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A University of Texas at San Antonio downtown campus is the most preferred -- and logical -- use for beleaguered Fiesta Plaza, according to an informal poll of 10 local commercial real estate professionals.
"UTSA is the best use to date," says architect and downtown specialist Milton Babbitt of local architectural and engineering firm 3D/M.
So far, bidders vying to purchase the 280,000-square-foot shopping mall located on nine acres of the near West Side have included a retail investment group, a health care agency and a retailer that would donate the property to the university.
Two bidders for the mall, the Fire and Police Pension Fund and Bill Miller Bar-B-Q Inc., have indicated they would donate the site to the university. As of this week, Bexar County's Center for Health Care Services, which bid $1.1 million for the retail center, no longer is a contender for the mall. Moreover, the pension fund is expected to pull out of the bidding to make way for the barbecue company, which bid $1 million for the property.
By press time this week, the Center for Health Care Services had not yet informed the Resolution Trust Corp., which is marketing Fiesta Plaza for sale, of its withdrawal from bidding, says Dallas-based RTC spokeswoman Teresa McUsic. …