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County commissioners support TIRZ for North Beach

Posted at 8:28 PM, Jul 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-10 23:51:08-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The city is still considering plans to jump start new development in North Beach. Nueces County commissioners went on the record in support of one of those ideas that would invest more money in that area.

Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to support the creation of a new tax increment reinvestment zone, or TIRZ, for North Beach. It does not create a new tax for residents. Instead, it designates a portion of tax revenue from future property valuations to be reinvested back into the area.

The recommendation came from the North Beach Infrastructure Task Force, which is chaired by precinct one commissioner Carolyn Vaughn. It would be the fourth TIRZ in Corpus Christi. According to volunteers, one of the existing zones is a great model to show the potential for a TIRZ in North Beach.

"You'll see that the downtown TIRZ #3 is a great success," said Chad Magill, a former city council member and North Beach volunteer who made the presentation during Wednesday's commissioner court. "That's why we're seeing so much private investment in the downtown area. And so we hope to model this TIRZ #4 after that success."

Magill said the funds generated by the TIRZ would be used for maintenance and structured parking. The maintenance component factors into an ongoing $40 million canal project on North Beach that aims to improve the longstanding drainage and flooding problems in the area.

Although the city council will make the final decision about whether to create the TIRZ, Magill and Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales both believe it's important for the county to officially show its support.

"When government entities work together, the people win and this communication from Nueces County helps the city continue to move forward with their work in creating TIRZ #4," Magill told KRIS 6 News.

"This county does not have the dollars, as we sit here talking today to make all these public improvements in a way that we can help our community," Canales said during Wednesday's commissioners court meeting. "That's why I think the TIRZ is so important is that you can think of it almost as a savings account for our public infrastructure."

Canales was also excited about the prospect of creating this funding mechanism while new development is already happening on North Beach. In addition to the canal project, a $24 million dollar project called LaVista Pointe would bring luxury apartments and townhomes to the area. Both projects are headed up by Dallas-based developer Jeff Blackard.

As Magill described, "North Beach isn't an idea. It's real and it's happening right now."

The county resolution called for the creation of a TIRZ #4 by July 31. However, KRIS 6 News was told that the city council likely wouldn't consider the issue again until August. Magill said he hoped the city would move forward within the next 30-45 days.