The Westside Monthly - Vol 1, Issue 3



City of San Antonio Westside Development Corporation - Vol 1, Issue 3
The historic West Commerce corridor seeks improvements to flourish once again.
San Antonio’s $850 million municipal bond program will be the largest bond in the history of the city. The bond is intended to transform our cityscape and its attractions. It will look to achieve investments in sidewalks, streets, drainage and flood control, parks, libraries, along with other essential infrastructure. Neighborhoods across the city will receive much needed infrastructure improvements and new construction.
Approximately $450 million of the bond is dedicated toward streets, bridges, and sidewalks. One street in particular that is vital to the city and the west side is the West Commerce St. District 5 councilwoman Shirley Gonzales has proposed $10 million for the project known as the “W Commerce Gateway project”. Since the early 1900’s West Commerce has been a major commercial corridor linking the west side and downtown.

Thanks to the efforts of Councilwoman Gonzales and area leaders, West Commerce is poised to to become the celebrated and economic corridor it once was while creating a healthy environment for our neighborhoods to prosper.

 To see other projects that the bond will have a substantial impact on follow the link
Zack Magallanez | February 10, 2017



Photo: Zack Magallanez WDC / Staff
Mr. Eugene "Gene" Gonzales 
This month we want to recognize Mr. Eugene "Gene" Gonzales. He is the operations coordinator at the Westside Education and Training Center, commonly know as WETC. It is one of the nine off-campus sites of the Alamo Colleges and serves as a workforce training center. WETC opened its doors in 2006 with the goal of acting as an avenue for community residents to attain entry-level job skills and technical skills. They also offer college credit courses through affiliation with the five accredited colleges in the Alamo College system.

Operating on the site of the former Lincoln elementary school campus WETC works in collaboration with the City of San Antonio, Alamo Colleges, Edgewood Independent School District, the Westside Development Corporation and several area community organizations.

The Westside Education and Training Center empowers people and gives them the opportunity to excel and advance their careers. We wish Mr. Gonzales nothing but the best in keeping the center a place that drives people forward and moving the community toward success. 

Zack Magallanez | February 13th, 2017


Photo: Courtesy of Union Stock Yards San Antonio, Inc.
Union Stock Yards San Antonio, Inc. has been serving the Southwest since 1889. Established by a group of ranchers, the company was formed at a major railroad intersection located near 1716 San Marcos St, where they currently located. In 1894, Dr. Amos Graves, who at the time was a doctor at Santa Rosa Hospital and chief surgeon of the railroad, became the principle owner of the livestock market. He changed the name to Union Stock Yards San Antonio, bought more land and built more pens that would accommodate the increase in the number of cattle brought by rail to San Antonio.
After the Civil War, the city thrived by supplying cattle drives shipping north from South Texas along the Chisholm Trail, all the way up into Kansas. As the population increased, San Antonio became a vital marketplace. This was the first market for cattle brought in from the range along extended rail lines. Shipping cattle by train in the early years transitioned to truck by 1930. In 1950, over a million head of livestock a year moved through the gates of Union Stock Yards making it the largest cattle market in South Texas. From the years 1889 to 2001 the stockyards were open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, to serve the agribusiness company. In April of 2001, the Union Stock Yards ceased handling livestock due to the long decline in volume of livestock, increased operating costs and the fundamental changes in how livestock was marketed.
Mark Judson, born and raised in San Antonio, joined the family business full-time in 1981 and later became the president in 1993. While operations have changed, he continues to drive the business toward providing the best service to their clients. Today, the Union Stock Yards San Antonio, Inc., serves the community for warehousing, office, and industrial uses. It is located in the HUBZone, a program that provides contracting assistance for qualified small businesses that are located in the historically underutilized business zones. It is meant as a means to stimulate investment in the area while empowering the community through economic leveraging. We want to wish the very best for Mr. Judson and the continued success of the Union Stock Yards.

Zack Magallanez | February 6th, 2017


Photo: Zack Magallanez, Staff / WDC
Elmendorf lake and park, located in the Prospect Hill Neighborhood and predominatley hispanic west side, held its grand opening to the community on January 21, 2017. The event celebrated the completion of a $16 million improvement project, which was one of the largest investments in public space in an area that usually gets overlooked. Hundreds of people joined leaders and elected officials to ring in this new chapter of park life in our west side community.

