Jump to content

It's been almost a year . . . how it looks today


debwill

Recommended Posts

I guess I was feeling a bit sentimental today, knowing that the first anniversary of the San Antonio Speedway closure is approaching. SAS officially closed on Wednesday, March 28, 2007.

 

On my way out to the Lytle area for the Easter weekend, I stopped by the old stomping grounds. It was sad - to say the least. I'll share some pictures that were taken earlier today.

 

The SAS entrance sign:

 

post-29-1206044696_thumb.jpg

 

 

The back straightaway from the highway:

 

post-29-1206043985_thumb.jpg

 

 

The grandstands actually still look pretty good:

 

post-29-1206044144_thumb.jpg

 

 

For those of us who thought about having a farewell party at the track, it might be a bit risky with the posted signs everywhere:

 

post-29-1206044206_thumb.jpg

 

 

Here's the view of Turns 3 & 4:

 

post-29-1206044869_thumb.jpg

 

 

And the view of Turns 1 & 2:

 

post-29-1206044349_thumb.jpg

 

 

The road leading to the grandstands:

 

post-29-1206044417_thumb.jpg

 

 

And to the road to the pits. I didn't think anyone was there, but it looks like a man is standing next to the last telephone pole???

 

post-29-1206044583_thumb.jpg

 

 

Toyota plant nearby:

 

post-29-1206045247_thumb.jpg

 

 

For those who were hoping for it reopening someday, it's highly doubtful. This picture was taken across the street (Watson Road) from Turns 1 & 2. Notice the speedway on the top right, partially covered by the map inset:

 

post-29-1206045061_thumb.jpg

 

 

Here's a closeup of the planned community on the billboard - includes housing, school and commercial development:

 

post-29-1206045184_thumb.jpg

 

 

RIP SAS!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a sad sight to see. I have been by there several times lately and the same hollow feeling hits me every time. That development accross Watson Road is having to face some rezoning issues and some resistance from Toyota officials, but I hear that the plans for a hotel right across Highway 16 are still ongoing.

 

Thanks for taking those pics, though. Kinda brings the reality of the situation back home once again.

 

Nick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Deb,

Next time you are out there, drive over to the old entrance to Alamo Dragway. It has a sign that says basically "Future Home of Speedway Business Park", and the sign map encompasses both the Alamo and SAS properties.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:D Yes Aaron, it was in turns 3-4. Man, That sure it sad to see. reminds me of when I saw Pan -Am after a few years. I still think that a party at the track is on order, just to say good bye to a near and dear friend.

Everyone has a story or two about SAS, I spent alot of time there myself, always some damn good fast racing!!! I say we tip a cold one in memory of SAS and we should sneak in there and have a goodbye party :D If Lillian Reeh still owns the property, we could probably clear something with her about it, if anyone besides me is serious about a RIP Farewell Party. ;) Lenny66 B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rest In Peace SAN ANTONIO SPEEDWAY

 

Debbie - Thanks for the picture post.

 

On August 20, 1977, Highway 16 Raceway in San Antonio held it's first race on the 1/2 mile, 19 degree high banked asphalt oval. It would have been 31 years ago this coming August 20.

 

The race was attended by a sell-out grandstand crowd. It was such a large box office attraction to cause the grandstand to sway when the spectators all stood for the national anthem. As the PA Announcer that night, I had to figure an announcement to have them sit down, but not all at once.

 

During the 1977 season, 7 weeks of races were held. Terry Labonte was the track champion.

 

The track was later renamed several times through the years:

 

Highway 16 Raceway

 

San Antonio Speedway

 

San Antonio Raceway

 

San Antonio International Speedway

 

River City Raceway

 

San Antonio Speedway closed on March 28, 2007 after holding two races in 2007 on March 3 and March 24.

 

This information was posted by,

 

Neil Upchurch

Former PA Announcer, Promotion Manager & Advertising Producer

Highway 16 Raceway - 1977 & 1978

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I might be wrong, but I just don't see that part of town being like everybody says it will be; huge hotels, malls, high end housing, etc. With the recent zoning issues that have come up I don't see that housing development happening. It sucks not having SAS around anymore, the best racing this state will ever have seen. Thats not a knock on THR or HMP, but SAS was hard to beat around here racing wise.

