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Proposed city, Del Mar partnership could help North Beach redevelopment

Posted at 11:14 PM, Feb 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-21 00:20:34-05

A major decision is pending that could mean a partnership between the City of Corpus Christi and Del Mar College for the next 20 years.

If approved, the college would contribute into the North Beach TIRZ No. 4.

The TIRZ would not only spur development and growth in the North Beach area, but also address some key issues that have plagued homeowners and business owners for years.

More importantly, the proposed partnership could offer job opportunity for Del Mar College students and keep graduates local.

"(The way) this can help Del Mar College and our students is through added economic development through the region," said Del Mar College vice-president of Workforce Development and Strategic Initiatives Lenora Keas. "So as you bring in new developers, we have programs here at Del Mar College to support that."

Community taxing entities including Nueces County, the City of Corpus Christi and Del Mar College all will participate in TIRZ No. 4, which is a tax-incentive plan to help the redevelopment of North Beach.

"We see this as a key element for North Beach," said Keas. "And this is an opportunity for that area to be redeveloped and to benefit."

A board made up of community members and members of each entity will then monitor progress.

"The board will then administer, and funds that go out to the developers or through the improvement of North Beach," Keas said.

The way a TIRZ works is, developers pay their normal taxes. Once the level of taxes that were paid in 2019 are met, the rest of the taxes paid go into the TIRZ fund. That fund then pays the developers for redevelopment. In this case, the redevelopment of North Beach.

The college has programs in culinary arts, tourism, restaurant management and accounting that could benefit the region, so as businesses grow, so will the opportunity for students.

The TIRZ, and the business it hopes to attract, could be the economic boom those on North Beach are hoping for.

"It will boost the business and the economy, and it's also said to reduce some of the flooding issues we have here on North Beach," said Blackbeard's Restaurant manager Kassidy Field.

And it's the backing from community leaders the area has been waiting for.

"With North Beach being such a important part of our community, we saw this as a great opportunity to support economic development," Keas said.

If the resolution is authorized, the partnership could last until December 2039.