An Update on Construction at Hemisfair’s Phase I
San Antonio’s new urban oasis, Hemisfair, experienced a slight delay in its completion schedule due to last month’s historic rains. The project’s Yanaguana Garden was originally scheduled to open this summer, and will now open in the fall. Yanaguana Garden is the first phase of Hemisfair, a transformative urban district of three parks, local businesses and future residential rentals. Last week, we were fortunate to spend time with Andres Adjuar, CEO of Hemisfair. “For Alteza residents, there is no greater asset from a public space perspective than what is coming at Hemisfair. When we think of connectivity and district wide assets that are available to residents, Hemisfair, the Civic Park and the Tower of Americas are examples of immediate benefits,” say Andjuar. “Yanaguana Garden will be the first park to open this fall. It will be a play environment for the demographic pre-K to gray.”
Yanaguana Garden will include a toddler play area along with activities to be enjoyed by teens and adults. There will be pingpong tables, foos ball and bocci ball as well as a beer garten and other entertainment venues. Within the park development, Hemisfair is integrating art throughout. The proof will be in the first phase where there will be eight installations of local artists. The specifics will be released in the press over the coming months, but they will include sound installations, steel pieces and interactive play areas.
Hemisfair literally spans 19 acres of green space. Twenty-four existing historic structures are being preserved including properties dating back to 1867 and the Civil War era. Once restoration is complete, these properties will house a variety of tenants including a yoga studio, coffee shop, art galleries and ice cream shop.
Andjuar explained plans for the future. “In 2016, the convention center will finish their expansion. Upon completion of the new wing, the old wing facing South Alamo will come down to make room for the Civic Park. Alteza residents will have hose a unique perch to be able to enjoy a view of the Civic Park, Iguana Park and eventually the Tower Park at the base of the tower. But we look at a district that is connected in a wider geography. The Alamo Plaza will literally be 500 feet from the Civic Park. It will take you a minute and a half to go to Texas’ greatest tourist destination. Yet it’s far enough …depending on what you would like to do for the day.”
The inspiration for Hemisfair comes from the precept that great cities have great downtowns, and great downtowns have great urban parks. Hemisfair will be that great urban park for San Antonio, similar to Central Park in New York or Millenium Park in Chicago. Hemisfair will really be a beautiful setting that will be a privilege to enjoy. There is still a donor opportunity for a family name to go on the park in order to create an endowment for the park maintenance. Hemisfair is an amazing canvas for art and culture, and San Antonio is well on its way to becoming a Great City.