Nilda and I enjoyed another urban hike yesterday. This time we poked around the downtown San Antonio area. Photos from our walk can be found here. While I miss the hikes in the New England woods I remember from my childhood, these urban hikes offer a practical and enjoyable alternative. You can get an overview of a community by driving around in a motor vehicle but nothing can compare to actually walking the ground. Nilda and I have previously discussed how the southern part of downtown San Antonio has the potential to be a real jewel and that it's a shame it has been ignored as the city has sprawled to the north. However, on this trip we found that south downtown has been discovered by developers. Condo and loft projects are in the works. Also, it looks like a smart speculator has moved in and purchased many or the available properties. Many of these properties are vacant or under utilized former industrial or commercial buildings that are perfect for mixed use and residential development.
Pictured here is a "diamond in the rough," a real beauty, that we'd love to redevelop as commercial on the first floor, our residence on the second, and a green roof on top. While these old commercial properties don't offer the architectural grandeur of some of the other fabulous buildings in downtown San Antonio, they still have tremendous potential.
CampStreet is one of the loft projects we walked by, others include South End Lofts and Milmo Lofts. It was really exciting to see the beginning of the recovery of this area. Here is an Alamo City example of the return to urban living that we have seen so much of in other cities such as the Pearl District in Portland, OR and LoDo in Denver.