Yesterday I had the chance to visit some downtown apartments. It was an initiative to introduce more young professionals to the prospect of downtown living in San Antonio. There were 30-or-so of us. Seemed like a good turnout for a Sunday afternoon.
San Antonio, like many cities, has been trying to invigorate its downtown area. One of the things to do is inject the city with professional types. Since these types are younger, they are prone to go out; and since they are “professional,” they are prone to actually spend money.
The bummer aspect for San Antonio is two fold.
One: the city is very spread out–something like 480 square miles. That means many people live in different areas and can tend to clump up in their preferred regions (north west, north central, west, etc). Downtown is a place you can go, but not too many people actually LIVE down there.
Two: downtown is still being developed. There is still no grocery store, for example. While the city is moving fairly quickly to make downtown living as enticing as possible, it’s still not quite there yet.
So that leads to a little bit of the old chicken-and-egg situation. People are hesitant go live downtown because there still aren’t a ton of businesses and amenities yet. Businesses and amenities are hesitant to go downtown because there still aren’t a ton of people down there.
Regardless, there are several lofts and new apartments down there, which was the reason for the visit.
All in all? I wasn’t too blown away. Considering how relatively cheap San Antonio is to build or buy a house, the costs of the apartments and the tiny sizes turned me off a bit. Now I know living downtown is its own reward. I get that. But I’m on the fence about it. It doesn’t take that long to get there, and all of my friends don’t live there.
The apartments were nice and all–very industrial, modern and some were kind of neat. But for the monies? My vote is “no.” I know I’m along the demographic they want considering making the move, but I just don’t see it in the cards for me. If they caught me a few years ago when I didn’t own anything, I’d consider it, but trying to fit into 500 square feet at this point would be a little tight, especially since for the same amount, I can get a house three times that size.
Still, was cool to visit–see the options. Was a good time. But sorry, San Antonio, I’ll probably stick with living a little ways out of the city.