The San Antonio Business Journal reported exciting news for Downtown San Antonio this week, and it’s great news for residents of Alteza above the Grand Hyatt. Plans have been unveiled for the new $133 Federal Courthouse in the western downtown district, eliminating the need for the existing structure in the 1968 World’s Fair building near the Tower of the Americas. Why is this great news for Hemisfair and Alteza? Once the Courthouse is moved, there will be more space to expand Hemisfair, creating an even more engaging backyard for Alteza.
Here’s the full story:
San Antonio’s long pursuit of a new federal courthouse has become more real. Local leaders now have a better idea what the roughly $133 million project will look like — and more details on the timing of the planned development.
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, who played a critical role in rallying support for the project in Washington, D.C., was in the Alamo City Wednesday to help unveil renderings of the planned structure. The new complex, will replace the nearly 50-year-old John H. Wood Jr. Courthouse in a former World’s Fair building built in 1968.
At one point, there were doubts San Antonio would obtain the support needed for a new courthouse.
“We were able to get this done,” Cuellar told Scott Bailey of the San Antonio Business Journal. “Now it’s a matter of putting out the bid and doing the construction.”
Hopes are high among local leaders who have worked alongside Cuellar to bring the courthouse project to fruition that the new complex, which will be built along West Nueva Street, will drive new development opportunities on the western edge of the center city. It could also help spur new activity along the historic San Pedro Creek and free up key space at Hemisfair, where the current courthouse stands, allowing for a more compelling transformation of the former World’s Fair site.
“This could have a huge impact on economic development,” Mayor Ivy Taylor said. “It will clear the way at Hemisfair for appropriate development along Cesar Chavez Boulevard.”
The timeline calls for courthouse design work to be completed by November 2017 and for construction to begin the following month. The plan is to have the project completed by December 2020 so that personnel can begin to move into the new facility by January 2021.
The new federal courthouse complex is expected to include include eight courtrooms and accommodations for 13 judges. The roughly 305,000-square-foot building will enable the consolidation of all district court and U.S. Marshals Service space in the new structure.
Cuellar said he doesn’t foresee any hiccups in the project.
“Everything is looking smooth,” he said.