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San Antonio Through Shelby's Eyes

One of San Antonio’s beloved real estate specialists, Shelby Gambrell is a high-heeled aficionado who exudes sophistication, poise and integrity all while maintaining a genuine and easy-going personality. From luxury estates in Alamo Heights and Bentley Manor to hip urban downtown living, Shelby has a keen understanding and knowledge of the neighborhoods, properties and deep-rooted culture that makes San Antonio so unique.

As someone who was raised here, we sat down with Shelby to find out more about San Antonio’s allure and why she’s happy to call it home.

What do you enjoy the most about living here?

Besides the weather!? I love that San Antonio is a big city with a small town feel. We are the 7th most populous city in the United States and the 2nd in Texas, but you wouldn’t know it! You’d be surprised how often you run into someone you know. I also appreciate our city’s rich family culture and sense of community that I don’t think you can find anywhere else. We are a well-rounded city full of loving military, white collar and blue collar workers that are all so willing to help one another for the betterment of our city.

What makes this city a great place for professionals and young couples?

Aside from the cost of living being incredible, the growth of the city is making it more attractive to major companies, which in turn is creating more jobs. Beyond our military bases, we have several large employers here that understand the economic stability that our city offers-- USAA, HEB, Toyota, Valero, Nationwide, Rackspace, Medtronic, NuStar Energy and more. I think young couples find San Antonio attractive because it’s a great place to raise children with plenty of family-friendly activities, but also because we have endless restaurants, festivals, museums and outdoor activities for adults to enjoy as well.

What should people know about the city’s real estate market and the revitalization going on downtown specifically?

It’s booming! We are actually one of the fastest growing cities in the country. No matter where you are in town, you see construction happening with a lot of attention being placed in and around downtown, and for a good reason! Downtown is the heart of our city and you can’t replicate the charm and style of those neighborhoods or homes. Property values are increasing as people come in and rehab these diamonds in the rough, but the energy is continuing to push to the south and east sides of town, so you can still find homes with reasonable price tags if you’re up for a fun challenge! The improvements being made to Hemisfair Park, Blue Star Brewery and Pearl Brewery is what I feel has really sparked interest for the surrounding communities. Southtown, Lavaca, King William, SoFlo, Government Hill, Lone Star and Dignowity Hill are growing and improving daily, from the houses to the businesses!

Tell us about the different neighborhoods and lifestyles found throughout the Alamo City?

Another great characteristic of this vibrant city is that it offers something for everyone. If you enjoy the gated community lifestyle with a golf course, you can find that in The Dominion, Sonterra or Canyon Springs. If you want to be amongst some of the most affluent residents and enjoy historic charm and architecture, you’ll find yourself in Alamo Heights, Monte Vista, Olmos Park or Terrell Hills. Larger acreage lots with mature trees? Shavano Park, Hill Country Village, Timberwood Park or Cross Mountain Ranch are a perfect fit! For high-rise city living, Alteza, The Vidorra or The Arts Residences are a few of my top picks. Last but not least, eclectic yet trendy living will land you in Southtown, Lavaca, King William, SoFlo, Government Hill, Lone Star or Dignowity Hill.

San Antonio is known for its unique culture and rich history. Tell us about a favorite local festival or tradition.

It has to be Fiesta - 11 days filled with bright colors, food, beer, music, amusement rides, parades and cascarones! Many residents save their vacation days for this time of the year; it’s certainly a big part of our culture and history. You have not experienced San Antonio until you’ve spent a night at NIOSA, melted in the sun watching the Battle of Flowers Parade or enjoyed an all-star concert at Oyster Bake!

The Alamo isn’t the only claim-to-fame in San Antonio - so is the food. What’s your favorite restaurant and the dish people should order?

This is somewhat hard to pick because my husband and I are such foodies and like to try new places, but……my latest obsession is Burgerteca at Blue Star Brewery! You can’t go wrong with the Chile Con Queso Burger or the La Veggie and wash it down with an El Pepino Fresco while sitting outside overlooking the river and watching the passersby. It’s the best experience!

What are some of your favorite things to do and places to go around town?

I’m very active so I bike along the Mission Reach Trail and roam the Pearl Farmers Market often. When I’m not at one of those places, you can find me enjoying Jazz at La Cantera or Travis Park, attending horse racing at Retama Park, watching Johnny P and the Wiseguys at SoHo Wine & Martini Bar or taking in a concert at the Tobin or Majestic.

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