McCombs pursue special district with one eye on Pearl District 

Riverwalk project aims to one-up trendy project at former brewery

Harry Adams of McCombs Enterprises and Rep. Steve Allison

Harry Adams of McCombs Enterprises and Rep. Steve Allison (LinkedIn, Steve for Texas)

Texas lawmakers and McCombs Family Partners are working towards a development plan that would rival the famous Pearl District in downtown San Antonio.

The proposal entails creating a special district on a 6-acre parcel that the McCombs family bought for $29.5 million early this year, allowing the private company to direct tax revenue toward redevelopment of the site, the San Antonio Express-News reported

The bill, authored by Rep. Steve Allison and sponsored in the Senate by José Menéndez,  has already been passed by both chambers. Governor Greg Abbott now must sign off on the bill for it to go into effect. 

The legislation would create a municipal management district for the property at West Jones Avenue and Camden Street, next to the San Antonio Museum of Art and a few blocks from Pearl.

“They said they wanted to make it — and these are their words — like Pearl but better,” Menéndez told the outlet.

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The Pearl District is one of the top tourist attractions in the Alamo City. The site started off with a brewery in 1883. Now, however, it boasts an array of shops, restaurants, hotels, apartments and entertainment.

The special district based on the McCombs property would be governed by a board of at least five directors appointed by the mayor and City Council, if Abbott approves the bill.  

The McCombs site currently contains several nondescript buildings that former landowner CPS Energy used for various operations. Harry Adams, managing executive at McCombs Properties, declined to comment on the family’s plans for the property until the legislation is signed into law.

The CPS sale was part of the energy company’s strategy to offload a number of surplus properties in preparation for a new headquarters location in the city. CPS initially offered to sell 3.5 acres to McCombs, but the firm wanted to buy more, saying it was eyeing a development that would “create a union” between the museum and Pearl, Adams told the outlet in January.

—Quinn Donoghue

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