Activists are blaming 'back room bullying' for the Independence Day eve decision by City Manager Sheryl Sculley to grant conditional approval to a very controversial plan to build high dollar apartments near the historic Hays Street Bridge on the city east side, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The City Manager says the plan for the Bridge Apartments will be approved 'with eight additional stipulations,' including a stipulation that steps be taken to preserve views of the historic bridge, which spans the railroad tracks east of downtown and is the oldest iron bridge west of the Mississippi.
Attorney Amy Kastely, who is working with the Dignowity Hills Neighborhood Association, says the decision by the City Manager is a fiasco, and, mocking Mayor Nirenberg's campaign slogan, asked 'is this the city the people deserve or the city the developers have bought?'
The apartments will be constructed in a part of the east side which features stunning views of downtown, and easy access to the tech corridors on Houston Street and at the Pearl Complex, which will make it a prime rental location.
But Kastely and other activists say the bridge will not only disrupt views of the bridge and the downtown skyline which are now enjoyed by San Antonians and visitors alike, but will contribute to the gentrification of the east side which has already driven up property values. She warns this will mean many people who have lived in their east side homes for generations will be forced out of their homes because they won't be able to afford higher property taxes.