Thursday, December 13, 2018

City of San Antonio approves land transfer for UTSA Downtown Campus initiative

City of San Antonio approves land transfer for UTSA Downtown Campus initiative

UTSA President Taylor Eighmy speaks before the San Antonio City Council.

(Oct. 18, 2018) – The San Antonio City Council today unanimously approved the transfer of two parcels of land to expand the UTSA Downtown Campus. The collaboration is a major component in UTSA’s 10-year vision to accelerate the development of the Downtown Campus as an exemplary urban serving university that produces highly skilled professionals, advances economic development and creates prosperity in San Antonio.

The City of San Antonio properties transferring to UTSA include 2.5 acres at the intersection of South Santa Rosa and Dolorosa Streets and one acre on Dolorosa near South Flores Street. They would be the sites for the National Security Collaboration Center and the School of Data Science.

“Today’s vote by City Council is a terrific illustration of the power of collaboration,” said UTSA President Taylor Eighmy. “The land transfers will accelerate UTSA’s ability to serve as a driver of economic development and social mobility in our city, and together we are shining an even brighter spotlight on San Antonio for national cybersecurity leadership.”

President Eighmy, UT System Regent Rad Weaver, several San Antonio business leaders and UTSA cybersecurity student Heila Shahidi went before the City Council today in support of the land transfer, calling it a game changer for downtown San Antonio. Mayor Ron Nirenberg reinforced that description.

“UTSA’s expansion will accelerate San Antonio’s ongoing central city resurgence and provide a transformative boost that enhances economic opportunity for generations to come,” said Nirenberg. “These initiatives will have a profound effect on our growing technology sector in addition to UTSA’s drive to become a nationally recognized research university. San Antonio is second only to the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area when it comes to federal cyber defense assets. Already, San Antonio’s academic institutions are a big part of the cyber technology landscape.”

Former HUD Secretary and mayor of San Antonio Henry Cisneros spoke as a government official who studied the relationships between universities and cities, particularly universities located in downtown areas, and, also, as a longtime resident of the westside of San Antonio. 

“This is a powerful plan,” Cisneros said. “Universities can be powerful, powerful guiding forces to a city’s economy.” 

He confirmed San Antonio is on the same successful tract as Austin, San Francisco, Washington D.C., New York, and Phoenix, that all received an economic boost from major downtown university campuses.

UTSA and the city are also actively exploring the joint development and management of the former Continental Hotel on West Commerce Street as housing for faculty and other urban professionals. The project will involve the renovation of the existing hotel and construction of a new building on the hotel’s former parking lot. 

UTSA is concurrently in discussions with Bexar County for the potential transfer of 2.6 acres of property, conjoining the city parcels.  

- Courtney Clevenger


Learn more about the UTSA Downtown Campus 10-Year Plan.

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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

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