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Could new housing in Washington-Coles area spark renaissance

Posted at 4:36 PM, Feb 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 20:40:55-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Tuesday, the city council gave the go-ahead to three affordable housing projects as developers compete for state funding.

One is in the Washington Coles neighborhood on the city's north side.

The Corpus Christi Transfer Company currently is located here, but once this project gets all the necessary approvals, this building will be knocked down and replaced by the Washington Coles Apartments.

There's hope that project starts a renaissance here.

The city believes there is a future for Washington Coles once the Harbor Bridge is done.

“The city has spent thousands of taxpayer dollars determining and researching that the Washington-Coles area can be redeveloped,” said Brooks AME Worship Center Senior Pastor Adam Carrington.

Carrington has watched Hillcrest and Washington-Coles turn into ghost towns.

He was encouraged when a developer pitched the idea for affordable apartments just across the Staples Street bridge from city hall.

But is city hall doing all it can to help?

“We get a developer who comes in and says they want to do it, and they get the run-around,” he said.

Houston-based developer Anita Daniels wants to build the Washington-Coles Apartments, but the project is one of three supported by the city for $1.4 million in state tax credits.

Only one gets picked by the state.

“Why not do Washington-Coles?” Carrington said.

Carrington believes the project can kick-start Washington Coles redevelopment and benefit people still living in Hillcrest.

“There's still several families who remain in Hillcrest, and they would appreciate driving a couple blocks to get something to eat,” Carrington said.

And if the state doesn't fund the project this year, Carrington believes the developer should keep trying until it does.

“Why not have have a Washington-Coles area that looks as good as the new bridge is going to look?” he said. “Or the new streets, or the new construction that's going on around the city?”