This Tuesday, December 16, HPARC released its finalized plans for Hemisfair’s upcoming Civic Park.
HPARC’S placemaking plans to create an urban oasis in downtown San Antonio include a series of parks: Yanaguana Garden
, Tower Park, and Hemisfair’s largest park, the currently nameless Civic Park
which is set to open in 2018 after the demolition of the old Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center is complete.
Facing Alamo St and Market St, Civic Park will add over 8 football fields’ worth of green, public space to downtown San Antonio. The park will feature 6 main “program areas”: the Zócalo, a main entrance plaza with cafés under shaded patios, courtyards, the Shallows for wading in, gardens, groves, and the Great Lawn which will be large enough to accommodate up to 10,000 people during Fiesta and Luminaria.
The aim of the newly developed Hemisfair is to provide the downtown area with a central gathering place and to encourage the comingling of locals and visitors. Civic Park, boasting programmed activities, culinary festivals, live music, and other performances, will surely be the epicenter of this gathering place.
The number of daily visitors to Hemisfair is projected to quadruple upon the completion of the revamp. If all goes well with HPARC’s plans, Hemisfair has the potential to be as successful as Houston’s similar urban park, Discovery Green. After its opening in 2008, Discovery Green has led to over $500 million in “downtown development projects
that specifically note the park’s creation as an impetus for the dramatic investments.” The park also boasts more than 800 public and private events annually, drawing in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Because the motives behind Hemisfair’s development are so similar to those which led to the development of Discovery Green, San Antonio residents can (hopefully) look forward to some positive economic growth following the completion of 2018's Civic Park.