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Nueces County Commissioners vote for two-story restaurant at Bob Hall Pier

The ongoing project is still being discussed by the county comissioners
Bob Hall Pier construction.jpg
Posted at 5:27 PM, Sep 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-28 06:57:44-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — For the last two years, Nueces County Commissioners have discussed the rebuild of Bob Hall Pier, which was destroyed by Hurricane Hannah in 2020.

Monday, the project moved forward one step, as Commissioners voted 3-2 in favor of making the restaurant on the pier a two-story facility, as opposed to a single story. One of the main topics of conversation during the County Commissioners meeting was the cost difference between adding a second floor, as opposed to expanding the first floor.

“I don’t think there’s a big cost difference between it going up and going out, but so be it,” said Commissioner Brent Chesney. “We got it there, it was there, we voted on it, sometimes you don’t get a 5-0 vote and that’s just how it went. We’re going to move forward, and it’s going to be an awesome pier when we get it done, and it’s going to take a while, because we’ve got to get it right.”

Chesney has concerns about the two-story facility, namely its safety and ADA accessibility, but voted in favor of it.

“The people made it clear that that’s what they wanted, the Parks Board voted for it,,” he said. “I do believe in representative government, and sometimes you have to do what the people you represent want. I think that’s what they want, so that’s why I did it.”

One concern brought up by a citizen speaker was about the county putting taxpayer money towards the restaurant — the current tenant is Mikel Mays.

“A lot of people do not understand why a private community member is receiving so much tax payer money for a restaurant that is not owned by the taxpayer,” said Rachel Caballero.

Chesney said the facility is not specifically for Mikel Mays, it is also for any future tenant, and he will make sure any tenant pays a fair rent for the facility.

“What we’re building is a facility for whoever the vendor is, and one of the things I did yesterday, that I hope will quash some of those concerns, is I made a motion that required there to be an independent analysis on what the fair market for that space is,” he said.

Chesney wants the pier and the restaurant to be a strong source of income for the county.

One questioned raised was whether the second floor of the restaurant would make the facility more susceptible to storms, like the one that destroyed the pier. Breanna Bailey, the chair of the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering at Texas A&M Kingsville, said there shouldn’t be much of a difference in constructing the building as a two-story than if it were only one story.

“The higher up you go, the stronger winds you would expect to experience, so they’ll need to accommodate for that,” she said. “But, I don’t think that’s an unmanageable design problem.”

The next discussion Nueces County Commissioners will have about Bob Hall Pier will be on October 12th. Chesney believes the storm rating for the restaurant will be discussed during that meeting.