    "We want to create a beautiful space for education that will encourage people to interact with the river and celebrate this natural resource while allowing the community to gather and enjoy the area as well," explained Estela Avery, Executive Director of the San Antonio River Foundation.

    Located at 310 W. Mitchell Street, Confluence Park lies on the portion of the San Antonio River known as the Mission Reach. The beautiful triangle of land located where the San Antonio River and San Pedro Creek converge was once a CPS laydown yard, but as Confluence Park, it will become an educational center and public area with inviting access to the trails along the river.

    The centerpiece of the park will be an artistically enhanced educational facility focused on San Antonio's most prized cultural gem, the San Antonio River, teaching sustainability, stewardship and environmental science. The facility will also feature opportunities for the community to learn about gardening, exercise
    and nutrition.

    Confluence Park will include amenities such as outdoor fitness equipment, gateways to the hike and bike trails along the river and community gardens. The design will incorporate an outdoor pavilion, lighting, and interactive water elements. The space will feature solar power and rainwater harvesting to
    encourage thoughtful stewardship of the river and our environmental resources.

    The mission of the San Antonio River Foundation is to promote educational, cultural and scientific projects and activities that enhance the conservation, stewardship, restoration, preservation and enjoyment of the land and water resources of the San Antonio River basin and its tributaries. The River Foundation is the only non-profit involved in the San Antonio River Improvements Project, a massive civic improvements project that aims to reclaim a river that had been lost for generations to neglect and development. This collaborative initiative involving city and community leaders, public entities and private citizens is transforming historically underserved communities in San Antonio, most notably the southern portion of the city.

    For more information about Confluence Park, visit

    Mark Your Calendar

    Every Tuesday
    5 pm - 2 am
    Downtown Tuesday
    City-operated parking garages, lots, and meters are FREE

    Every Tuesday
    Sound of San Antonio
    La Villita
    For info call 544-3730 or 207-8614

    February 26
    An Evening in Travis Park
    Travis Park
    For info call 207-3677

    March 1 - 31
    Contemporary Art Month

    March 2 - 3
    Primer Sabado
    Market Square
    For info call 207-8600

    March 8 - 10
    Fiesta Primavera
    Market Square
    For info call 286-7432

    March 9
    HemisFair Park

    Pie to the People
    La Villita

    Now thru March 12
    Freeze Frame Photo Contest
    Weekly prizes

    March 14 - 17
    Tejano Music Awards Fanfair
    Market Square
    For info call 854-8862

    March 15 - 17
    River Walk St. Patrick's Day Festival
    River Walk and La Villita
    For info call 227-4262

    March 16 - 17
    BRAVO Fiesta!
    La Villita
    For info call 207-3132

    March 21
    Third Brewsday at Hemisfair
    HemisFair Park
    For info call 260-5678

    For more events visit:

    by Tonya Baum, Special Projects Manager

    March 9, 2013

    For one night, HemisFair Park and surrounding areas will be re-imagined as a canvas for enlightened, innovative, and interactive contemporary artwork from all artistic disciplines. The annual Luminaria arts night celebration will be held on March 9, 2013. Featuring many artists and multiple stages, the event is free to the public. Come experience a variety of visual and performing arts plus live music at an event the entire family will enjoy!

    Luminaria received the Pinnacle Award from the International Downtown Association. The award-winning event will light up downtown from 7 pm - 12 midnight. This celebration of artists, musicians, performers and cultural organizations is the only one of its kind in the entire state of Texas and was inspired by similar celebrations in Chicago, Paris, Rome, and Madrid.
    Come downtown to experience an evening of Luminaria! For more information visit

    Experience the Arts
    in La Villita
    by Blanche Mendoza, Department for Culture and Creative Development

    The La Villita Merchants Association, along with the Department for Culture and Creative Development, celebrates Contemporary Art Month with numerous openings and events throughout the month of March.
    See website for specific details about openings and events at
    INDIVIDUAL GALLERIES are listed throughout the CAM calendar at

    In addition to art showings, you can take part in the Annual S.M.A.R.T. Pie to the People 3 (March 9) featuring interactive workshops, live entertainment, food booths and FREE pie!. And you won't want to miss the Annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration (March 16 - 17) with music, food, games and the dyeing of the River green. Plus, enjoy the Maverick Music Festival (March 23) and Shakespeare On the Walk (March 30).

    La Villita Historic Arts Village is San Antonio's first preserved neighborhood - featuring locally-owned art galleries, shops, artist-run spaces, and restaurants. Open daily Monday- Saturday, 10:00am - 6:00pm; Sunday hours vary.

    Are You the BEST?
    by Melissa Burnett, Downtown Alliance

    Do you have the BEST downtown public outdoor space? Are you in the BEST new downtown office? Or maybe you know who this year's Downtowner of the Year should be?
    Downtown Alliance presents the 13th Annual Downtown's BEST Awards. Mark your calendar to attend on April 11, 2013 at the Westin Riverwalk.

    The Downtown's BEST Awards celebrate the people, organizations, and places that have made significant contributions to downtown San Antonio. Nominations are now being accepted in a variety of categories, including Event Marketing/Promotional, New Business/Office, Residential, Arts & Culture, Downtowner of the Year and more.

    Nominations are due March 8. Enter online at

    For more information, or to help sponsor the Downtown's BEST Awards, contact Downtown Alliance at 210.225.3862.

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