Austin & San Antonio NIMBYs
“We don’t want our neighborhood to become a renters’ neighborhood.”
— Daniel Llanes
When I listen to San Antonians complain about affordability and Austinites complain about their “neighborhood character” being changed because a small apartment complex is built, I think of the apartment we lived in while we stayed in San Antonio.
It was a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment in Tobin Hill, just north of downtown (you could be in the center of the city in five minutes from our apartment). We rented it for $975.
This is what the complex looks like:
Granted, the architecture is awful, but I encourage you to stroll up and down the street via Google Maps. Notice the large houses on either side of the small complex — it had about 12 units — occupied by their owners.
We were friends with our neighbors and joined the neighborhood association as soon as we moved in.
That complex has been there since the ’60s, at the latest. The houses are older and only just now starting to be rehabbed. (I liked to think of it as San Antonio’s answer to Travis Heights, just not yet gentrified beyond affordability.)
An apartment complex in the middle of a neighborhood. Awful, right?
I can’t even count the number of times we had a delivery person call us asking where we lived. Clearly, the apartment complex didn’t stand out in the ’hood. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have received calls from pizza delivery people looking for the “small apartment building,” I listed in the delivery notes.
So, it’s hard for me to buy the whole, “If you add a few rental units to our street, our whole neighborhood will go down the drain!”