By Melinda Gonzales

The Westside Develop- ment Corporation (WDC) has issued a Request for Interest/Information (RFI) to solicit responses from the development commu- nity regarding a potential redevelopment partnership opportunity of the Basila Frocks building at 502 N. Zarzamora.

This project aims to revi- talize a historically signifi- cant community asset that was nearly demolished to be a discount dollar store. It was saved by the per- sistent efforts of nearby community groups like the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center and West End Hope in Action.

The Basila family origi- nally constructed the build- ing and established the Basila Frocks Co. in 1929 to house garment manu- facturers and commercial shops. Located in the Pros- pect Hill Neighborhood, the 20,000 square foot building has since, over the years, served multiple uses includ- ing offices, a grocery store, a ballroom, restaurants, and live music space. The cur- rent vision for the building is to become small business office space that can also be used for community work- shops on entrepreneurship and technology.

“We’re looking for a re- development partner who appreciates the potential and significance of this building to the Westside community. Renovation of this site will bring new hope and economic activity to an area where it is long over- due” said Ramiro Gonzales, the newly-named CEO of the Westside Development Corporation.

WDC purchased the property in 2018 in partnership with the late Dan Markson who passed away in 2019 just weeks before construction on the project was set to commence. Much of the pre-development work has been completed which represents a unique opportunity for interested developers to significantly reduce their due diligence time and costs.

“Dan was such a large figure in the San Antonio community and we were fortunate to have him as part of this project. Although we can never find another Dan Markson, we are hopeful to find another development partner who can also see the incredible potential of this building and the positive impact it can have on this community.”

Westside Development Corporation (WDC), found- ed in 2006 by the City of San Antonio Council and Mayor, addresses long-term economic development concerns in the inner Westside of San Antonio. The organization is committed to implementing planning and economic development initiatives that protect and preserve the culture and history but also create a viable, sustainable and thriving urban community. WDC operates as a 501(c)(3) and city delegate agency, receiving funds from the City of San Antonio, financial institutions, private foundations and individual donors to carry out its mission.