San Antonio’s historically neglected Southside is about to get a facelift with its first four-year university and an accompanying portion of nearby mixed-use development. Texas A&M University system officials plan to complete a new 700-acre campus south of SW Loop 410 between Zarzamora and Pleasanton roads by the end of 2011 and have 25,000 students enrolled before 2030.
Along with the campus is coming a host of new business, echoing the higher-education boom — think UTSA and the South Texas Medical Center — that helped spark the Northside’s boom. The owners of a development dubbed “Verano” donated the acreage to the university, hoping for it to become part of their 2,700-acre master-planned community. The center plans to combine space for shopping, entertainment, offices, schools, science and research facilities, and a transportation hub. Of course, they also plan to make it “green” and “sustainable,” using renewable energy sources to power some of the buildings and even leaving space for small-scale farming and gardening.