CORPUS CHRISTI — The City of Corpus Christi is looking to expand the downtown area by bringing in new businesses.
“I just think that it’ll be a great boom for tourism and our local residents.” Michelle Smythe, Kay Space Contemporary’s executive director said.
Kay Space Contemporary, an art gallery that has been around for about 25 years is no stranger to expansion. Currently they’re expanding their space to include more exhibits. They say the current improvements to downtown like the addition of waste disposals for cigarette butts and dog waste has cleaned up the streets, and the new street art has added to the beauty of the area.
“Whenever you come around a corner and you see a bright colored mural or you see an electrical box that’s painted all beautiful…it’s like a little surprise,” Smythe said.
The gallery says the expansion of businesses could bring in more clientele even if similar businesses come.
Dokoyo Dauntaun also agrees, saying the city’s changes like making some one-way streets two-ways and reducing panhandling by the homeless has already helped improve access to their business. Dokyo Dauntaun opened its doors last February right before COVID shut businesses down, but they’ve just expanded, opening the other half of the restaurant.
“When people come downtown they don’t usually stop by one place…they stop at a restaurant, go to a bar, go to a lounge, so increasing the traffic is just the mission,” Kil Lee, Tokyo Dauntaun’s owner said.
Yet another business that agrees with the city’s expansion plan is Muse, another new restaurant that opened last month. They are looking to expand its social hour and engage the community. So do they fear a commercial business like iHop or Denny’s coming in?
“The more options that you give people to eat…the better it is for everyone, right? So I don’t look it as oh there’s another breakfast place. It’s just giving the city more options to enjoy a dining experience,” Monet Love, Muse’s owner said.
The City of Corpus Christi has already started to approve of new businesses such as an art gallery, that will open within the coming years.
The City claims they have a record reduction in vacant store fronts and vacant buildings, which they say contributes to the beautification of the city.