Plan Framework and Implementation Priorities
Amenities & Public Spaces
The map below highlights the Amenities & Public Spaces Framework recommendations identified for the Port San Antonio Area Regional Center Area. Scroll down to learn more about the vision for Amenities & Public Spaces in the Plan Area.
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The history of the Port San Antonio Area Regional Center is rooted in the presence of the military bases as mentioned in the Existing Conditions section. The Regional Center has served as a military innovation center since the creation of Kelly Air Force Base and Lackland Air Force Base. The Port San Antonio Authority is continuing to carry on that legacy and expanding on its roots in the aerospace industry by providing space for Boeing, StandardAero, GCD Technics, and Chromalloy to operate on its grounds. It is also pushing boundaries and creating a robust innovation campus by focusing on education, global logistics, manufacturing, and cybersecurity industries. A significant component of creating a Port San Antonio Area Regional Center that provides opportunities for new industrial and commercial businesses to thrive while also preserving existing residential areas and allowing for new compatible residential development, is incorporating improvements that create new or further enhance existing amenities and public spaces throughout the Regional Center.
Improvements to amenities and public spaces are the key to establishing character definition for the Regional Center. Adding public art, signage and wayfinding, plazas and additional features such as streetscape improvements, enhanced lighting, priority connections, and trails increase access for pedestrians and bicyclists and helps create inviting spaces for people to enjoy. These features also further enhance connectivity between land uses by identifying locations that welcome and are intended to be used by pedestrians and bicyclists. By diversifying the industries housed at Port San Antonio, the Port is not only bringing new life and industry into the area, but they are creating new opportunities for connectivity through their campus and bringing new activity to the Regional Center. New desired development should draw on the historic character on the Regional Center in design and density while providing a modern asset for the community and creating new public gathering space opportunities. With thoughtful placement of these improvements, the Regional Center will create inviting spaces for people to enjoy within the Port San Antonio campus and through the entire Regional Center, and there will be safer environments for walking, bicycling and using other non-motorized alternatives. Collectively, improvements to amenities and public spaces will help make the Regional Center a more unique place that will be desirable for residents, workers, and visitors.
Recommendation #1Create urban trail connections between existing and proposed park systems.
Proposed amenities and public spaces are meant to highlight and enhance existing landmarks and attractions within the Regional Center. Drawing on assets within the boundary and adjacent or in close proximity will help define the Port San Antonio Area Regional Center. The Regional Center is adjacent to or in close proximity to three large park systems – Pearsall Park, Rodriguez Park, and Levi Strauss Park. Currently, these parks are only easily accessible by vehicle or public transit. Access via walking or bicycling is challenging due to lack of or gaps in sidewalks or trails. Creating a connection between these larger parks and the neighborhood or community parks within the Regional Center with an internal trail system will improve the eastern and western connection within the Regional Center. Additionally, it will provide safe pedestrian and bicycle movement, even along heavily trafficked thoroughfares. Roadways, drainage ways, and existing or abandoned easements should be utilized and, where feasible, redeveloped to include multi-use paths that will create an urban trail system. There should be an emphasis on providing connections from Miller’s Pond to Medina Base Park with a trail connection to Pearsall Park via Medina Base Road and from Levi Strauss Park to Camargo Park ending with a connection to the Innovation Hub focus area via Southwest 36th Street. Existing or abandoned easements should also be considered as additional or alternative trails to help expand the internal trail system.
Recommendation #2Establish character defining signage and elements unique to the Regional Center.
Part of creating a defining character for the Port San Antonio Area Regional Center is to draw on proposed improvements to amenities and public spaces in a way that also acknowledges and respects the history of the Regional Center. The Regional Center is already unlike any other part of the City as the soul of it derives from the existing and former military bases that sit at the center of the area. Public art, such as the mural depicting jets and the military along the concrete base of the U.S. Highway 90 overpass bridge at 36th Street, or the Tribute to Freedom monument located at West Military Drive and U.S. Highway 90, sets a precedent for highlighting the roots of the Regional Center. Incorporating more public art of varying scales that are in theme with the mural at 36th Street and the Tribute to Freedom sculpture will create cohesion throughout the Regional Center and bring together various neighborhoods and commercial corridors that are currently disconnected in character and design.
Recommendation #3Improve existing parks and create new plazas for gathering and community events.
San Antonio has numerous well known and iconic parks and public spaces that attract local residents and tourists. The San Antonio River Walk, Brackenridge Park, and the recently developed Pearsall Park are examples of successful parks, with different features, that have many visitors year-round due to the different amenities at the park. As the population grows in San Antonio, it is important that the City continues to expand upon the number of parks and plazas that are made available throughout different areas of the City for the public to enjoy. Amenities and features at existing parks, such as Millers Pond, should be evaluated periodically to determine whether upgrades need to be made to increase use of the park for different activities.
Parks, Trails and Open Space
The Port San Antonio Area Regional Center has a limited amount of green spaces within its boundary that are open to the general public. Some neighborhoods have their own private parks, typically maintained by their homeowners association. There are five established community and neighborhood parks, Medina Base Park, Miller’s Pond, Camargo Park, Kennedy Park, and Stablewood Farms Park. There are also three well established large parks within close proximity to the Regional Center that are open and available to the public - Pearsall Park, Rodriguez Park, and Levi Strauss Park.
The Regional Center includes many major corridors that must accommodate motor vehicles, pedestrian, bicycle, and public transit usage. In order to make pedestrian and bicyclist activity safer, it is crucial to enhance the streetscape by widening sidewalks, adding more defined crosswalks, increasing/adding street lighting, and incorporating more landscaping and street trees. The community wants to be able to safely access nearby uses, including greenways and residences, and these features are crucial to creating an environment that is safer for pedestrians and bicyclists while still accommodating motor vehicles.
Character Defining Features
Currently, the Port San Antonio Area Regional Center has few existing character defining features and while they do enhance the overall character of the area, new features with a consistent theme are needed to highlight the unique heritage and tradition throughout the entire Regional Center. The existing character defining features include: the Tribute to Freedom monument, Lackland Air Force Base which is surrounding by but is not within the Regional Center, and Port San Antonio which has military roots from its former use as Kelly Air Force Base.