SAN ANTONIO - It's a major thoroughfare in the heart of San Antonio's City Council District 10, but over the years it has fallen into disrepair. Now the city is trying to breathe new life into the Perrin Beitel corridor.
District 10 Councilman Carlton Soules grew up in the area and wants to restore it to its former glory.
"30 years ago, it was a wonderfully vibrant place with good shops and good restaurants. It was the place to be," said Soules.
He showed News 4 some of the early signs of progress, including an old, vacant shopping center that will be torn down at the corner of Thousand Oaks and Perrin Beitel. A new Walmart will be built in its place, which is the first major investment in 20 years, Soules said.
"The city has deemed the corridor a revitalization district which lets us work with tax incentives, fee waivers and rebates to spur investment in the district," he explained.
Soules says the city is modeling this revitalization effort after the Austin Highway revitalization efforts, which he was involved in.
"We've been able to create $400 million worth of private investments along the [Austin Highway] corridor and thousands of new jobs. So if you drive it, and you know what it looked like 15-20 years ago, and go look at it today, it's completely different corridors."
The city has also hired a full time staffer to coordinate efforts and conduct marketing and traffic studies. An advisory committee of local business and neighborhood leaders is currently being formed to guide the process. A $10 million senior center will also be built and open by the end of 2015, which was paid for in the 2012 bond package.