For this master planning effort, led by Moule & Polyzoides and initiated by the City of San Antonio in partnership with the Downtown Alliance/ San Antonio, Black+Vernooy dealt with a 194-acre area in the downtown core designated as River North. The Project commenced in October of 2007 with a six-day design charrette that was an intense and exciting period of idea exchange, involving daily public lectures and numerous opportunities for a general public to participate. The charrette was focused around a number of big ideas, including the creation of a mixed-income urban residential neighborhood, the investment in Great Streets and public places, the creation of lively arts districts, and the implementation of incremental development through form-based zoning codes.
Several private sector development projects and public infrastructure improvements within the master planning area have been identified to set the plan in motion, including the proposed renovation of Municipal Auditorium as the hear of the River North Performing Arts District. The Master Plan provides a guide for the reinvention of the long neglected area into a vibrant urban neighborhood though a truly inclusive process. In 2009, this project was awarded a design excellence award by the Congress of New Urbanist.