What started as a gathering of concerned individuals wanting to make a difference in their neighborhood has blossomed into a respected community development corporation setting a standard for inner-city revitalization.

From that vision was born the Avenida Guadalupe Association.

The Avenida Guadalupe Association is a neighborhood-based organization incorporated in 1979 and is engaged in not-for-profit neighborhood revitalization and economic development projects in the near Westside.  Less than two miles from downtown, Avenida has developed as far west as Zarzamora Street and plans to develop existing and new affordable housing further east of Smith Street.  During more than 30 years of service, the Avenida Guadalupe Association invested in economic and housing development, stimulating commerce while preserving the physical and spiritual character of the Avenida Guadalupe neighborhood.


In the early 1900’s Avenida Guadalupe was the commercial and cultural center for San Antonio’s Mexican-American community.  Decades of severe public and private neglect made the Avenida neighborhood the City’s poorest and most physically deteriorated area.  Approaching the 1980’s, in response a Master Plan was developed under the auspices of the Avenida Guadalupe Association by residents, businesspersons, and the City of San Antonio in cooperation with the San Antonio Development Agency (SADA). This led to the implementation of a 3.5 block Urban Renewal Project developed to reverse the dismal situation and promote physical, economic, and cultural revitalization to increase the neighborhood’s ability to assume its traditional role in San Antonio.  Included in the project was the renovation of the Guadalupe Theater as a Center for Mexican-American arts.  Work on the structure was funded by industrial bonds purchased by six area banks.  Theater owner and developer William Schlansker intended to lease the building to the City of San Antonio, now owner of the building as managed by the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.  Restoration of the facade of Lady of Guadalupe Church-Shrine at 1321 El Paso Street was also included in the project.

An 18,000 square foot medical facility was planned for the projects far-west corner along San Jacinto Street at Guadalupe resulting in what is now Davila Pharmacy, the foremost commercial anchor of the Avenida Guadalupe commercial corridor. Adjacent Davila Pharmacy is the Margarita Huantes Learning and Leadership Center having the site for its construction appropriated to the City of San Antonio by the Avenida Guadalupe Association.  In 1984, at the ground breaking ceremony for Plaza Guadalupe, then Mayor Henry Cisneros, who spoke in English and Spanish, said Plaza Guadalupe would draw on all aspects of the community: religious, historical, economic and cultural.  Having painted a portrait of the Progreso Drugstore in 1977, renowned Chicano artist Jesse Trevino reflected that the “Avenida Guadalupe development group thought that this particular painting of mine relates to the area more than any other… The drugstore represents a very vital part of that particular Westside community… And I believe strongly about the cause that it benefits”, referencing the Avenida’s plan to print posters of Trevino’s “Progreso Drugstore” painting as a first capital campaign strategy for the construction of a plaza in the Avenida Guadalupe target area.

From Trevino’s “Progreso Drugstore” poster campaign in 1977 to Plaza Guadalupe ground breaking in 1984, commitment, determination, and tenacity most describe the Avenida Guadalupe Association – now and then.  “Preparing for a new era of investment in the near-Westside, Avenida is embarking on a holistic movement dedicated to Mexican-American cultural and community empowerment through innovative economic development strategies that build on its evolved and more relevant market identity”.  Gabriel Quintero Velasquez – Executive Director