It’s been said that Hemisfair is one of the most exciting things happening in San Antonio today. It’s an ambitious and transformational project, emblematic of the community’s desire to amplify the culture that makes San Antonio so great. For residents of Alteza above the Grand Hyatt, its the most unique backyard one could imagine. A world-class park with a bright future ahead.
That’s why Hemisfair staff and visitors are encouraging interested neighbors to join them on Tuesday for a year-in-review. The Community Meeting will be held at Magik Theatre (420 South Alamo) at 6 p.m. for a presentation on the last year and the exciting things to come.
Hemisfair wants to hear from you: A moderated Q&A will give you a chance to ask questions and learn more about how you can get involved. Hemisfair belongs to everyone — here’s an opportunity to add your voice to the conversation. Whether or not you can make it to the meeting, take some time to visit Yanaguana Garden if you haven’t already. It is, after all, “Where San Antonio Meets.”
According to a community impact report presented at last week’s City Council B session, nearly 500,000 people visited Yanaguana Garden in its first year, making it the second most frequented park per acre in Texas after Klyde Warren Park in Dallas.
“Early on, there was a question about the development of the park and whether it was for tourists or locals,” said Hemisfair CEO Andres Andujar. “The design has always been to first attract locals. And now surveys show 84% are from districts in San Antonio, not from the region. This is a park for San Antonio.” The report also shows that 65% of visitors are female, many of them mothers of young children. Visiting school groups accounted for 949 field trips to the park this year and more than 57,000 students from all districts.“To me, that means three things: It’s safe, it is clean, and it is family-friendly,” Andujar said.
“I think (these results) speak head-on to the concept of common ground,” Andujar said. “To be in the park and look at the crowd, it looks like San Antonio. We’re playing together. The most democratic space in the world is a public park.”
In addition, numerous structures from the 1968 World’s Fair are being preserved as part of the Hemisfair Master Plan, including the historic Women’s Pavilion and, of course, the Tower of the Americas. Despite early interest by several commercial groups who fell by the wayside, plans remain for the 23 historic homes on the site to be restored and given new life as restaurants and retail establishments.
Hemisfair hopes to announce the new tenants, along with the results of the recent economic impact study, at the Oct. 11 community meeting. The meeting is free and open to the public.
“Hemisfair is not done just because we’re at the one-year anniversary of Yanaguana Garden,” Andujar said. “There are people who visit and think this is it. As impressive as these numbers are, there’s so much more to come and we have a tremendous job to do making sure people are aware and we stay in touch with the community about those future phases.”
With plans for the future in constant motion, one thing is for sure. The residents at Alteza above the Grand Hyatt are sure to be the beneficiaries of the collected vision for the downtown park transformation. There will never be another opportunity to overlook the park from a luxury high-rise once Alteza is sold out. With only 20 residences remaining, Alteza represents a timely opportunity to become an integral part of Hemisfair’s future. To learn more about the remaining residences, click here.
Portions of article edited from the SA Express and The Rivard Report.