Redeveloping the district trict
The Aviation District project will be completed in four phases with no concrete timeline or overall cost estimate—over the next 10 to 15 years, with upcoming projects from the city focusing on roads and streetscaping. City leaders said projects will be put out for bid and partnerships could help pay for the work.
Universal City leaders have developed a master plan to reimagine and reinvigorate the Aviation District.
Arches on each end of Pat Booker Boundary Trails Car-free zone/ pedestrian street Commercial Zone 1 Commercial Zone 2 Commercial Zone 3 (Hotel) Mixed use Townhomes/row houses Single-family (low density) Townhomes or single-family (low density) Townhomes or single-family (medium density) Townhomes or mixed use Mobile food truck park
NOTE: PHASES AND PLANS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. SOURCE: CITY OF UNIVERSAL CITY COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
RENDERING COURTESY CITY OF UNIVERSAL CITY
sidewalks in our city that need to be addressed, not just in the Aviation District,” Turner said. “We have to take these projects as they come and think of what is best for all residents.” Workingwith housing increases Within the plan, the city aims to provide housing that can meet all needs, whether they are single-family homes or apartment complexes. “This plan calls for multiple hous- ing types,” Cassata said. “It will have single-family, townhomes and also apartments, or maybe condos depending on how the market is around that time. We have this hous- ing plan in place, but the housing market will ultimately dictate how it all turns out.” According to Cassata, the housing market in Universal City has not seen the major challenges that cities closer to San Antonio are facing. “Right now, we have not really experienced major challenges, and folks still see homes here as a good investment,” Cassata said. “Housing here is still aordable compared to other areas around San Antonio.” In the Aviation District Master Plan, gures from 2017 show the median rent in the city being $927, while the median single-family home value was $156,000. However, according to data from the San Antonio Board of Realtors, in 2022 the median home value sits at $272,000. Despite these increases, Turner said she feels condent that the residential portions of the plan will ll out to be accommodating to the groups that the plan aims to attract. “I think we are in a good place,” Turner said. “If we need to make changes to the plan, then we can as those updates come along, but so far we are still on track.”
MAP NOT TO SCALE N
in some places, and the older places are only 3 feet,” Turner said. “People need to have the ability to walk by each other, so we are implementing larger sidewalks, and East Aviation was the rst implementation of our 8-foot [wide] sidewalk.” The city’s next project near the dis- trict will be landscaping medians on Pat Booker Road and expanding side- walks on area streets, which Turner anticipates will be under construction by summer or fall 2023. According to Cassata, the hope is to encourage development along Pat Booker by creating an updated road that looks appealing. “The synergy we are looking for is by putting in these initial investments by the city itself; it will help the pri- vate investment in the street fronts and those adjacent parcels,” he said. Turner said on April 19 the City Council had the rst reading to issue $3.1 million of the remaining 2010 bond debt, which will be used to focus on streets in the district. “We will be using that money to make improvements on those roads within the Aviation District,” Turner said. “Which streets, at this point, we do not know because the cost of con- struction has gone up, so we have to go back and gure out which streets will give us the most bang for our buck.” Turner noted that while the Avia- tion District is a priority, the city will also be working on other roads and streets within the city. “We have a lot of roads and
NOTE: DEVELOPMENT PLANS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE BASED ON CITY APPROVAL AND MARKET CHANGES. SOURCE: CITY OF UNIVERSAL CITYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
Brewing Company helps advance the project and moves the city forward in making the vision a reality. “Redevelopment is key for us since we are landlocked,” Williams said. “Revitalization of the Aviation District is natural for us. We just completed major road repairs on [East Aviation Boulevard] so the time is right.” Updating streets The rst street to be reworked under this plan was East Aviation Boulevard, which was originally esti- mated to be complete in October 2021. Due to project delays, the road was not nished until the end of March. Despite the additional time to nish East Aviation Boulevard, City Man- ager Kim Turner said she believes the overall Aviation District project is still on track to complete within the planned 10- to 15- year time frame. With the completion of East Avi- ation Boulevard, the city will focus more on expanding sidewalks and adding more walking spaces through- out the district, she said. For the Aviation District’s side- walks, the city plans to widen them between 6 and 13 feet, depending on the road within the district. “We only have 4-foot sidewalks
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pandemic and the rise in supply costs for construction have delayed proj- ects, but the overall plan timeline should still be on track. The development plan lines Pat Booker Road with commercial zones and a potential hotel, while zones moving away from Pat Booker are more focused on residential develop- ment, with the city having ve zones for townhome development, one zone for single-family development and the remaining zones classied as mixed-use. To make this vision a reality, the city plans to work with local busi- nesses and property owners to revi- talize the area and make it a desirable place for growth and development. While the master plan is an overall vision for the Aviation District, proj- ect expenses and funding sources are determined based on the timing of the individual developments and advancements, Cassata said. Mayor John Williams said the completion of East Aviation Boule- vard work and the opening of Gather
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