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The Express-News Downtown Blog
by Benjamin Olivio

Below are the latest posts from the San Antonio Express-News blog on downtown. Click on the title to view the full post on the Express-News site.

HemisFair public workshop Tuesday

Jul 25, 2014 03:54pm
HemisFair Park Public Workshop • 5:30 p.m. July 29 • Depot at Sunset Station Next week, the planning of HemisFair Park continues with a public workshop focusing on the civic park, the 15-acre piece of land that will become available once the original convention center is demolished at the corner of Market and Alamo streets. […]

Moving foward

Jul 25, 2014 03:53pm
The Downtown Blog is back! Woohoo! More work for me! Unlike its previous, more expansive incarnation, the new blog will focus on urban planning, development, real estate, architecture and some aspects of local government. I have to scale it back because there’s no way I can thoroughly cover downtown and do my full-time job as […]

Taking a hiatus

Jun 20, 2014 07:58pm
A prominent developer here once compared his job as being like the old spinning plates act that was ubiquitous on late-night TV talk shows decades ago. They’d spin a plate, then race athwart five other whirling plates to tend to the one starting to wobble at the end of the table — all to the […]

Teens to take over Central Library’s third floor

Jun 19, 2014 06:49pm
The cramped Teen Service Area at the Central Library has occupied the far right corner of the facility’s ground floor since 1996. Now in just a few short months, the center anticipates a move to the third floor, becoming an exclusive high-tech hangout for kids ages 13 to 18. “We really want to breakdown the idea that the library has to […]

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February, 2012

Burgers and bikes coexist peacefully in S.A.

Feb 27, 2012

Today, I wish to extol two news items that both are occasions for great civic pride and excitement.

The first: Men's Fitness magazine, in its upcoming March issue, has ranked San Antonio the 25th fittest city in the nation.

We've previously been branded one of the “least fit” cities. The less politically correct would say one of the “fattest.” And granted, the magazine ranks us at the very bottom of its list of 25 cities. So it's a tenuous achievement, I suppose, but a mighty one nonetheless.

The second news item: Whataburger is opening downtown on Monday.

Redevelopment is vital for downtown

Feb 27, 2012

HemisFair helped put San Antonio on the modern map in 1968. The World's Fair was a milestone in San Antonio's history.

HemisFair '68 was a huge success. In the years since the World's Fair, however, HemisFair Park's 93 acres have been vastly underutilized. “Our biggest failure was in not coming up with a strategy with what to do with the property after the closing,” Bill Sinkin, one of the HemisFair '68 organizers, told the Express-News in 1993.

San Antonio Cocktail Conference Organizers Award Funds for Children’s Lifesaving Operations

Feb 24, 2012
Executive Chef Mark Bohanan—owner of Bohanan’s Restaurant and Bar, and creator of the first San Antonio Cocktail Conference—presented a check for $57,000 to HeartGift San Antonio to support two lifesaving surgeries for children from disadvantaged countries seeking heart surgeries at Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital. Cocktail Conference supporting business members SoHo Wine & Martini Bar, Ocho Lounge at Hotel Havana, The Esquire Tavern and Rio San Antonio Cruises joined Bohanan in the presentation.

The Viceroy on the way to King William area

Feb 23, 2012

Historically, every king needed a viceroy.

So it's appropriate that the King William area welcomes The Viceroy, a mixed-used development in the Southtown neighborhood that broke ground on Tuesday at the corner of West Guenther and South Flores streets.

City bond proposal includes changes for downtown

Feb 22, 2012

The city of San Antonio's $596 million bond project is packed full of projects city-wide. Around 80 percent of the proposed bond money would go to projects consisting of streets, bridges, and sidewalk improvements.

HNTB moves to location in the heart of downtown San Antonio

Feb 20, 2012
On Thursday, Feb. 16, HNTB Corporation held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new office located at 130 East Travis St. The office will house the firm’s 41 professional engineers, environmental scientists, planners, public involvement representatives and support staff. The firm has an option to lease additional space in the future as the firm continues to grow.

San Antonio’s culinary scene: So much more than Tex-Mex and Riverwalk chains

Feb 20, 2012
In the not-so-distant past, most people thought dining in San Antonio meant either Tex-Mex restaurants or tourist traps on the Riverwalk. But today, while remaining ground zero for the culturally-relevant Tex-Mex cuisine, the culinary map in the Alamo City started to change a few years back, becoming more adventurous, diversified and eclectic thanks to a growing number of forward-thinking chefs and restaurateurs. That’s why those of us familiar with the scene were not surprised to learn that it had captured the attention of StarChefs.com, who bestowed 2012 Rising Stars Awards upon four of the city’s brightest. 

Free parking on Downtown Tuesday a big hit for San Antonio romance

Feb 15, 2012
Scott and Mandy Earle decided to spend Valentine’s evening doing something they have not done in years. They celebrated the night in downtown San Antonio.

Why love matters: A Valentine to a sustainable future

Feb 14, 2012
Lovability, a concept deeply distrusted by architects of most stripes, is actually the gateway to sustainable architecture because if a building can't be loved, it will not last. And lovability is a better standard than beauty, as we shall see.

Urban Renaissance for San Antonio? Keeping Score in a Fast-Changing City

Feb 14, 2012

Don’t blink or you’ll miss a lot that is changing for the better in this city.

The redevelopment of San Antonio’s central city is gaining impressive momentum as anyone who has pedaled a bicycle down Broadway, through Southtown or along the Mission Reach of  the San Antonio River can testify. Put another way, a whole lot of vision seems to be reaching the actualization stage.