Melissa Chamrad Melissa Chamrad

New lease of life for San Antonio fair site

A San Antonio location that gave the city a global profile in 1968 but then fell into disrepair for more than 40 years is being given a new lease of life.

Hemisfair Park, the site of a World Fair in the late 60s, has had many of its derelict buildings renovated and turned into restaurants and retail spaces, with much more to come.

Phase one of the project, the Yana Guana Garden, also includes a children’s play area, pollinating gardens, shaded promenades, mixed use residential and retail areas and park rest areas.

Melissa Chamrad, Hemisfair’s director of real estate, says that new restaurants opening over the next 12 months will include outlets offering American fare, Shizuan Chinese food and Jamaican jerk chicken.

Meantime phase two of the project, Civic Park, will begin to open later this year with more mixed-use developments, water features and an event venue holding up to 15,000 people. A 200-room Curio Hilton Hotel is set to open mid-2025.

‘This is built for locals but we also expect it to increasingly draw international visitors,’ says Chamrad. ‘It is a chance to experience genuine San Antonio life with everything from a pizzeria to a German brewery, a paleterias for popsicles and a water park for children.’

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