Local News

Aug 12, 2014 12:26 PM by Rachel Cole - rcole@kristv.com

Businesses Look Forward to North Beach Improvements Making Way

CORPUS CHRISTI - Lots of people consider the North Beach area an untapped and underutilized resource. However, the city wants North Beach to reach its full economic potential and some local businesses like what they're hearing.

Fransico Aparicio one of the managers at Ocean Café along North Beach says, growing up, not a day went by, when the area wasn't packed with people.

"I love it, it's the beach, who doesn't. As a kid, we loved the water.

"It'd be nice to bring it back to the way it was back in the day, my dad use to tell me, he used to come out here and rent a room for the whole week for 25 bucks, I'm like where's it at, so I can rent it for the whole year," Aparicio said.

While the city can't bring back those yesteryear rental rates, officials think they can bring back the crowds. A proposed North Beach improvement project would stretch from Pearl Avenue to Bridgeport Avenue on Shoreline Blvd. Planners say, this would open up a world of options.

"We're going to do a pavilion out there and do a beer garden out there by the sidewalk," he added.

The proposal could be funded as part of a 2012 bond project. It would cost roughly 300-thousand dollars to repair roads, do some area beautification and build a public plaza near the North Beach breakwater. Aparicio's vision runs even further.

"More business, back in the day they had a ferris wheel, they had a carnival, we're thinking about bringing one in the parking lot," he said.

Amusement rides or not, Aparicio says the plan, plus the beach erosion project that's already underway, could bring the area he loves back to life.

"I was here back in, I think it was 2000 or '99 when they did it then," Aparicio said.

He's hopeful that after Tuesday's council meeting, the proposal will get multiple bids from contractors eager to clean up and create a fresh environment.

City officials say, safety at the beach is the foremost goal when it comes to improvements. Tuesday's glance at the future agenda item is just the first reading. The city hopes to have bids from contractors within the next 6-8 months.

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