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Local officials' plan aims to claim land under the old Harbor Bridge

Posted at 2:53 PM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 00:14:19-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The City of Corpus Christi, Nueces County, and Port of Corpus Christi officials are gearing up for a land grab.

Up for grabs: the land under the Harbor Bridge.

“Once that bridge is demolished, that land will be available,” said city manager Peter Zanoni. “Right now, the state controls it. But it's in the city, it's in the county, and it's by the port.”

All three entities own parts of the land.

Figuring out what to do with it once the old bridge is gone is the charge of the Harbor Bridge Right-of-Way Coalition.

That coalition is faced with a unique opportunity.

“To have the opportunity to do urban redevelopment on a blank slate is absolutely a once in a generation, or even perhaps more rare, opportunity.

The city, county and port are teaming with the Downtown Management District and the Metropolitan Planning Organization to find the right uses for the property.

“That land can be used for commercial development, for hotels -- for city facilities on both sides of the ship channel,” Zanoni said.

“We are having a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to re-establish -- rebuild -- that fabric; reconnect this part of our city,” said Downtown Management District Executive Director Alyssa Barrera-Mason.

There's still some time before the new bridge is finished, and even longer before the old bridge comes down.

But officials said it's important to work with TxDOT now so everything runs smoothly when the time comes.

“We're not going to wait around for decades and ask what we're going to do with this vacant property,” Zanoni said. “We're going to have plan before the bridge is even demolished about who should control the land.”

The city council considers a resolution to officially create the coalition next week, though the coalition already has had a couple of meetings.

The county and port have already passed similar resolutions.