 

-2007 SAS Sportsman Champion ;) haha

 

 

Deb, I still haven't recieved my trophy, or even the picture from the track that night, lol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This one's for you, Chad. I thought we had let you keep the trophy. It shouldn't have mattered that it probably had someone else's name on it, right?

 

 

Shown below: The SAS 2007 Sportsman Two-Race (or was it only one race?) Champion, Chad Menard, celebrating his championship

 

post-29-1206053266_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Deb,

Thanks for recording the memories. I've saved them so I can go back occasionally and see what I am missing. Thank heavens that THR is filling that void, otherwise I might really have to retire for good. Heard on the top of the news this evening that Toyota is not happy about some building deal pushed through for that area by one of the city councilmen. Did not catch it all but I wonder how quick they will back off if Toyota threatens to cut back on their workforce. They already have cut production some but they have not laid anyone off yet. But the SA city fathers have been known to run a few places off every now and then.

;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The mighty San Antonio City Council is in the news about some of their zoning stunts around Toyota.

Some of the stuff they pull has one wondering how much they stand to profit......

oops, sorry, can't say that about that upstanding group of citizen representatives..........................

 

The story:

 

KSAT News

 

Remember the District 4 Councilman Cortez as the person that raised the motion to place the SAS property under the San Antonio ETJ.

 

City South growth will be regulated

Web Posted: 06/15/2007 01:57 AM CDT

Guillermo X. Garcia

Express-News

A more than 60-square-mile swath of the South Side, much of it outside San Antonio's city limits, will be subject to city zoning rules following City Council action Thursday.

Known as an interlocal agreement, the contract the council adopted with the City South Management Authority means future growth and developers' requests for zoning changes in the area must conform to existing city regulations.

"This is important because future economic generators for the area will mean orderly, planned growth," Economic Development director Robert Peche told the council.

The huge tract of mostly rural land, bounded by Loop 410 South, Interstate 35 on the west, Interstate 37 on the east and the Medina River on the south, is projected to experience significant growth in the next few years.

"There has been no zoning control in that area," said District 3 Councilman Roland Gutierrez. "This agreement gives us that, and it ... will give us the chance to grow differently than the North Side, with more green space and better mobility."

The council's unanimous vote came on a motion by District 4 Councilman Philip Cortez, sitting in on his second council meeting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Tom. That is the story I caught part of because I tuned in on the news right at 5 and the stations here have this nasty habit of starting a few minutes early as if that is going to improve their audiences. I read the article you linked to and came up with one question. Why was Mayor Hardberger in India on City Business? Probably working a contract to have some company there take over their 3-1-1 trouble line to keep up with the national trend of sending all the tech support jobs overseas. ;);)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Deb,

 

that celebration was only part of the celebration. There was a group of us doing donuts(i mean getting the parking lot ready for planting crops) after the meeting... Made some of the NASCAR boys look like they are driving in a drivers ed. class.

 

Chad, that was grape juice right! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The mighty San Antonio City Council is in the news about some of their zoning stunts around Toyota.

Some of the stuff they pull has one wondering how much they stand to profit......

oops, sorry, can't say that about that upstanding group of citizen representatives..........................

 

The story:

 

KSAT News

 

Remember the District 4 Councilman Cortez as the person that raised the motion to place the SAS property under the San Antonio ETJ.

 

City South growth will be regulated

Web Posted: 06/15/2007 01:57 AM CDT

Guillermo X. Garcia

Express-News

A more than 60-square-mile swath of the South Side, much of it outside San Antonio's city limits, will be subject to city zoning rules following City Council action Thursday.

Known as an interlocal agreement, the contract the council adopted with the City South Management Authority means future growth and developers' requests for zoning changes in the area must conform to existing city regulations.

"This is important because future economic generators for the area will mean orderly, planned growth," Economic Development director Robert Peche told the council.

The huge tract of mostly rural land, bounded by Loop 410 South, Interstate 35 on the west, Interstate 37 on the east and the Medina River on the south, is projected to experience significant growth in the next few years.

"There has been no zoning control in that area," said District 3 Councilman Roland Gutierrez. "This agreement gives us that, and it ... will give us the chance to grow differently than the North Side, with more green space and better mobility."

