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County Commissioners pull plug on courthouse deal

Posted: 5:30 PM, Aug 13, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-13 19:40:21-04

CORPUS CHRISTI – County Judge Loyd Neal couldn’t hide his disappointment Monday.  The judge was disappointed because the deal to sell the 1914 Courthouse fell apart.

“This deal is off,” said Neal.  “It’s a sad day for Nueces County.”

In May developers promised to pay the county more than $1.5 million in back taxes on the old courthouse.  Since then it’s been one excuse after another according to Judge Neal who finally had enough.

“The deal was you sign the deal, pay the taxes, and go redevelop the building,” said Neal.  This has never happened.  That’s not acceptable, the whole process has been not acceptable.  I’m sorry, but we reached a point as a court that we need to terminate this.”

So why wasn’t the payment made?  Developer Stephen Goodman offered this explanation.

“I think what went wrong is just there was a lot to do,” said Goodman.  “We just ran out of time, that’s what went wrong.  I’ll take the full blame.”

Despite the setback, Goodman is confident he can resurrect the deal and redevelop the courthouse.

“I still hold on to the reality that once they kind of calm down from being angered with me for not closing last week, they’ll come around and we’ll still have a deal there,” said Goodman.

But, the search for a new buyer has already begun.

“If we have other options we can look at with different people, we’ll begin to look at those as soon as we can,” said Neal.

If there’s any good news from the deal falling apart, it’s this; developers paid a $10,000 escrow payment, which the county gets to keep.

County Commissioners pulled out of a deal to sell the old county courthouse Monday, leaving the building's future in doubt.
County Commissioners pulled out of a deal to sell the old county courthouse Monday, leaving the building’s future in doubt.