The downtown scene in San Antonio is booming. Between the growth of the tech industry and the additions to the Historic Pearl Brewery & Southtown, it seems as there is always something popping up or happening downtown.
When I first moved to San Antonio in 2013, my position as a News and Video Content Director for a small digital marketing website placed me in the Stone Oak area. Because my job was based in Stone Oak, I had no reason to venture outside of that bubble- Until The Social Butterfly Gal happened.
I started my event + social media strategy business, The Social Butterfly Gal, in the Summer of 2015 and found myself commuting more to the downtown area. My business is a mixture of local + online clients. I work out of coffee shops & co-working spaces. When my business started to grow, more than half of the events I attended, whether it was for networking purposes or to meet my clients, occurred down in that area. The vibe downtown is unique. It’s electrifying and creative. If you’re an Entrepreneur and a millennial, you want to surround yourself with like-minded creatives + places like Geekdom and Launch SA.
Personally, my fiance, who’s a Senior Youth Development Director for YMCA of Greater San Antonio, and I started to become more “DTners” than Northside folks. Every weekend we found ourselves downtown. About a year ago, we began to talk about the possibility of moving to this area. But we decided to stay in Stone Oak for another year to save up for that move. When we got engaged last December, that’s when the conversation about DT living came up again. Most couples when they get engaged & married, want to buy a house. We decided to move downtown. The decision was a no-brainer. As millennial young professionals & almost newlyweds, we wanted to be in the hub of everything and experience the growth, the buzz, and the uniqueness downtown San Antonio has to offer. Oh and also the fact that an Uber was only going to be $10 round trip vs. $40+! It was perfect timing to move downtown- it was the culmination of the hard work we had put in during that last year that led up to this moment.
When people think of living downtown, it might seem too expensive. But it’s all about doing the right research and budgeting for it.
When we were browsing for the perfect downtown space, we already went in knowing what we could afford and what we couldn’t afford, so we cut down that list to our top three options. We were lucky enough to find a space that was right on Broadway that offered fantastic amenities such as, washer and dryer, trash valet, two swimming pools, multiple courtyards, BBQ pit areas, a beautiful lounge area, two gyms, a dog park & other amenities that could cover a staple in a young professional’s monthly budget. What we also loved was it was walking distance from a coffee shop, a local bar, The Historic Pearl, and The Riverwalk. And we were lucky enough to find a one-bedroom 670 Sq ft apartment that matches almost to the price we were paying in Stone Oak. See, constant research! While we did downsize in living space, from 802 to 670, the fact that we were able to match a price that was in our budget made it all perfect. And really, 670 SQFT ft is actually perfect size for two people… we don’t even notice the difference!
We’ve been living in downtown for two weeks, and it’s been nothing short of amazing. We moved right during Fiesta San Antonio, so we were right in the center of it all. As my business continues to grow, I know this is where The Social Butterfly Gal needs to be! I’m looking forward to attending more workshops at Geekdom and Launch SA now that I’m so close. And being living so close will aid as I get ready for a huge project a team of creatives and I are doing late Fall.
For my fiance, he is looking forward to being in the center of it all especially when it comes to his work, fitness, food and Comic Cons! We know as an almost newlywed couple, this was the perfect decision!
If you’re considering moving to downtown San Antonio, here are a couple of tips for you to consider as you start your search.
- Establish a budget
Setting a reasonable budget for living expenses or for things like going out for drinks or attending events is essential when living downtown. Setting a firm budget and tracking your spending will always pay off in the end. You can use apps like Mint or set aside as my fiance likes to call it, “fun money” each month for going out.
- Consider alternative means of transportation
Now that we are close to the heart of the city instead of driving, we walk! We walked a total of 10 miles just in the first weekend that we moved! If you’re not into walking, you can take the VIA! VIA now has a route called VIVA which connects you through the heart of downtown San Antonio. A day pass only cost $2.75. There are three different routes to choose from, VIVA Culture, which connects you with museums, parks, theaters, art galleries and the zoo and runs from 9 am – 8 pm
Daily with service to Pearl until 11 pm. VIVA Missions, which takes you to the historic San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site and runs from 8:30 am – 5:30 pm daily. And VIVA Centro, which travels through the heart of downtown from Centro Plaza to Sunset Station and runs from 7 am – 11 pm Weekdays & 9 am to 11 pm Weekends!
- Be Willing to Sacrifice
Yes, that means living space or amount of times you go out. I was a tad bit nervous downsizing but you can’t even tell the difference! If you know you’re downsizing, find furniture that can combine into storage space. And of course, be creative with how you do date night. Our rooftop pool + parking garage overlooks the city, so my fiance and I have already planned out nights where we will have a date night up in the pool area or parking garage. We are also so close to The Luxury, so even just walking and enjoying sitting by the river is the perfect date night option too!
Living downtown is worth it, and we’re looking forward to experiencing it all!