San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas


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Clear Springs Apartments, the only riverfront apartment development in San Marcos, will be vacated after the end of the semester and eventually demolished.

View Clear Springs Apartments in a larger map

The 111-bed complex at Aquarena Springs Drive, on the east bank of the uppermost San Marcos River, will be emptied of Bobcats in May, the University Star reports. The 47-year-old building will be torn down at some point and the property restored as an extension of Sewell Park, said Roseanne Proite, Texas State’s Housing and Residential Life director.

“Once the funds have been identified, the land will be redeveloped and returned back to more of a natural state,” Proite told the student-run newspaper for a story published Feb. 7. “Hopefully it won’t be left [unoccupied] for very long, but we simply don’t know when that’s going to be.”

Lacking a central fire alarm system and enough fire exits on its upper floor, Clear Springs doesn’t meet building code requirements.

Clear Springs Apartments has been slated for razing since at least 2006, when it was identified for planned demolition in an update of the university’s Campus Master Plan. Officials considered converting the existing building into offices or constructing a new Alumni Center on the 3.46 acre property, according to Texas State documents.

Built in 1966, the apartments were privately owned for most of their existence. Texas State bought the property in 1994, the same year it acquired the adjoining Aquarena Springs amusement park on Spring Lake.

Now headquarters for the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, the Spring Lake property recently was restored by the Army Corp of Engineers to something approximating its state before Ralph the swimming pig and other attractions drew vacationers to San Marcos.

The apartments overlook the largest stand of Texas Wild Rice, one of eight federally endangered species that inhabit the upper San Marcos River. In March 2012, Texas Parks & Wildlife designated the 3.8 miles of the river as a State Scientific Area intended to help preserve the rice, which does not grow naturally anywhere else.

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23 thoughts on “Clear Springs Apartments scheduled for demolition

  1. Meanwhile, in other news, the San Marcos City Council has voted to build crappy student apartments on the bank of the San Marcos River to replace other crappy apartments on the bank of the San Marcos River that are slated for demolition.

  2. I hope they’ll clean all the rebar, concrete and pilings out of the streambed leading up to the spillway.

  3. Funny Patrick, I was just thinking about how boring this “publication” has become since there is now an apparent black-out on city government matters. I swear I hear crickets and see tumbleweeds blowing through here when i remember to check to see if anything of interest has been written.

    So yeah, in other news there is this tiny lil matter regarding a city wide zoning waiver for economic incentive as well. No big deal though, nothing to write home about if you don’t care if a Walmart is placed in your back yard. I guess the days of the “almost daily record” not reporting on things fast enough to interest us are over. I got an online subscription when this place dried up so I could at least get a reporters view on the happenings at City Hall.

  4. It would be interesting if we could trasport ourselves back to 1966 to see if there was anywhere near the opposition to building the Clear Spring Apartments as there has been against the apartments at Cape Camp, or any other apartment complex proposed here lately. Somehow I doubt it.

  5. MD nails it! This paper has been reduced to the copy and paste command from the city and county LITERALLY. Things that make you go hmm….Even the blow by blows in real time ELIMINATE advocacy….it all filtered…just lovely and just biz a usual.

  6. PS What ever happened to Andy Z – he, at least REPORTED all sides of the issue…even though his reports were often edited, with key details left out by the then editor……oh well….its about par

  7. Recently, the college paper is getting the info out there faster than either of the two “professional” news outlets in town.

    Brad is, by his own admission, good buddies with a sitting council member, so perhaps that is the reason he’s opted out of reporting anything these days.

  8. Since I have lived in SM, the SMDR has always been about reporting the news as their advertisers and local governmental entities would like it to be reported. The SM Mercury saw a lack of local coverage and filled it – but each year in publication has seen a decrease in controversial coverage. I am not even asking them to take a stand, just report both sides of the issues and keep the community informed. . The same public service announcements and news information provided by the city information office is now reported word-for-word. The University Star has stepped up their community reporting lately –

  9. I understand that I am not writing the stories a few of you would like to read. Some of it is a function of limited time and limited resources. And some of it is a function of this: There are more than 50,000 people in San Marcos and about 200,000 in Hays County. I want to build a media outlet that is relevant to as many of them as possible. There are, at most, 10-15 regular digital haters who — unable to win many elections or many votes — resort to all manner of innuendo and invective when public policy doesn’t go their way. I do not cater to you nor do I pretend to.

    Then again, the Mercury does provide a forum for you to express your opinion — even when they are uninformed — to an audience considerably larger than any other to which most of you have access. Some of you choose to do so anonymously as “someone who is both present and absent, who has decided that what they say or do will have consequences for you but not for them,” as Lev Grossman put it in Time magazine a few weeks ago.

