CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — More upgrades are coming to downtown Corpus Christi. With a little financial help, the Downtown Management District has announced five businesses will be moving in downtown.
“All the dollars that the locals spend down here and all the trips they make down here are what made these happen. The hotel is following interest,” Richard Lomax said, president of Water Street Restaurants.
The downtown area is Corpus Christi’s Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) #3. Inside those zones, a portion of existing taxes are put towards growth and development. $2.2 million from TIRZ #3 will go to reimbursing these businesses for some exterior enhancements and building renovations.
“I just think it’s another watershed moment," Lomax said. "We had this big rooftop moment when the Cosmopolitan came in."
The Skyline will change on Chapparal Street. Across from Executive Surf Club is where Homewood Suites will build a 126 room hotel, with rooftop bar and Topgolf Swing Suites. The TIRZ #3 board approved a reimbursement of $1,550,000 for the project.
Across from the hotel will be Lazy Beach Brewing opening a second location with a new taproom. The project costs $59,200 and reimbursement is up to $25,295. It should be completed by June 30, 2024.
The Art Center on Ocean Drive will welcome in Gallery 41 as the new residing restaurant. Project cost is $341,676 with reimbursement up to $104,585.
They have plans to build an outdoor patio looking out to the bay. Project is expected to be completed by summer 2024.
A new parklet is going in on Peoples Street in front of Hybrid Records with an extension of their awning. They are also working on the addition of OK Hifi, a Japanese whiskey bar. Project costs $48,186 with reimbursement up to $24,093. This project is also expected to be completed by June 30, 2024.
Last but not least, around the corner at 605 Mesquite St. will be 605 Elite, a luxury bar and restaurant. Reimbursement will be up to $531,695.
“You can tell the downtown scene is growing ever since—we’ve been here for a month now, we’ve already seen more people coming into downtown, just coming to see whats going on down here. Art Walks have been more (popping). And, the fact that these new businesses are coming now, this is just going to drive everything up," Jonathan Winfrey said, founder of VNP Gallery. A thrift shop that recently moved to Peoples Street
Business owners are excited the downtown area has direction, especially one that will cultivate a larger night life.
“We really want to curate an experience for these people to have a safe clean downtown," Lomax said. "So, I’m looking for more of those type of businesses to help add validity and improved elevated experience down here.”
“Everything’s going to be moving and grooving," Winfrey said. "People have seen how the downtown scene has looked. It looked abandoned, it looked depressing in a way. But these past couple years you could see a progress in all that.”
One project closer to completion is The Annex, a vintage automobile themed bar at 312 S. Chapparal St. They are expected to be ready to open at the end of April.
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