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Sea Gulf Villa residents face possible relocation to new complex

Posted at 10:11 PM, Dec 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-09 23:39:10-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Plans are in the works to create a new affordable housing complex and to convert an old downtown building to loft-style apartments.

The Corpus Christi City Council could take a step towards approving that project at their meeting tomorrow.

The Sea Gulf Villa building has been here since 1928, and since 1979 it's provided a 111 apartments for those who qualify for affordable housing.

Now, two Austin-area companies want to build a new complex, move Sea Gulf Villa residents there, and turn the Sea Gulf building into lofts.

"I'm comfortable here," says Judith Russell, a resident at Sea Gulf Villa.

Russell has lived at Sea Gulf Villa for several years, and for the most part, she's a fan of the building.

"I like it," Russell says, "My apartment is plenty of room. they do real good maintenance. if you report you have a problem they get to you pretty quick."

Those feelings are echoed by some of her neighbors.

"It's old yes, but I'm satisfied with it." says Randall Davidson, another Sea Gulf Villa resident.

Not all the residents agree.

Another resident, Michael Cramer says, "It's in dire straights for repair."

Regardless of what they think of Sea Gulf Villa, if the two Austin-area companies get their way those residents will have to move.

Those companies plan to build Fish Pond at Corpus Christi -- a four-story, 112 apartment building -- at 6th Street and Hancock Drive.

The residents at Sea Gulf Villa would live there for the same rent they're paying now.

"I heard the apartments might be a little bigger, so that would be nice -- a little more room." says Russell.

The two Austin companies have a transformation planned for the old Sea Gulf Villa building.

They plan to gut it and reopen it as 100 loft-style apartments at regular market value. That means more opportunities to live downtown.

Jordan Micheal from Corpus Christi's Downtown Management District says, "We're excited to have more residences in the downtown-area that will just add to the revitalization that we're experiencing right now."

But the price of revitalization in this case is relocation.

"I just figure it's -- if we've got to move, we've got to move." Russell says.

Sea Gulf Villa residents aren't going anywhere anytime soon. If the city gives all the necessary approvals, construction of Fish Pond at Corpus Christi won't start until the spring and won't be complete until 2021. Only then could the redevelopment of the old Sea Gulf Villa begin.

The city council will consider several issues related to this project tomorrow. Those issues include tax credits and rezoning.