Two weeks ago, consultant Jamie Torres-Springer presented the San Antonio City Council with a sunny, SA 2020 vision of what downtown could look like at the beginning of the next decade.
Advocating for a package of financial incentives that would help developers build at least 7,500 new downtown housing units over the next eight years, Torres-Springer – a partner with HR&A, the firm hired by the City to develop a strategic downtown plan – offered a simple mantra: Provide the housing, and everything else will come.
Elisa Chan and Carlton Soules weren’t convinced. The two north-of-the-loop, fiscally conservative Council members repeatedly challenged the consultant on his premise and openly wondered how HR&A arrived at its conclusions. On Monday afternoon, Chan upped the ante, with a newsletter email blast warning that the City could get roped into $150-$300 million in tax incentives for housing that the market doesn’t yet want.