I don't usually serve up rumor mill stuff, 'cause I really hate it when I can't link to sources and be sure I'm accurate. However, I recently had a conversation with a friend who is good friends with someone very highly placed in city admin (and yes, I know how friend-of-a-friend stuff goes, but it happens that I know the other fellow too, so I know the source is legit), and this whole thing got me really wound up so I'm going to go ahead and talk about it a little. I'm fairly certain TPTB don't read my blog, so I shouldn't get anyone in trouble and at any rate I doubt it's secret, just in the early planning stages.
The talk is about revitalizing downtown. This is a topic near and dear to my heart, 'cause I've spent a lot of time downtown over the years. My mom used to work at Alamo News, if any of y'all remember that place. (And if you do, you may have encountered a very young me hiding behind the comic book rack reading the merchandise.) My church is downtown, and since I spent so many years riding Via, it necessitated quite a bit of time there too. I love the place, and I'm glad to see some of the changes. (Not all of them. The palm trees along E. Houston are flat ridiculous, and don't get me started on the travesty that has been made of where the Antique Sampler Mall used to be.)
There were three things mentioned, one of them involving Hemisfair Park and another involving money we don't have, but I'm going to just share the most batshit insane one of them, and I will do so through the magic of a crappily-'shopped (GIMP'ed?) photo:
Yes, boys and girls, the idea is being floated of putting an Ikea in at Rivercenter mall, where Dillard's used to be.
I seriously cannot think of a worse place in the city for an Ikea. For you out-of-towners, let me show you why this is crazy, courtesy Google:
You will also note the virtual lack of parking. The mall of course has a parking garage (a rather expensive one), but can you imagine carting your Henriksdal chair through the mall? Even with the plan to move the poor people out of downtown by getting rid of the bus stops won't help much with traffic if people start parking where the Commerce & Alamo bus stop is now in order to load their crap.
Again, this seems to be in the very early stages, so one can hope someone smarter than the mayor and his staff will point out the stupidity of this move to him. But I doubt he'd listen. Mayor Castro gives every indication of hating San Antonio and wanting to change it into a city completely indistinguishable from any other major metropolitan area. Add in the fact that our county commissioners seem to think the answer to SA's lack of young professionals is a fucking street car system, I have little hope for a sudden attack of intelligence.