A pair of local businessmen want to make Corpus Christi's Sports, Entertainment, and Arts District a premier entertainment destination venue. They say the path to that goal is through a San Antonio Riverwalk-style attraction.
“We have a story to tell here in Corpus Christi and it's never been told,” said Greg Perkes of Perkes Works. “It goes back to Alonso de Pineda, why not create that history for this community?”
Perkes, a former appellate court judge, and business partner Ron Benavides believe Corpus Christi's past, present, and future can make the city one of Texas' top tourist destinations.
“We're trying to make it an area where people are going to talk about it from Arizona to New Mexico to Oklahoma, all parts of Texas and the Southeast,” said Benavides.
Their vision starts with the old harbor bridge; more specifically what to do with the land below when the bridge comes down. Perkes' idea? A canal through the SEA District, creating what he calls SEAtown.
The foundation for the canal would be the ridge which is going to be dug into the ground below the Harbor Bridge before it is demolished.
“It would become a waterway with a lot of landscaping, lot of sidewalks, a lot of inter-connectivity; something we desperately need,” said Perkes.
The project involves some 45 acres of publicly owned land. Perkes Works, along with partners Ideas Media & Experience Design, Integrated Insight Inc., and Exline Architecture are asking the city, Nueces County and the Corpus Christi Regional Transit Authority for a total of $100,000 for a study to see what money is available to fund the project and to gauge public interest.
Perkes believes the public will support his plan.
“They want something like this, they've wanted something like this for a long time,” said Perkes. “They have not known how to put it together, we have brought the ingredients to bring it together.”
The businessmen believe a canal would potentially benefit Corpus Christi for generations to come.
“We're doing this for this generation, the next generation, and hopefully the next 70-80 years,” said Benavides.
Perkes says he believes they have enough votes on the city council, County Commissioners Court and RTA board to fund their study. He's hoping to have approval from all three by the end of February.
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