The council's unanimous vote came on a motion by District 4 Councilman Philip Cortez, sitting in on his second council meeting.

 

TxTom, I read an article about this Phillip Cortez in the Express-News dated 3/18/08. This guy pushed the vote without Toyota involvement. This completely went against the original deal with Toyota about the "3 mile buffer" zone around the plant, this meant that the land was agricultural and he pushed the vote thru

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just found this on the website. Interesting reading!!!

 

 

Rezoning reversal sought

 

Web Posted: 03/20/2008 11:38 PM CDT

 

Greg Jefferson and Guillermo X. Garcia

Express-News

 

Mayor Phil Hardberger moved Thursday to reverse the City Council's rezoning grant allowing a subdivision next door to Toyota's South Side plant — a move that had embarrassed the council and politically damaged Councilman Philip Cortez when it came to light.

"This is an attempt to undo the Toyota debacle," Hardberger said of his proposal. "Needless to say, (the rezoning) should not have been done."

 

 

advertisement

 

 

 

He laid out a complicated plan to restore the property's zoning to essentially an agriculture designation. That would stop plans to build homes on half-acre lots on 107.5 acres near South Loop 1604 and Jett Road.

 

The plan could end in a legal showdown between the city and landowner.

 

"I don't make that decision — my clients do," said lobbyist David Earl, representing developer Harry Hausman, whose Hold'em Investments sought the zoning change. "But I think they'd certainly be entitled to file a lawsuit. Not to stop it, but to have the city pay them for their land. The city wants the land to be unused, except for farming, to satisfy backroom deals they've made with Toyota."

 

Yet Earl said Hold'em Investments sold the property after the council's Feb. 21 rezoning vote, and that he's corresponding with the new owner but hasn't signed on as the representative. According to an online deed record, Hausman's investment partnership sold the land March 10.

 

"The Express-News would love for me to sue the city of San Antonio because I think it would further their image of me," Earl said.

 

 

More coverage

KENS video: Watch the broadcast

 

 

 

He blamed the paper for stirring up controversy, saying the council "has basically succumbed to that pressure."

 

On Tuesday, Cortez pledged in a memo to his colleagues to work out a compromise with the developer, the City South Management Authority, Toyota and neighbors of the planned development. And he did so again Thursday.

 

Your Turn

• City Councilman Philip Cortez is taking heat for his handling of a recent rezoning near Toyota's truck plant. Tell us what you think.

 

 

"It bothers me that there is this problem, and I want to fix that problem — I really do," Cortez said. "I think that my colleagues will consider the leadership (role) I am taking to reverse course on this. (It) should show them that I am serious about correcting this issue."

 

But Cortez's standing at City Hall has suffered.

 

On Feb. 21, the council sidestepped recommendations from the city's planning and zoning commissions, City South Management Authority and city staff, as it voted 8-0 to change zoning on the land to urban use.

 

Councilman Justin Rodriguez said the council followed Cortez's lead because he represents the area and he'd negotiated with Earl and nearby property owners for eight months.

 

The rezoning allowed $200,000 homes in an area where they're scarce, but it also undercut part of the city's 2003 agreement with Toyota.

 

In a non-binding provision, the city had agreed to discourage residential development within a 3-mile buffer zone — 1.5 miles in any direction from the truck plant's center.

 

Cortez has said he didn't know the proposed project fell within the buffer zone because his chief of staff told him it didn't.

 

"In the eight months we were negotiating, that just never came up, unfortunately, and that was an oversight on my part," he said Thursday.

 

Councilwoman Diane Cibrian cast doubt on that, saying: "In eight months of negotiation, how could the 3-mile buffer never come up?"

 

"Clearly it was a very difficult issue for council and the fact that we were not provided complete information is regrettable, she said. "We must be able to trust each other on zoning and other matters, and if we can't rely on the word of our fellow council member, then there is a problem."

 

Earlier this week, Cortez also blamed his subordinate for leading opponents of the project — area residents — to believe he'd postpone the zoning vote, essentially saying he'd assumed too much. The mayor's office also heard from the staffer that Cortez would punt the decision.

 

Hardberger, who wasn't present for the Feb. 21 vote, didn't buy Cortez's explanation.

