The newspaper recently had a thought provoking article on the possibility of the Eastside missing an opportunity for economic development associated with the BRAC. Ever since the announcement was made in 2005 that Ft. Sam Houston was a big winner in the BRAC realignment sweepstakes, the city has been touting the potential for economic development that the BRAC will generate for the Eastside. The way things stand now it's a little difficult see how the potential for economic development will be realized. Its becoming more apparent that the city is behind in getting ready for the influx of over 12, 000 troops. Since there will be no housing available on post these troops and their families will have to find housing in the surrounding neighborhoods or further away from Ft. Sam Houston.
Dignowity Hill is less than 10 minutes away by car from Ft. Sam which makes it one of the neighborhoods that surround the post where incoming military personnel would possibly consider buying or renting a house. Yet, there is no active communication or PR plan in place from either the city or from Ft. Sam that is sending the message out about Dignowity Hill and other neighborhoods such as Government Hill. There is also no clear picture on how economic development will take place. The Growth Management Plan developed for the BRAC lists a number of lofty and vague goals but what is needed is a more focused strategy on on how to incentivize business development, how to rehabilitate aging housing stock, how to engage the realtor community in working with the neighborhoods, and how to engage the school district(s) that serve the neighborhoods around the post. If any of this is happening now then it is not apparent to many of us that live in these neighborhoods.