Some of the first pioneers of San Antonio built their missions in the city’s south side.
Today, it’s the trail of economic progress here, that’s generating buzz due to the construction of strip malls and big-box stores in long under serviced neighborhoods.
“We think it’s a diamond in the rough,” said restaurant developer Bill Roberts, inside the dining area of his latest project: Hurricane Grill & Wings.
The restaurant opened on SE Military Avenue a month ago. It’s the restaurant’s 47th franchise nationwide. It’s the first in Texas.
"The reason we came to South Side San Antonio is because of the opportunity here,” stressed Roberts. The last eight years this area has just exploded."
The progress means jobs for many, including Daniel Rodriguez, a bartender at Hurricane Wings and Grill.
"It makes me feel energetic. Makes me feel positive. Makes me feel proud. Gives an area an economic boost that it's always been waiting for," he said.
District 3 Councilwoman Leticia Ozuna views the growth as a lasting marker of her community.
She cites the area's huge spike in average household discretionary income, which totaled about $25,000 annually in 2000.
By 2017, she says the same family of four will average a discretionary income of $40,000 annually.
But she stresses hurdles must be jumped to ensure the development endures.
"That's going to be classroom space. That's going to be transportation corridors. That's going to be roads that work and sidewalks that aren't crumbling and teachers that are in classrooms,” Ozuna said.