Improvements to the 30-acre park include additional pedestrian bridges, a splash pad for kids, picnic areas overlooking the lake, a new playground, extended trails, addtional parking, and improved lighting. The additional bridges connect to the island in the middle of the lake, which were improved with a paved trail, a picnic plaza, and a floating fishing pier. All these improvements help bring together the natural environment and the people.

Elmendorf lake and park will once again be the pride of the west side; bringing together families with the beauty of the natural scenery and the added recreational amenities.

Hit the link to see a Vimeo of the event
Zack Magallanez | February 3, 2017


Photo: Zack Magallanez, Staff / WDC 

The Malt House, located at 115 S Zarzamora St., is a long time cultural gem to the west side community. It’s restaurant services began in 1949 as a drive-in diner, serving affordable Mexican and American dishes and their famous simple soft-serve malts. The restaurant quickly became the go-to diner in the age of the automobile for people living in the area.

The Malt House served the mostly Latino west side community, and became a significant part of family generations. For many, the diner was a gathering space, where you could see just about anybody. Families, local leaders and scholars, people of all ages would not only eat at the restaurant, but stay for hours and enjoy each others company. The Malt House was a very inviting space that welcomed everyone. The architecture of the building and the interior had remained the same for decades, but that’s what people appreciated. Something that stands the test of time is a good thing, and in this case, the restaurant, is a significant part of many peoples lives.

Unfortunately due to declining business and lack of upkeep the Malt House was sold to the convenient store giant 7/Eleven. When the announcement was made official there was a public outcry. After several meetings with the community, it’s clear what the people want from 7/Eleven. The gas station needs to pay tribute to the former diner through its design and layout. It needs to take all the suggestions given by people who literally grew up with the restaurant and apply them when they make their final design.

The Malt House was more than just a joint to grab a bite to eat, it was a community gathering space; lively, welcoming, and you always wanted to go back. Even though 7/Eleven was respectful in listening to what the community had to say, will they take that one step further and actually apply what was said to their store or will they continue with business-as-usual? The west side is watching.

Zack Magallanez | February 8th, 2017

February Calendar

Wed, 15th: On Tap Workshop - La Fruteria
1401 S. Flores, San Antonio, TX 78204
Fri, 17th: VITA Tax Assistance - Bazan Library
2200 W. Commerce, San Antonio TX 78207
Sat, 18th: For the Love of Frida - Mall of the Americas
4522 Fredericksburg Road, San Antonio TX 78201
Mon, 20th: Equal Pay SA : Salary Negotiation workshop - McCreless Mall
1023 Ada Street, San Antonio, TX 78223
Mon, 16th: Texas Trail Roundup: Three Day Walk Fest - Market Square
318 W Cesar Chavez Street, San Antonio, TX 78204
Sat, 25th: Citizenship Classes Spring Semester - Las Palmas Library
515 Castroville Road, San Antonio, TX 78237
Tue, 28th: Open Mic Night - Barrio Barista
3735 Culebra Road, San Antonio TX 78228
Tues, 28th: SA Tomorrow Open House - Stinson Municipal Airport
8535 Mission Road, 78214

“Westside Pews” is a project that helps raise scholarship funds for para-professionals to become certified teachers, promote public art and support local artist. A dozen pews were donated to us from the razed Jerusalem Presbyterian Church. Our idea was to reach out to local artists that were interested in transforming the worn-out benches into their own creations that would then allow them to display their art and raise money for a cause.

Pairing artist with the pews really brought out their creativeness to make transform them into something meaningful. Each pew is unique and all have a story to tell. They showcase just how talented and how important our cultural arts are here in San Antonio.

Creatively styled and completely refurbished by the artist, the 11-foot pews are currently on display at Galería 237 at the Alamo Colleges Westside Education and Training Center, located at 563 SW 40th Street.

The pews are not for sale but businesses or individuals who make a suggested donation — from $1,500 to $5,000 depending on the pew — will choose the one they want as a gift. The suggested donations include an artist fee. To view the “Westside Pews”, please visit our website where they are also on display. To view them in person call us at (210) 501 – 0192 to schedule a tour. Support our local artist and the west side community!

Mission Statement 
The Westside Development Corporation (WDC) mission is to foster economic development, promote the development and redevelopment of real estate within its target area, create viable urban communities, and preserve the character, culture, and history of the Westside.
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City of San Antonio Westside Development Corporation - 630 SW 41st Street - P.O. Box 37569 - San Antonio, TX 78237 - USA
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