Member Spotlight-Centre Group Consulting
How has downtown living evolved in the past few years?
There is tremendous synergy around downtown living now, and
that didn’t exist five years ago. The public sector has embraced the notion of
creating a viable residential neighborhood downtown, with the investment in the
streetcar, the redevelopment of HemisFair Park and other initiatives. The city
has streamlined the development process to make it more accessible for real
estate developers, and that’s stimulating private investment. It’s exciting to
see all the components coming together.
What do people like most about downtown living?
San Antonio has such great authenticity of place, and that’s
most evident downtown. Living downtown affords the opportunity to appreciate
the beauty and the history of the city. The amenities in the center city are
almost overwhelming – the Riverwalk with the new extensions to the north and
south is incredible, the restaurant and bar scene is innovative and evolving,
and the entertainment options are extensive. And all of it is readily
accessible when you live downtown.
What is the one thing you would like to see improved in the center city?
Downtown really needs more for-sale residential development,
in a variety of product types and price points to satisfy diverse buyer
demographics. The response to the market-rate rental product coming online has
been tremendous, but to cement the viability of downtown as a residential
neighborhood requires individuals who are willing to make a financial as well
as a social investment in downtown as their home.
Is there a current downtown project that you are particularly excited about?
Vidorra – of course! At nearly 75% sold, it’s the most
successful high-rise condominium development in San Antonio, and we just
secured mortgage financing through Wells Fargo’s Neighborhood Community Development
Program. This is a fantastic portfolio product with low downpayment, low
closing costs and no mortgage insurance, and Vidorra is the only high-rise in
S.A. that can offer this financing. It’s very fulfilling to see this project
come to a successful close-out.
What do you think is the future of living in the center city?
As more employment opportunities develop in the center city,
and as public transportation options improve, downtown will attract more
residents. That will lead to more retail and commercial development, and ultimately
a better quality of life for everyone who lives in the center city.
Do you have any advice for someone considering living downtown?
Look at all the different options, and bring an open mind.
It’s a lifestyle change for most people, and its best approached from the
perspective of a new beginning. If you consider how you live on a daily basis,
people often find they can do with much less – in terms of living space, yard
maintenance, even furniture and storage. Downtown living provides a great
opportunity to restructure your living space to better reflect your lifestyle