Court Ruling Should Clear the Way for Construction of Hays St. Apartments

posted by 1200 WOAI -

It looks like the four-year long battle over plans to build high dollar apartments on Cherry Street near the Hays Street Bridge is over, after a local judge rejected a last-minute attempt by opponents to delay the issuance of building permits for the project, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

State District Judge Laura Salinas ruled that a completely separate case before the Texas Supreme Court regarding governmental immunity has no relevance to the project.

“The issue before the Supreme Court deals with a very narrow immunity issue,” City Attorney Andy Segovia said. “We are glad Judge Salinas saw that there was no linkage between the Supreme Court matter and moving forward on the project.”

Developers hope to begin construction on a luxury apartment building at 803 N. Cherry Street, which is in front of the historic bridge, which spans the railroad lines running just east of downtown and is considered the best example of 19th Century iron bridge construction west of the Mississippi River. It is also a common spot for picnics and selfies, with its stunning views of downtown.

But opponents say the project will not only destroy the valued views of the bridge, but will make major changes to Dignowity Hill, the mid-19th Century neighborhood which was considered in its time to be San Antonio's first suburb.

Dignowity Hill, although settled by Czechs, later in the 19th Century become a vibrant home for freedmen and their families, who constructed an historic neighborhood for former enslaved people and their children and grandchildren.

Opponents of the bridge are afraid that the luxury apartments will further gentrification in the neighborhood, leading to higher housing prices which will force families who have lived in Dignowity Hill for generations out of their homes due to rising property taxes.

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