The Pearl, probably the most exciting part of San Antonio right now, offers a good blend of drawing locals to a variety of shops and restaurants as well as tourists who stay in close proximity (downtown).
However (here me out), the medical center and UTHSCSA offer an environment unmatched by most parts of the city. With a national draw, UTHSCSA hosts visiting scholars, seminars, MD and PhD students from all across the country at any given time. Our hospitals house specialists whose patients come from near and far which may lead to temporary residence nearby. These people are already here and deserve an environment that allows for fun and leisure within a small distance to the multiple campuses. Additionally, investing in this area is an investment that these visitors and students might become permanent residents, drawn to the fun atmosphere of a city which welcomes young professionals.
This idea starts with updating the existing infrastructure surrounding the medical center. I attend UTHSCSA and can attest to many of my colleagues from out of state and out of country having to walk to lab everyday from their housing. In many areas, apartments are not connected to campus by sidewalks or anything that would constitute a safe walk. Unfortunately, pedestrian traffic seems to be an afterthought around campus.
It is only after such improvements that this area can experience true growth and hopefully draw a variety of shops, restaurants, and parks that might improve the living standards of the local neighborhoods and medical center community alike. No, it might not attract tourists in the sense we're used to, but, since it already hosts so many visitors and students, consistent commerce can be expected.
The medical center is already a great place to work and study, and I hope city leadership would draft a plan to continue improving this area in an attempt to impress educated visitors to become educated residents. Thanks for the consideration.