CORPUS CHRISTI — The start of a new era on North Beach may only be a few days away.
Next week the city council votes on whether to create Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone #4 on North Beach, and there's already a lot of excitement. Homeowners and business owners are excited because they've been waiting for something good to happen on north beach for a long time, and it looks like their wait... Is about to pay off.
A North Beach TIRZ is hardly a new idea. People there have wanted one for years.
“Over the past five years we've been asking for a TIRZ,” said Carrie Meyer. “It was the North Beach Community Association that originally proposed a TIRZ.”
Meyer has lived on North Beach for 15 years and is heavily involved with the North Beach Community Association. Every year that group gives city leaders its list of priorities. Fixing the drainage is always at the top of that list but creating a TIRZ isn't far behind. Meyer believes the city is finally making North Beach a priority.
“We have some champions in leadership positions that are leading this forward like (County Commissioner) Carolyn Vaughn,” said Meyer.
The TIRZ currently allows for $4 million dollars in reimbursements to business owners to make improvements. Business owners like Nick Catalano, who runs Yo Philly Cheesesteaks, like the sound of that.
“Reinvesting money into any business on this island is a great thing, especially if it's coming back to us,” said Catalano.
Creating a TIRZ is one step towards a Riverwalk style attraction on North Beach, but only if the city council decides digging a canal is the right way to fix North Beach drainage. Both are closer than ever.
“The chips are all lined up just right for this to happen now,” said Meyer. “The community buy-in for a TIRZ is a no-brainer.”
If the council votes to create the TIRZ, the next step would be to appoint the TIRZ board. Meyer says the NBCA would like one of its members on that board either as the "resident" representative, or in a separate seat.