“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fully harness the economic potential of The River Walk and the San Pedro Creek restoration to advance San Antonio’s position as a world-class city where people want to invest, grow their businesses and create new jobs,” said Tommy Calvert, Bexar County Commissioner for Precinct 4 and a strong advocate for the project.
“One reason Austin is attractive to global investors is its nightlife,” said Commissioner Calvert. “The Link will energize our entertainment scene, making it more vibrant to complement our global identity. Our community clearly expects our political leadership to promote the greater San Antonio region as more competitive on the global stage.”
Project leaders estimate that The Link and potential surrounding redevelopment will bring approximately $5 billion in new economic impact over 10 years.
“I fully support this bold, new vision,” Commissioner Calvert said. “The Link takes the last remaining downtown portion of the River Walk to the next level by creating a cool green oasis in a concrete jungle that brings with it new housing, hotels, and retail, and strengthens our position in global commerce and as a gateway to the Latin America marketplace.”
The concept design work for The Link is being led by Vickrey and Associates, a woman-led engineering firm with a strong track record of innovative work. Six years ago, renowned engineer Al Groves – who designed the extension of the River Walk to the Convention Center in 1968 – brought The Link to Vickrey. Groves chose Vickrey because of its shared commitment to the San Antonio community and its over 50 years of experience working on historic downtown projects. To date, Vickrey has completed more than 100 projects downtown.
“Everyone who knows Al Groves knows he was a man of vision and community integrity,” said Brenda Vickrey Johnson, President of Vickrey and Associates, Inc. “A project like The Link shows forward-thinking local leadership that will pay multiple dividends in job creation and set a new standard for innovative partnerships to revitalize and create a once-in-a-lifetime destination.”
Through Commissioner Calvert’s leadership, Bexar County, in September 2021, allocated $41.1 million to start work on The Link Phase 1 from Main to the River Walk. The vision is to seamlessly weave innovation into the unique fabric of the community through responsible redevelopment.
Already, Universal Services Group plans to anchor one end of The Link with the new Dream Hotel, part of a larger $400 million redevelopment investment. Universal Services Group has agreed to 25% of the residential part of the development’s property taxes to be dedicated to affordable housing programs by the City of San Antonio.
The Link will connect the San Antonio River Walk at Convent Park following Savings Street to San Pedro Creek below Soledad, Main and Flores streets, connecting at street level on Camaron. Trees and green landscapes will surround the linear park. Planned amenities include water recirculation with waterfalls, a reflecting pool, a freestanding waterfall structure, historical statues and public art. Additionally, the park will provide additional flood control for the downtown district.
Commissioner Calvert has previously played an important role in driving previous revitalization projects with his support of the development of The Arts Residences | Thompson Hotel. He helped secure foreign investment for the project that has yielded over 1,275 new jobs for San Antonians. The Arts Residences | Thompson Hotel is located in the same sector as the proposed project site for The Link.
About Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert
Tommy Calvert is Bexar County Commissioner for Precinct 4. He’s the youngest and first African American County Commissioner in Bexar County history. Los Angeles Weekly called him San Antonio’s “wunderkind,” and Gardner Selby of the Austin-American Statesman said he is “one to watch.” Calvert represents over 500,000 residents in Precinct 4 of the 2 million who call Bexar County home.
Carlos de Leon
SOURCE Tommy Calvert, Bexar County Commissioner, Precinct 4