FOX San Antonio - The Valdes View
By: Michael Valdes
Chef Johnny Hernandez has long considered South San Antonio home.
Certainly not as long as the South side has been home to the Peden Iron and Steel Company. That would be 1894.
"I love when they say, it has great bones," laughs Chef Hernandez. "Everything else needs a lot more work but it's got great bones."
Those old bones now frame up the Steelhouse Lofts. A sixty-seven unit complex on South Flores where Chef Johnny chose to take his latest culinary leap, La Fruteria.
"I have always been attracted to the South more personally," says Hernandez. "The South to me represents a more eclectic representation of San Antonio in terms of redevelopment. In terms of food. In terms of art."
And for small business owners, Chef Johnny says the South has also come to represent opportunity. A chance to open up and own a shop in an area that continues to grow and bring in new residents.
Hernandez says, "Entrepreneurs and artists and those types have looked to this area because the real estate made sense. Big warehouses. Inexpensive. Low taxes. In other words, economically on it's own organically it created opportunities."
Lynzee Villafranco is a teacher at a nearby middle school. She says she was thrilled to have a chance to live close to work and share the neighborhood so many of her students call home.
"Definetely, I immerse myself in the culture aspect of this area," says Villafranco. "And I am able to understand them better and where they are coming from. And I can also give what I have taken from this neighborhood back to them. So it's kind of a nice relationship between the two of us."
Both say the Steelhouse Lofts represent another step in the right direction for an area that had little direction for so long. And now another piece of San Antonio history will be a solid piece of it's future.
Tuesday, January 15 2013, 09:38 PM CST
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