See how much the Alamo Ranch has changed at Far Westside San Antonio

In 2020 alone, a wave of subdivisions behind the Alamo Ranch market and beyond has resulted in population growth rates of 325% and 298%. Nowadays, we know that the Alamo Ranch is where you can find Target, Chick-fil-A, Mama Margie’s and one of the biggest cinemas in Santikos, Casa Blanca.

This is the Culebra Road as we know it today.

William Luther / Staff

Head to the Alamo Ranch Parkway, you can find new retail centers popping up outside the growing subdivisions, including a fairly new HEB.

The area looked very different 17 years ago. Except for Jim’s Restaurant on the corner of Culebra and 1604, most knew that driving past would only lead you to Taft High School, Cordi Marian Sisters, and miles of countryside to the shores of Medina Lake.

On the left is a Google satellite image from 1989, and on the right is the Alamo Ranch in 2020.
On the left is a Google satellite image from 1989, and on the right is the Alamo Ranch in 2020.

Screenshot from Google Timelapse

MySA scoured the archives to take a look at some of the key moments that made the Alamo Ranch where it is today.

Hit play below to watch the Alamo Ranch’s growth interval.


Cordy Marian Sisters sold about 160 acres of their land to area developers.  The new homes can be seen encroaching on their compound behind the statue of Jesus.
Cordy Marian Sisters sold about 160 acres of their land to area developers. The new homes can be seen encroaching on their compound behind the statue of Jesus.

John Davenport/San Antonio Express News

Cordy’s sisters Marian saw it coming – circa 2005

If anyone saw the housing boom coming, it was Cordy Marian Sisters, who sold about 160 acres for $2 million to Alamo Ranch developers Walt Busby and Brad Gallo of Gallo Estates around 2005.

New homes at the Alamo Ranch were just slabs in 2006.
New homes at the Alamo Ranch were just slabs in 2006.

Express-News File Photo

Hill Country Retreat – 2006

Michigan-based Pulte Homes started on a 1,600-acre Alamo Ranch subdivision near Loop 1604 and Potranco Road, not far from Del Webb Hill Country Retreat, an upscale retirement community, according to Express-News archives.

New roads had to be built as the developers started on some of the first subdivisions to be built around the Hill Country Retreat.
New roads had to be built as the developers started on some of the first subdivisions to be built around the Hill Country Retreat.

Express-News File Photo

At the time, Dale Kane of San Antonio-based First American Realty told Express-News that builders planned 5,000 homes a year to reach 70,000 homes by 2016.

Building Crews just started at the Alamo Ranch Marketplace in 2006.
Building Crews just started at the Alamo Ranch Marketplace in 2006.

Courtesy of EMJ . Inc

900,000 square feet of retail – 2007

In 2007, developer Archon Group laid out plans for the Alamo Ranch Marketplace – 900,000 square feet of retail development on 120 acres off Loop 1604 and Culebra Road.

In 2006, the Alamo Ranch Marketplace was a dirty market.  The construction crews were just getting started.
In 2006, the Alamo Ranch Marketplace was a dirty market. The construction crews were just getting started.

Express-News File Photo

Construction crews began removing dirt in September 2007 with plans to open the first phase of stores in 2008.

The Alamo Ranch Marketplace was a few rocky buildings in 2007.
The Alamo Ranch Marketplace was a few rocky buildings in 2007.

John Davenport/San Antonio Express News

The Alamo Ranch Marketplace first opened in 2008.

The Alamo Ranch Marketplace first opened in 2008.

John Davenport/San Antonio Express News

Alamo Ranch Market – 2008

The Alamo Ranch Marketplace opened its first stores, including Ross and Target, in 2008.

A few hundred people wait in line outside the July 4, 2013 opening of the region's first steak and shake restaurant.  The first 150 people in line receive free food for a year.
A few hundred people wait in line outside the July 4, 2013 opening of the region’s first steak and shake restaurant. The first 150 people in line receive free food for a year.

Michael Patton/San Antonio Express News

Craze Steak & Shake – 2013

Steak n’ Shake opened its first San Antonio location at the Alamo Ranch. People lined up outside the building to be among the first 150 people in the store, and get free food for a year. The burger shop wasn’t working as well as it once hoped.

This will open other restaurants such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Raising Cane’s Chicken and In n’ Out.

TxDOT began construction on the Loop 1604 to State Highway 151 flyover in 2015.
TxDOT began construction on the Loop 1604 to State Highway 151 flyover in 2015.

Express-News File Photo

The Bridge – 2015

More homes means more traffic. TxDOT began construction on Interstate 151 at Loop Bridge 1604. The flyover turns into the Alamo Ranch Parkway, leading San Antonio workers home to the Alamo Ranch. It opened in 2017.

The Santikos Casa Blanca theater opened off the Alamo Ranch Parkway off 1604 in 2016.
The Santikos Casa Blanca theater opened off the Alamo Ranch Parkway off 1604 in 2016.

Kin Man Hui/San Antonio Express News

Santicus moves to 2016

Santikos opened the Casa Blanca movie theater in 2016 and features 16 full-screen laser cuts, 16 bowling alleys with a bar and full-service kitchen.

HEB opened a new store in San Antonio at the Alamo Ranch in 2017.
HEB opened a new store in San Antonio at the Alamo Ranch in 2017.

courtesy HEB

HEB does more – 2017


HEB already had a store in Culebra and 1604, but in 2017 it opened a store in Alamo Ranch Parkway. Now the area after this store is one of the fastest growing in Bexar County.

Cars navigate at the intersection of Culebra Road and Westwood Loop on the westernmost side behind Loop 1604, where traffic is a constant complaint.  Three census districts in the region experienced the fastest population increase in Bexar County from 2010 to 2020 - one of which grew by 468 percent.

Cars navigate at the intersection of Culebra Road and Westwood Loop on the westernmost side behind Loop 1604, where traffic is a constant complaint. Three census districts in the region experienced the fastest population increase in Bexar County from 2010 to 2020 – one of which grew by 468 percent.

William Luther / Staff

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