Controversy brewing over potential development across Hays Street Bridge

Controversy is brewing just east of downtown where developers are hoping to build a four-story apartment complex with retail shops and a restaurant.

At four stories high, “The Bridge,” a proposed mixed-use apartment complex, would sit in front of the iconic Hays Street Bridge.

It will include retail shops, nearly 150 units, and a restaurant. Apartments at The Bridge would go for about $1,000 a month.

The project would sit in the lot across from Alamo Beer Company. The owner of the brewery, Eugene Simor, is also a developer for the project.

“It’ll have a swimming pool, a courtyard, retail components, it’ll blend with the community, it’s designed in such a way to compliment the area,” Simor explained.

But the Hays Street Bridge has been in the area since 1910 and families in the community have been there for generations. They enjoy the historical aspect of the bridge but also the current view. And they’re worried about The Bridge changing that iconic view.

Simor says that the view of downtown won't be jeopardized.

However, bridge-goers say they are more worried about blocking the view of the bridge itself.

“That will be horrible,” Elaine Ramirez said. “Because of the view, if they block it, a lot of people come here to relax. It’ll destroy it all.”

“The size of this new development will be taller than the bridge itself,” said Gracelia Sanchez with Hays Bridge Restoration, a group that tried to build a park at the lot a few years back. “If the most iconic part of the bridge gets erased, your children, great grandchildren, will lose that view.”

The historic design and review commission will decide on whether or not the project will move forward next week. Sanchez hopes the commission listens to the people of the community.  

“They fear they are getting pushed out of the neighborhood,” she said. “And they know that housing development is not for them.”

© 2017 KENS-TV


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