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City of Corpus Christi proposes development strategy for north side community

Hillcrest community
Posted at 8:43 PM, Apr 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-25 21:43:14-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The City of Corpus Christi has proposed a project design plan to implement mitigation requirements of TxDOT and the Federal Highway Administration to the Hillcrest community. In addition the project offers redevelopment to several parks and sites in the neighborhood. The design was unveiled during Tuesday's city council meeting.

The presenting of the proposed project comes just two months after members of the Hillcrest Resident Association submitted a requested of support to the U.S. Department of Transportation in hopes to keep the historical landmarks of their community. Several residents that on the north side of town, near the Harbor Bridge, believe the community parks, schools and history that was once known are being stripped away due to what their calling "environmental racism."

Henry Williams Jr., a longtime resident of Corpus Christi and the president of Hillcrest Resident Association, believes the time has come for redevelopment and restructure in a community that was once thriving.

“This is home and I intend to be here," said Williams, "I have a belief in the future of hillcrest, the northside and the future of our city, but we have to keep pushing for Hillcrest."

Due to the construction of the Harbor Bridge, those who live on the north side believe the value of their neighborhood and its parks are being torn down without any advancement.

As part of a four-party agreement to redevelop the area, the city laid out the details of the $14.3 million proposed project during the city council meeting. The project design will impact Washington Coles Elementary site, T.C. Ayers Park, Ben Garza Park and Dr. H.J. Williams Memorial Park.

Within the plans, the city looks to add a new amphitheater, playground structures, loop trails, event lawns, and even a food truck court, funded through possible seed investments and bonds. There will also be hike and bike trail connections between three of the parks and a North Beach Trailhead.

“Not only is the city staff proposing this to make improvements to recreational focused activities and areas, but we’re also presenting a plan to promote economic development and revitalization in the Hillcrest and Washington Coles areas to keep them alive," said Neiman Young, Assistant City Manager.

Even with all the new additions, Lamont Taylor, Chairman of the Community Advisory Board, says he won’t stop fighting for the advancement of his community with hopes that this can be the catalyst for future upgrades.

“We think it has taken much longer than it should have," said Taylor, "We consider this as low hanging fruit and they should have done it years ago. We’re glad that a momentum has started but we know there’s a long way to go.”

The city already has a $6 million budget for the project, but it’s still is not enough. They plan to get into an advanced funding agreement with TxDOT for further funding solutions. They anticipate an official design plan later this summer.

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