CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Development of Padre Island with a new project in the works.
“There’s going to be some great projects coming to the island. This is just another one of many that you’re going to see,” said Brent Chesney.
At the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) #2 on Tuesday, Corpus Christi city staff unveiled plans for Lake Padre.
102 acres of land east of Park Road 22 and south of State Route 361 will be looking very different in the next decade.
Development of Lake Padre that will bring a marina, apartments, hotel resort, shopping and entertainment area and more.
Chesney is a board member of TIRZ #2. What he likes are the public amenities, included in that is 2 miles of walkway along the water.
“A lot of public improvements. Bridges and golf cart paths and ways to get to the canal," he said. "Ways you can walk, ways you can drive, ways you can go on the golf cart. I think that’s going to be great.”
Renderings of the plans show two pedestrian bridges over the canal, as well as golf cart paths and ramps. When it's all said and done, people will be able to get to the other side of the canal or Park Road 22 by any mode of transportation.
This is a long term project that city staff said will create 500 permanent jobs and $7.5 million in annual tax revenue
Island residents said they see the positives and negatives to the project.
Joe Pool has been a resident for the last three years.
“Obviously, when there’s growth it’s better for all businesses will prosper and more tourism dollars is going to make everything go,” he said.
Pool said something to keep in mind are property values and taxes.
"I also understand that when you have growth, the fear is that it's going to turn into another Port Aransas," he said.
Long time resident Marvin Jones said he also sees the positives of added tax dollars for the city, but knows not everyone will welcome development.
“People that live here rather like their quiet island, peaceful not so much traffic. So, you’ve got two sides of the coin to look at,” said Jones, board president of the Padre Island Property Owners Association
TIRZ #2 board member Gil Hernandez raised the question of traffic.
With more development, some see how imperative a second route on and off the island has become.
“The P.O.A here has supported the efforts to get a second on and off method for the island," Jones said. "Todd Hunter, our state representative, has been pushing that hard and I understand the highway department approved a study for that.”
Chesney said a bridge is a must and said it's actually needed right now.
"Kudos for everyone who is jumping in and working on this," Chesney said. "And again, Rep. Hunter for getting the money set aside to do the initial studies. That's a big deal."
With this being a 5 phase project, city staff have estimated a price tag of over $700 million dollars spread over a dozen years.
Ground work has already begun on streets, underground utilities, etc... Phase one is expected to begin by the end of 2023. That phase includes building the marina, beginning apartments, the hotel resort and the golf cart and pedestrian bridges.
Funding is expected to be discussed at the next TIRZ #2 meeting, but Chesney said this is why the TIRZ was created.
City staff added that the Park Road 22 bridge, that creates a way for boats to pass through the canal, will be completed by the end of this year.
You can watch the full presentation here.
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