Hays Street Bridge Reopened
Even though there was strong opposition to the plan, Thursday the San Antonio City Council approved the building of a brewery on the east side.
"It was built in 1881 as a railroad crossing of the Nueces River west of Uvalde and moved here in 1910," said Douglas Steadnan.
The Hays Street Bridge in Dignowity Hill near Hays Street and Cherry Street was restored and reopened to runners and pedestrians in July 2010.
City council voted to sell the land next to the historic Hays Street Bridge to a developer that has plans to build a brewery on the site. They also want to build a walkway to the bridge and put tables and chairs for patrons.
"I think it's very unfortunate that the City of San Antonio is falling over themselves to create this enormous incentive package for a developer that is only promising to create 10 jobs initially," said Susana Segura of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center.
The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center is just one of several community groups who are against the idea.
"They've lied about the deed on the property. They've lied about my intentions. They've lied about me blocking the bridge. The list goes on and on," said Eugene Simor, president of the Alamo Beer Company. "And it's very unfortunate that they haven't even sat down with me to see a proper presentation."
Protesters say there is not enough room for cyclist and tables.
"Basically the table lease would go from the railing up until this middle part of the bridge here, which is approximately 11 feet 4 inches, leaving a full 11 feet 4 inches for cyclists," Simor countered.
The opposition says the land was going to be used for a park. But Simor says he was told by the city there was no intended use of the land for that purpose.
"There was an implied understanding that it would be a park," said Segura.
The restoration group also worries that the brewery will block the view of the city from the bridge.
"They shouldn't be allowed to build a three story, 4 story, 5 story building around this bridge because it will affect the view-shed and it will block it," Segura added.
But, the brewery CEO said that by building the brewery on the opposite side of the bridge the city view will be maintained.
A 15-year tax incentive package was proposed. The brewery plans on breaking ground on the new brewery this fall.