The three and a half acre plaza has become the exchange point for all bus transfers in the downtown area for San Antonio’s transit agency, VIA, designed in partnership with Perkins Eastman.
The plaza is defined by a sweeping canopy topped by solar panels that provides shelter for passengers awaiting or transferring on the existing bus system. Centro Plaza also includes a mix of retail uses, public meeting space, and offices for VIAs Transit Police and other administrators. The diagonal axis through the plaza focuses on the early 20th Century International and Great Northern Railroad Terminal building, now an information and ticketing center for VIA, and the headquarters office building for the VIA system.
The plaza is a vast water collection system, funneled to underground storage. A bosc of trees interspersed with tables and chairs provides shade for visitors, passengers, and event goers. The plaza will be programmed with concerts, local festivals, food trucks, and public ceremonies. It is viewed as a catalytic project to spark redevelopment on the near west side of San Antonio.
As part of the complex of retail space and a community meeting room the existing Washington Hotel historic building was incorporated as offices for VIA police.