Updated January 2018
Downtown Development Overview
Since the “Decade of Downtown” began in 2010 - a phrase coined by former Mayor Julián Castro - we have seen growth in downtown mostly due to development and policy. Yet, we still have much work to do to make downtown “everyone’s neighborhood.” San Antonio has made steady progress toward increasing downtown housing units and is on track to meet the goal of 7,500 new housing units in the downtown area by 2020. The Center City Development & Operations Department includes the following in the number for downtown housing units: those that are recently completed, those under construction, and those anticipated to break ground in the coming year. As for crime, after several years of making progress, downtown crime rates are now trending in the wrong direction. Downtown crime rate mirrors the FBI’s Universal Crime Rate (UCR) While there was no report in 2016 for downtown employment and economic impact, the latest numbers from 2015 show that San Antonio has exceeded its goals for 2020. In fact, the top 5 industries in downtown employment are:
- Accommodation and Food Services
- Health Care and Social Assistance
- Public Administration
- Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
- Finance and Insurance
The industry that registered the largest economic impact in downtown was finance and insurance, followed by utilities. Finally, Centro San Antonio had completed a satisfaction survey for downtown residents in 2013, but will not be replicating it. Instead, Centro will now be producing an annual survey on San Antonio residents’ perceptions of downtown.
Why is this important?
Great cities have great downtowns. Great downtowns offer culture, convenience, and a variety of transportation options for getting in and out of center cities. Additionally, economic growth, visitor and local spending, and talent attraction and retention are benefits to having a thriving downtown. A strong urban core plays a critical economic role in the life of a city. According to a recent study by International Downtown Association, per square mile, Downtown San Antonio has 1.5 times as many housing units, 30 times as many jobs, 30 times as much retail, 109 times as much hotel space as the city as a whole. Additionally, for every $1 generated in tax revenue per square mile in San Antonio, Downtown generates anywhere from 15-18 times more.
Altogether, Argo Group supports more than 1,500 non-profit groups internationally each year. But the company places high priority on investing in the communities and neighborhoods in which it is based. This explains why the international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products made the recent move to the heart of downtown San Antonio, and why Argo commits so much funding and energy to support the city as a whole. Their move downtown in 2012 was a “win-win-win”: an opportunity to contribute to downtown revitalization, a chance to expand and upgrade its facilities, and a way to provide employees with an enhanced work environment – both inside and outside the building. It also brought Argo closer to engagement opportunities, like sponsoring Artpace's annual Chalk It Up event on Houston St. Based on its longstanding commitment to community involvement — and the exciting level of energy in the company today — Argo will continue to help the greater San Antonio area achieve its shared community goals.