Toll roads cited among reasons to move away from the northside

Link to article here.

Toll roads are cited among the reasons to move away from the northside. We’ve been warning of this for years. To all the skeptics who scoffed….any questions? The homes prices are taking a dive in Stone Oak (which is landlocked by the first two toll projects on 281 and 1604) and other northside areas under the imminent threat of toll taxes. Tolls on a select few neighborhoods are a targeted, discriminatory tax and our poor excuses for elected officials like Frank Corte who voted to TAX their own constituents with this, are to blame when you can’t sell your house for what you paid for it!

MLK Day Success Story: East Side Development Boom
Dignowity Hill leads the effort
By Jim Forsyth
Monday, January 21, 2008

The historic Dignowity Hill neighborhood on the city’s east side is emerging to become one of the most desirable older home neighborhoods in the city, 1200 WOAI’s Berit Mason reports.

Named for Czech immigrant and abolitionist Anthony Dignowity, who came to San Antonio to practice medicine in the 1850s, who built a large home in the rolling hills east of downtown, the neighborhood was the grandest in San Antonio until German settlers starting building along the San Antonio River in the 1870s in what became King William, and it remained a grand area of large homes well into the Twentieth Century.

What attracted affluent community leaders like the Friedrichs and the Elmendorfs to Dignowity Hill before the advent or air conditioning were the summer breezes, which blew through the homes’ large windows and kept them cool even in the most stifling of 19th Century summers.

Businessman Bill Ross, tired of northside traffic tie-ups, bought a century old home a few years ago and helped start a gentrification trend in the neighborhood, which for forty years has been plagued by crime and has seen the grand old homes cut up into cheap apartments or abandoned altogether.

“This is a prime area,” Ross says. “Anybody looking to move back into the inner city, this is great. It’s catching on.”

Retired homebuilder Byron Sherous is another Dignowity pioneer.

“The neighbors are all taking an interest in repairing and improving their properties,” he told Berit.

Ross says when he bought his home for $20,000, it was a former crack house which had been abandoned since being shut down by the cops. He says it is now appraised at more than $175,000.

“Prices are beginning to rise, as they generally do, in a situation like this,” he says.

East side Councilwoman and community leader Sheila McNeil says the time is right for east side development.

“The time is right for the east side. We have job opportunities and economic development that we’ve never seen before,” she says.

She points out that $2 billion plus improvements now underway at Ft. Sam Houston, combined with the new jobs coming to Rackspace Managed Hosting at the old Windsor Park Mall, make this prime time for the east side.

Sherous says enough people have now committed to moving into the old homes on Dignowity Hill that some of the ‘fear factor’ is gone.

“Naturally, we were a little fearful at first, but we had the courage to give it a try,” he says.

Ross says his renovated east side home, with it’s ‘million dollar view’ is the just the cure for north siders tired of the sprawl, the overcrowding, and the traffic. He says it also frees him from the looming toll roads on US 281 and Loop 1604.

Sherous says they just may have hit onto something.

“The trend now seems to be that everybody is taking an interest in the east side, and the Dignowity Hill area in particular,” he says.

Other major residential developments in the east side include a high dollar high rise condominium development just north of St. Paul‘s Square.