CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The future of North Beach was the focus of a big meeting Tuesday night. Major plans are underway to revitalize the area and leaders say the public will play a big part in making sure that it happens.
Lynn Frazier is one person who's betting serious money on the area. He already owns Fajitaville and is currently developing a multi-million dollar luxury apartment complex on the end of the beach called LaVista Pointe.
"It's just a diamond in the rough and it needs to be developed," Frazier told KRIS 6 News about North Beach. "We need to have this place be everything it can be."
LaVista Pointe is just part of the future development planned for North Beach. Residents packed Fajitaville for a meeting Tuesday night to get a glimpse at what the future could look like. Bob Catalano owns property in the area and liked what he saw.
"It's really important to make this beach look really nice. That when you come off the bridge -- you know, the trip from the exit to...the aircraft carrier and the aquarium -- that it looks beautiful," Catalano said. "They've got to have a first impression of North Beach (that) needs to be, 'Man, that's a cute little island.'"
The North Beach Infrastructure Task Force believes the catalyst to make all of this happen is the proposed canal. Developers call the attraction the Grand Waterway. Leaders say the canal is the solution to fixing the longtime drainage problems in North Beach, while also getting a financial return on that critical investment.
"Just like the Riverwalk in San Antonio -- how it did so well for San Antonio. That can do the same thing for here," Frazier said.
Leaders say this plan makes both economic and ecological sense. It also includes breakwater islands that will help with beach erosion, and provide important wave protection once the Ship Channel is widened and deepened. That will bring much larger vessels start through that area.
These improvements don't get done without support from our local governments. Frazier says that's where the community comes in.
"What we have to do is just get everybody letting city council know that they are enthused about it and they want it to happen," he explained.
Catalano says he's willing to give up his quiet life on North Beach to give the area a much-needed boost, saying, "North Beach needs it. It's been in disarray for a long time."
A feasibility study on the potential canal project is almost done. The task force says those results should be ready in a few weeks and will then be forwarded to city council. From there, council members will decide if the canal poses the best solution for the flooding issues on North Beach and should move forward.
The breakwater islands are a separate issue. Peter Davidson from the task force said they will definitely happen because they have a different funding source from the canal project.
If all plans are approved and move forward, the task force hopes all of the North Beach redevelopment will be complete by 2023. Click here to find more information about this project.