 

"I do not accept that as valid," he said. "I do not believe that his chief of staff would have taken it upon himself to do that."

 

Councilwoman Jennifer Ramos, meanwhile, put much of the blame for the dust-up on city staffers, who didn't mention the Starbright agreement or the buffer zone in remarks before the council's vote four weeks ago.

 

Under Hardberger's plan, the planning commission would vote to amend the area's master plan, restoring the designated land use for the property to agriculture and open space. The council altered the master plan to allow for urban use before granting the developer's rezoning request.

 

If the planning commission signs off on the amendment, the council could vote on it as soon as April 10.

 

But actually restoring the previous zoning would fall to the City South Management Authority, which took over zoning responsibilities for the South Side territory known as City South on March 1, when the city de-annexed that property and others.

 

If the city green-lights the plan amendment, CSMA could rezone the land as "resource protection" and farm and ranch.

 

"If City South acts promptly," Hardberger said, "it can get this done within 30 days, and the mistake that was made on Feb. 21, 2008, will be undone."

 

He briefed former Mayor Ed Garza, chairman of the City South authority, on the plan Thursday morning.

 

"The big question becomes, what does the property owner do legally?" Garza said. "The best (result) is for the property to come into compliance without a lawsuit."

 

Garza said the previous designation would allow for some commercial or light industrial development or a smattering of houses, but Earl scoffed.

 

"There's nothing you can do under farm and ranch (zoning) but farm, ranch, build one house per 25 acres," he said.

 

Typical crooked politics, hope someone (Phillip Cortez) gets fired over this deal.

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

gjefferson@express-news.net

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read on a forum that there is concern over elevation in that entire area, so much that folks are predictiong that will cause folks to look elsewhere, anyone heard about that?

Looking at that on a larger scale, does this development involve the property that 16 sits on or is ot on the opposite side of Watson Road. Not that it matters, if that area develops I know they wouldn't want a noisy speedway as a neighbor, just think if were the 80's a car could launch over turn 1 and give the residents a cool-ass view!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More news just pouring in about this crooked deal. Sounds like Phillip Cortez went to the Henry Cisneros school of ethics. seems like the Mayor isn't very happy with this now. His name is getting thrown around.

And appearantly he wasn't even in town for this "hurried" up vote by Phillip Cortez. Mr. Cortez, I hope this all comes out in the wash, and I see you on the side of the road picking up trash with a reflective vest on and a sign that reads: Henry, What Happened???

 

It may not affect what has happened to SAS, but I feel a little better knowing that some scumbag trying to make a quick buck is getting called out. Lenny66 ;) Kick this boy's a$$ off of City Council.

 

City Trying To Reverse Toyota Zoning Gaffe

 

POSTED: 3:54 pm CDT March 20, 2008

UPDATED: 5:23 pm CDT March 20, 2008

 

 

SAN ANTONIO -- City officials are performing damage control after a City Council vote could potentially jeopardize an agreement with the Toyota truck plant.

 

In February, a unanimous 8-0 vote by the council changed the zoning for a piece of land less than a mile from the Toyota truck plant near Highway 16 in south San Antonio.

 

But the one voter not in attendance for the decision was Mayor Phil Hardberger, who was in India on city business. He said the City Council led him to believe the vote would be postponed until his return.

 

"I certainly wasn't happy to find out it was going forward, when it had been represented to me that it wasn't going forward," he said.

 

District 4 City Councilman Phillip Cortez pushed for the zone change as he wanted to allow a high-end subdivision on the city's south side, except the rezoning fell inside a 3-mile buffer zone around the plant that the city agreed to keep free of development as part of the deal to bring the manufacturer to the city.

 

"It was an oversight on my part, and that's why I'm doing what I can to rectify it as soon as possible," Cortez said. "In the eight months of conversation, that was never mentioned, not once."

 

KSAT 12 News contacted Toyota officials for their thoughts, but a spokesman the company had no comment.

 

The entire council is now focusing on revoking the zoning change, which is a three-step process, according to the mayor, who said he hopes to preserve the current relationship with the city.

 

"I think it certainly would have damaged it if we could not reverse it," he said. "But I think we can reverse it."

 

The first step in the process is expected to take place Tuesday when the matter goes before the city's planning commission.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...