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Southside Street Project Boosting Growth For Area Schools, Businesses

U.S. Geological Survey

The city has begun a major "complete streets" project on Villaret Boulevard, which spans east and west on the city's Southside.

Once completed, the $7 million project will double the width of Villaret Boulevard the length of Palo Alto College, a drainage system will be installed to prevent flooding in future storms, and there will be lighting, curbs, sidewalks, and bike lanes.

These improvements are needed to  keep up with continued growth of Palo Alto, as well as housing and industry locating in that part of town.

If you compared an aerial photograph of the Southside today to a few years ago, the landscape would show a new wind farm, a new university, a new Alamo Colleges aerospace training school, the growing Palo Alto College, new housing, hydraulic fracking-related businesses and the Toyota community.

Councilman Ray Saldaña said it only makes sense that companies wishing to relocate or build new business in San Antonio would start to look at some of the space that is still available within the city limits.

Credit U.S. Geological Survey
Landsat image of Southeast San Antonio in 2011.

"The city of San Antonio over the last ten years has grown at a higher rate than any other city across the country - we added 180,000 people. Now we're projected to do exactly that from 2012 to 2020," Saldaña said.

He said Palo Alto College expects a nearly 10 percent growth rate in the next two years.

"They, in fact have thrown in several hundred thousand dollars for the design of the street, for the design of the drainage project," Saldaña said.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.