CORPUS CHRISTI, TX — In Wednesday's Nueces County Commissioners Court, discussions on the future of the old Nueces County Courthouse will be of topic again. The Texas Historical Commission will be in town from Austin to show "that Corpus Christi has a very strong market as a tourism destination," says Sharon Fleming, Director of the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program. She says, "many visitors stay overnight and would be attracted to a unique, high end property like the historic courthouse."
Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales stands behind the proposed plans and says, "we had always approached it the other way, let's sell it and see what happens. That's not worked for us. So now we took a different approach and I think it will yield a different result."
The proposed plans for the old courthouse include 173 rooms, a restaurant, coffee bar, bar and event room. The project would cost $68.5 million dollars, and the THC believes this to be a feasible cost that Nueces County can work with.
22 million of the project cost would come from federal and state Historic Tax Credit (HTC) programs. Another 15 million would come from other grants and incentive programs such as TIRZ #3 and the Texas PACE Program.
However, there is still one piece that is missing from the proposed plans, and that is a structural assessment on the old courthouse. In May, the THC awarded Nueces County a $150,000 grant for the structural assessment. Judge Canales says this is a very important part and she hopes to have it complete by the end of this year.
"You have all the pieces of the puzzle for a real developer to have a real understanding of how this could be an amazing asset for our community. For economic development, but for the opportunity to take something that was very historic and very meaningful and to do good with it," says Judge Canales.
As for what's to come after the presentation is given, Judge Canales says only a discussion will take place after the presentation.