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I Despite a lately-discovered 25-year ‘limit to the duration of city lease contracts, the subject of a hotel on the urban renewal land is not entirely dead, but the urban renewal commissioners have voted, 5-4, against such a use of the land, and Curington and HemisFair spokesmen indicate it’s not likely to materialize. 3 The largest sum that urban renewal paid to a single property-owner in project No. 5 was $650,000, paid to ‘the Coca Cola Bottling Co., which had a bottling plant in the area. Coca-Cola, a world-wide organization, has signed up for 17,500 square feet of space at HemisFair at a rental cost of $122,500. The first president of HemisFair, William Sinkin, president of N. Sinkin Department Stores, owned a four-story commercial building in the area, for which he received the third-largest single payment from the San Antonio urban renewal agency, $395,000. This fact has been the subject of many rumors in San Antonio. The gist of them is that Sinkin, in statements of worth connected with ‘his banking interests, had listed the value of the building in question at as little ‘as a fourth of What urban renewal paid him for it. These rumors turn out to be false. Sinkin told the Observer he was receiving $47,000 rental income a year from three commercial tenants in the building; that in the application for the charter of the Texas State Bank of San Antonio and in other related papers ‘he listed the building at values of $410,000 and $510,000; that he had an independent appraisal made ‘and the building’s valuation was $450,000; and that he had determined that the ‘building’s replacement cast was $742,000. HemisFair was given priority over the urban renewal project for Rosa Verde, a run-down residential and commercial area in which many poor Latinos, especially older Latinos, live. Curington says Rosa Verde is next, though, and the project is going to include privately-financed lowincome housing with a rent supplement feature under the new federal legislation authorizing this. Curington acknowledges that urban renewal has been resented by poor people in San Antonio who have been displaced by it. They had been living In shacks, close lin; ‘after urban renewal, they live in shacks, way out. Curington hopes the low-cost housing features of the Rosa Verde project will counteract some of this criticism.* THE FINANCING of HemisFair assures the almost total involvement of the local commercial power structure and HemisFair’s tight control by that structure. “This is the first time in the history of San “On Aug. 11 the U.S. Senate adopted an amendment to housing legislation that would, in effect, allow cities only 25% of the costs of improvements they make in or near urban renewal projects, such as for the San Antonio civic center in the HemisFair project area, as newal projects. This would mean that San Antonio’s resources for urban renewal, including features allegedly benefiting poor people, would be $7.5 million less than had been counted on. Heretofore cities have been allowed 100% credits on the costs of such developments as the civic center. Antonio,” Mayor W. W. McAllister, a conservative Republican, has said, “that the business and financial elements of the city ever got together almost 100% on any project.” 3 But for the promoters’ need for state and federal approval and money, this would be a private promotion; it is the governmental involvement that has caused dispute about conflicts between the sponsors’ profit-making interests and the quasipublic ‘character of the fair. The clubby, in-group genesis of the fair is exemplified by the fact that the tower on the fairgrounds is to have as one of its features a private, ‘membership-only club with a restaurant that accommodates just 90 people. Jerome Harris, executive vice president of Frank Brothers in San Antonio, in 1958 first advanced the idea of an international exposition ‘in San Antonio. He coined the name, Hemis-Fair \(the word was hyphe1959, in an article in the San Antonio News, Harris wrote about “an interchange Proposed Tower of the cultural, ‘scientific, religious, industrial developments” ‘between the U.S. and Latin-American nations at such a fair. In 1962 Cong. Gonzalez called Sinkin and renewed Harris’ idea ; Sinkin called together a group of 18 business leaders, and the planning began.’ The first problem was paying for the planning and promotion. Using the 1962 Seattle fair ‘as a model, San Antonio’s bankers decided to make HemisFair a loan secured by the. credit of local ‘businessmen who would commit themselves to pay it back if HemisFair’s income was not sufficient to do so. According to Hugh Lowe of HemisFair, there were 480 separate underwriting pledges from firms \(and a few local good for sums ranging from $3,000 to $150,000 ‘or $175,000. The largest pledge came from H. B. Zacihry, one of the nation’s largest construction magnates and now chairman of the board of HemisFair. A pledge of $25,000 or more qualified the underwriter to be ‘a member of the board of directors of the non-profit San Antonio Fair, Inc. The directors, the list of whom is a who’s who of the local business community, elect the executive committee, which runs HemisFair ; the board meets once a year and, Lowe says, more or less rubber stamps what the committee has done. The obligations taken up ‘by the 480 underwriters total $7.6 million. The bankers investigated the underwriters; the fair’ audited ‘balance sheet for 1965 shows that the pledges were discounted ‘by a total of $1 ‘million under the heading, “valuation adjustments establish i by bank’s,” leaving a net effective underwriting ‘of $6.6 million. 5 On the basis ‘of this ‘sum, 26 .San Antonio banks loaned $4.5 million to HemisFair \(the disparity being ‘accounted for in part by a margin for interest, which, at 51on the loan money until this year, HemisFair has now begun to pay part of its way with income from concession contracts and advance payments for space, which commercial exhibitors rent at $7 a square foot THE UNDERWRITERS are not stockholders in HemisFair; they can make no profit. Zachry told the Senate hearing this month that any profits after expenses will go to the city of San Antonio, but if there are losses, the underwriters are liable for them to ‘the extent of their separate commitments. The city retain’s the real estate, too; it is leasing the land to the fair. Why would 480 companies and individuals risk $7.6 million when, as Lowe says, “they stand only to lose”? The business establishment can gain enormously ‘if ‘the fair is a success. It’ estimated that 9,000,000 visitors went to Seattle for its 1962 fair. The estimate for HemisFair, 7,200,000 visitors, is lower because of the lower ‘levels of income in the city and the area, but the fact that various conventions have been scheduled for San Antonio lately and that the Mexican Olympics start a week after September 30, 1966 3