VIA Villa is the VIA Metropolitan Transit’s full service transit center, which includes the newly constructed Centro Plaza and rehabilitation of The Grand, a 1907 transportation terminal, and represents over $35.0 million of investment on the near west side of downtown San Antonio. VIA Metropolitan Transit developed the VIA Villa Vision Plan, a land use and connectivity plan which considers opportunities associated with major infrastructure improvements.
In response to a call for “VIA Villa Vision” ideation, XArc’s redevelopment proposal calls for utilizing the existing elevated corridor between Buena Vista Street and Commerce Street as the gateway route for tying the Westside to downtown, integrated with a multi-modal transit gateway at VIA Villa. This corridor, adjacent to the VIA Grand Depot, ties the Westside to downtown by encompassing mix-used development and promenade plazas down the center of the corridor, comprised of the area from Market Square just east at I-35 and up to the near Westside extending west of the rail tracks to Alazán Creek. We envision the Grand Depot multimodal transit facility at the center of a Buena Vista/Commerce Streets corridor merged with Frio Street for new urbanism development.
XArc’s Westside redevelopment plan breaks the traditional physical barriers to downtown connectivity from the existing railroad, interstate, and Alazán Creek by creating the cross pattern of the Buena Vista/Commerce Streets corridor with VIA Villa at the center of this connecting tie between downtown and the Westside. The Grand depot with connection to the multi-modal transportation center would service all modes of ground transportation services emanating from VIA Villa such as high speed rail and regional rail, light rail/streetcar, bus and auto transit to essentially create a center of mass for development expansion in both east/west and north/south directions.
We break the railroad barrier by straddling the tracks in-between Buena Vista and Commerce streets with a imposing multi-modal transportation station that should be representative of an icon building for the city. Station access is on both east and west sides so that mixed use development of the promenade continues on the west side to break the Alazán Creek barrier. Light rail/street cars travel the lengths of Buena Vista and Commerce. The grandeur of this facility essentially moves the traditional east/west dividing line of I-35 to the station itself as the development of the promenade expands on both sides of the VIA Villa station. The I-35 barrier is broken by an expansive underground pedestrian mall passageway accessed from park-like settings on both sides with glass canopied large openings to escalator entrances for a possible underground mall area to Market Square.