A multimillion-dollar development plan hopes to revitalize La Villita Historic Arts Village in downtown San Antonio. A major goal is to encourage more visitors and increase foot traffic in the area.
The historic district south of the River Walk is comprised of just one square block. It was one of San Antonio's first settlements in the 1700s.
Well-known as the location of popular Fiesta event "A Night In Old San Antonio," La Villita houses rentable event spaces like Maverick Plaza, at least 15 artisan shops and four locally-owned restaurants.
The redevelopment plan approved by San Antonio City Council welcomes three more dining options featuring the foods of renowned chefs Johnny Hernandez, Elizabeth Johnson and Steve McHugh.
Other expected changes include infrastructure improvements from repaving the plaza and roadways to adding metered parking on Nueva Street.
There are some conservation-related concerns and worry that the construction period could disrupt business for La Villita establishments. Independent operators and small businesses in La Villita hope to be involved in the district's City-run programming.
The two-year construction project is expected to begin in 2019, after the City gathers feedback from the community this year.
How can the La Villita experience be improved for both locals and tourists? What are the pros and cons of redevelopment in this valued historic district?
- John Jacks, director of the City of San Antonio Center City Development & Operations Department
- Susan Beavin, president of the San Antonio Conservation Society
- Deborah Sibley, president of the La Villita Tenants Association, a non-profit organization composed of the small business owners and area constituents
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