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Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012
A Look Back at SA\'s Homebrew History

A Look Back at SA's Homebrew History

The Beer Issue: Homebrewing is a foundational American virtue. Not just Sam Adams smiling back from the bottle that bears his name—virtually all the... By Lance Higdon 10/15/2014

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Newsmonger: Digging into Castro’s Downtown housing claims

Photo: Courtesy Photo, License: N/A

Courtesy Photo

Steel House Lofts

During his last speech (we’ll see) as the mayor of San Antonio, Julián Castro hailed the “Decade of Downtown” and lauded what he said was a significant addition of housing units and investment into the Alamo City’s urban core.

San Antonio has changed drastically over the years, a point Castro noted in his July 10 speech to supporters, who paid $75 to $100 per ticket (or $475 to $750 per table of eight) to listen to the mayor reiterate his vision for the future of Downtown in a third-floor conference room at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter.

Castro praised the infusion of infrastructure dollars invested into Downtown housing projects and noted that 20 housing developments in San Antonio’s urban core resulted in a combined $574 million investment in the Downtown area, for which the City of San Antonio provided $54 million in incentives.

A housing inventory spreadsheet for those Downtown projects—provided to the Current by Lori Houston, director of the Center City Development and Operations Department—breaks down the finances and the number of housing units that Castro boasted about in his speech.

The mayor said that since 2010, Downtown housing units have more than doubled. In 2010 there were 3,034 housing units and in the past four years, 3,573 more have been added, Castro said, explaining that the goal is to have more than 7,000 units (in addition to the 2010 number) by 2020.

The housing inventory spreadsheet backs up Castro’s numbers, but also paints a bit of a different picture than what was presented during the luncheon.

Seven of those touted 20 developments are still under construction and five are in the design phase. Additionally, the 12 developments being designed or being constructed account for a total of 2,241 housing units. The contracts for these 12 developments were executed in 2013 and 2014, with the exception of two that were executed in 2012. In that time span only one project has been completed, the Casa Blanca Lofts on the near East Side, which has 17 housing units (five under contract) and was an investment of $3.3 million backed by a little less than $300,000 in city incentives. In total, these developments represent an investment of $347,623,763 backed by $32,886,613 in city incentives.

All of the housing projects that started in 2010 and 2011 are complete and two projects started in 2012 are also complete. Those eight completed projects represent a total of 1,332 housing units for a total investment of $226,729,771 backed by $20,879,418.86 in city incentives.

So, in actuality, less than half of the housing units Castro said were added in Downtown are actually occupied.

But, according to the housing inventory spreadsheet, nearly all of the eight completed projects have occupancy rates above 90 percent. The Mosaic, contract executed in 2011, has an 82 percent occupancy rate with 92 percent of the units being pre-leased. The Steel House Lofts, contract executed in 2011, are 85 percent occupied with 98.5 percent of the units being pre-leased.

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