Hemisfair Park: Convention Center expansion and Complete Streets
Hemisfair Park’s redevelopment, the first phase of which is set to get going later this year, is meant to bring world class public space to the city’s core. But it also ties in with the SA2020 vision, the city’s Complete Streets initiative, and the growth of downtown businesses and amenities.
Part of Hemisfair Park’s redevelopment includes the creation of a new Civic Park. In order to achieve this, the existing convention center will expand to the east, which means the western portion can be deconstructed to create space for the park.
The $325 million convention center expansion will also add more meeting space and exhibit halls, and modernize the facility. The San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates that the convention center expansion will bring the city’s contiguous exhibit space up from the 22nd largest in the country to the top 10 in comparable cities.
The new civic park, which should start taking shape in 2016, is planned to include open areas, gardens, gathering spaces, and an amphitheater.
Meanwhile, Complete Streets will impact roads around and within Hemisfair Park, including Cesar Chavez, S. Alamo, Market Street and internal park streets. Complete Streets is a national initiative that San Antonio is supporting through city policy. It calls for roads that accommodate all users, including transit users, cyclists, pedestrians, cars, and those using wheelchairs. The SA2020 vision calls for tripling the miles of Complete Streets in San Antonio.