    I know there are countless ways the Mercury can improve. And I spend most of my waking moments working to make that happen. Still, we cover more and do it better than anyone else. When someone gets a story we did not, I try to reference it through “aggregation” pieces like this. I’ll also add that spent a few hours well past midnight researching background to add context to this University Star story. The news peg was theirs but it’s hardly a cut-and-paste job. That’s the way media will work in the future — building off each other’s work to move a story forward. (It’s actually how it’s always worked but the Internet and it’s spawn accelerate that process and make it more obvious to readers.) Learn to understand it or, alternatively, keep yelling at the kids to get off your lawn.

    In four of the last five months, we had more than 40,000 visits from more than 25,000 unique visitors, the vast majority of them in San Marcos and nearby. Still, there are thousands of untold stories in San Marcos and it’s not hard to say, legitimately, that we should have written about this or that. It’s not hard to do — but it’s not really going to further you objectives.

  10. Mary,

    I like that you try be constructive in your comments so I want to answer you constructively. Just doing a quick perusal of the 95 stories we have published so far in February, these are the six I found that are verbatim city press releases or rewritten press releases with limited or no original reporting.

    — City announces street closures for Feb. 17-23
    — City to test warning sirens on Saturday
    — City to survey residents
    — Fire damages Old Fish Hatchery building
    — City announces street closures for Feb 3-9
    — 20-year-old Austin man killed in early morning stabbing

    I followed up the arson story with an originally reported piece about the arrests. The Allen Street stabbing is the only one on this list that I think deserves more attention and I’ve done some followup reporting on it though haven’t published anything yet.

    The rest may be relevant or useful to readers but are hardly something that I want to devote time or people to reporting. I disagree with your observation that we allow the city Public Relations office to dictate our coverage of substantial issues. I don’t think the facts support that view.

  11. I’m sorry I disagree with you, Brad. Your reporting on last November’s local political races were NOT objective and they were quite biased. It’s more than obvious who your “friends” are. Hopefully, someone else will “build a media outlet that is relevant” to as many Hays County residents as possible, with a truly objective, non-biased, non-partisan online Hays County “newspaper”; it is desperately needed! By the way, I have never run for political office nor do I intend to, so I am not included in your statement, “There are, at most, 10-15 regular digital haters who — unable to win many elections or many votes — resort to all manner of innuendo and invective when public policy doesn’t go their way.” Your statement can also mean, “The people who don’t agree with my reporting can just kiss my ___.”

  12. Sensational……..ism 🙂 At least we can objectively post our thoughts/ opinions here….for that, thanks Brad! I do tend to pickle myself sometimes, though…:-) jlb

  13. Don’t you get it, Brad? You haven’t come out nearly strongly or consistently enough against development – every development – in San Marcos, so you’re now the enemy and part of the problem.

    For all their complaining, they’re still here though.

  14. I’ll take whatever level of news I can get. It’s not like SMTX is going to be able to support a publication with a staff the size of the New York Times, even if we did slip over 50,000 people. (when did that happen?)

    Yep, there have been things I wish were covered. I lived through it.

    Yep, there have been times that one of the other publications scooped the Mercury. When I cared enough, I passed the stories along to Brad. Not that big of a deal.

    Of course, I come from a town the size of San Marcos, with one newspaper, which comes out weekly, and is not online.

  15. Well, back to the subject at hand… I will be glad to see those eyesore apartments demolished and that gorgeous spot turned back into parkland that all San Martians can enjoy. It would have been nice to have the Cape’s Camp land too, but as the song says, “You can’t always get what you want…”

  16. Funny, when a long line of STUPID developements come to town, those that are true to themselves and their neighbors question their validity, and for that some attempt to take a wide paint brush and besmircch them. Funny, at city hall last night there was finally a smart project moving forward, good location, etc, and I congratulated them on their plans.If the math is solid, it will be a great compliment to our city! Oh, it will be by the outlet mall…..Back to subject, I hope the State of Texas does the right thing with the Clear Springs property, and allows San Marcos residents to utilize the area more freely than they are at the Aquarena Springs area…JLB 🙂

  17. Jaimy, some people simply do not have the intelligence to see clear distinctions. Others are capable of discernment, but realize it is not in their self-interest to practice it.

  18. Homes way out by the Outlet Mall?
    We must prevent this urban sprawl
    Clear Springs Apartmets, god I’ll miss ’em
    So close to the springs you could almost kiss ’em
    Sewell Park in front and behind us
    A double dose of Bikini Blindness

  19. It’s sad to see these apartments go, but then it makes room for nicer luxury apartments elsewhere. The apartments i live in at are super nice, and it will be the end of the world before someone tears them down!

  20. SO so sad. I had no idea until just yesterday. I lived at CS for 4 years, apartment 108-c. Very bottom, far right at the spillway falls. I moved from here in 1991. What a shame it’s gone… TONS of memories.

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