New ‘Downtown 2020’ plan lays out improvements for next three years

Posted at 4:26 PM, May 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-31 17:26:47-04

The Downtown Management District has just unveiled a plan for their vision of downtown Corpus Christi in 2020.lee–the city has a *master plan for

The city has a master plan for downtown revitalization that will unfold over the next decade. However, the DMD is collaborating with the city in its roadmap to the future, and and in a three year strategic plan, they have laid out 20 points from the master plan that they want to accomplish by 2020. 

On one corner of downtown, two businesses both opened up within the past three years: The Exchange, and Rebel Toad Brewing Co. 

"We’ve done an expansion already, we’re in the midst of another expansion. So we have seen an increase in business for us," Hector Cavazos, owner of Rebel Toad Brewing Co., said. 

The owners of those businesses say they are proof of the revitalization already happening downtown.

"It’s getting more full every day with all the new businesses," Tony Nichols, Executive Chef at The Exchange, said. 

The Downtown Management District wants to keep the wave of growth going. 

"This plan is really taking that last three years of progress, and making a plan for the next three years," Executive Director Alyssa Barrera said. 

At the top of the DMD’s "Downtown 2020" checklist? Attracting more small, locally owned businesses. Business owners already downtown say they would benefit from that.

"Retail especially," Cavazos said. "That can really bring more foot traffic downtown, and keep us relevant."

Another part of the plan is eliminating vacant buildings.

"I think it’s about time! There’s a lot of people from out of town that own the buildings, I think that’s transitioning into local hands," Nichols said.

That initiative is already in the works.

Traffic flow and parking assessments are other initiatives being worked on. 

However, there are some new transportation goals, like expanding the bike share program, creating a nonstop bus between downtown and Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and opening a ferry service to North Beach and possibly Port Aransas. 

The idea is make downtown more accessible.

After it was designated a Texas Cultural District last year, the overall goal is to let downtown live up to its cultural potential. 

"We’re just excited that in 2020, people will no longer be talking about downtown’s potential, because they’ll be too busy enjoying their experience down here," Barrera said. 

All these steps to improve the quality of life line up with the city’s main goal: getting people to live downtown. In the next four years, the DMD estimates more than 500 new apartments will open up in the area.

An upcoming landmark in the development will be the "Imagine the Possibilities" tour on June 9th. That will let investors tour vacant historic buildings to see if they would be interested in developing them. .