Schlitterbahn will look to get their extension for the tax incentive package by Tuesday 2/3 evening, but things look very good for an Opening in May just as summer starts to roll in. We are still so excited to see it in full operation!
CORPUS CHRISTI – It’s only partially opened, but Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi was a popular spot on Labor Day.
The Island resort is considered about one-third complete with construction ongoing daily. The park was open Monday with a newly operational Momentum River, but it didn’t see the crowd the owner had hoped for in its first Labor Day holiday.
“Attendance has been slow, although good,” said Schlitterbahn CEO Jeff Henry. “Because the park isn’t finished and because it doesn’t look finished and there aren’t as many attractions open as we’d like to have open, we’re pleased with the attendance that we’ve had.”
Henry said the Veranda restaurant is doing well and visitors are enjoying the parts of the park that are available.
“We’ve got about a little over a third of the park, about 3,500 person capacity, open and operating today. Got a river system open and operating, a hot tub open and operating, two childrens pools open and operating, a river ride open an operating,” said Henry.
The park was initially touted to open by summer 2014. While it did open, it wasn’t to the extent that people were expecting.
The question now is, when will Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi be completely ready?
“We will open March 1, 2015, with the park completely finished,” said Henry, “All 90 hotel rooms, all three restaurants, all the concessions, and all of the rides, and we’ll be ready to go next year at Spring Break.”
Click here for Schlitterbahn ticket information.
REMINDER CONTEST DRAWING EXTENDED UNTIL MAY 31st at 8:00pm
TO CELEBRATE SPRING, We are GIVING Away a Spring Goodie Basket including a KINDLE FIRE HD!
DUE TO POPULAR REQUEST, The Contest has been extended to MAY 31st at 8:00pm. In order to enter the CONTEST, text the word “basket” to 71441 (yes, only 5 digits, look at the picture below) and you will be entered to win.
You May Also ENTER YOUR MOBILE NUMBER Below to be Opted into the TEXT TO WIN Contest! Once you are opted in you will get a message asking you to reply with “yes” to confirm your entry into the contest. Also, feel free to download our FREE MOBILE Application for your smartphone so you can be searching the Real Estate market locally in Real Time. Go here http://bit.ly/smarterMLS
Home values are expected to Rise Through 2018!
Yes, a majority of forecasters and predicting & expecting large-scale investors to sell off the bulk of homes in their portfolios in the next three to five years. They are also expecting ‘nationwide’ that home value appreciation to be about 4.5% this year, with a steady slowdown in appreciation rates each year through 2018.
The forecasters are also thinking that based on current expectations for home value appreciation during the next five years, they are predicting that overall U.S. home values would exceed their April 2007 peak by the first quarter of 2018. We’ll see. We are trying to keep our fingers on the pulse of what we hope will be coming down the pipeline. Watch for more information as we receive!
Austin Business Journal: Corpus Christi blows Austin away in construction job growth!
Best Performing Cities Index by the Milken Institute:
Corpus Christi ranks 17th best performing Large City in America.
Corpus Christi is the 5th fastest metro employment growth in the Nation.
Global Insight for the US Metro Economies report: Based upon Gross Metropolitan Product, Corpus Christi ranks 10th!
Projects breaking ground this year:
Cheniere Energy – $12B LNG plant
Voestalpine – $700 million processing plan (largest Austrian project in the US)
M&G Resins – $900 million PTA/PET plant(the largest such facility in the world)
Occidental Petroleum announced a joint venture with Mexichem to build a $1.5B project in Ingleside.
Corpus is becoming a ‘global’ community. TPCO (Chinese), Voestalpine (Austrian), M&G Resins (Italian), Trafigura (Swiss), Mexichem (Mexican) are sending people to Corpus regularly to do business ‘right here!’
Tourism: Spring/Summer Schlitterbahn Country Beach Water Resort opening their park/resort on North Padre Island’s – first phase.
New Home Starts: Up 60% over the last two years. Homes sales are up, prices are up and major construction are up!
So, come on 2014…….we’re ready for you!!!
Come Coast Awhile………with us!
If you have been watching the construction process, you know that things are now at the point of dramatic change.
“We’re really seeing some big changes now,” said Jeff Henry, co-owner of Schlitterbahn. “Really seeing this start coming out of the ground.”
From the beginning, there were plenty of people who were convinced the project was never going to happen; but now, 65 acres of what used to be the Padre Isles Country Club have been transformed.
“We’re running four-inch fire protection to the buildings that are going to be sprinkled, and we’re running two-inch fill lines that we’ll use to fill the rivers and fill the rides,” Henry said.
Jeff Henry is the creative genius behind all Schlitterbahn parks, and to say that he’s a free spirit doesn’t fully describe his reputation for thinking outside the box. He actually owns more than 60 patents for thrill rides that he has built all around the world.
“He’s always creating. He’s got a vision, and he tries to make the architects understand what his vision is,” said Sonia Gill, Henry’s assistant.
“This is fun. This is like artwork. It’s enjoyable,” Henry said. “I do get tired of corporate — that would be my brother and my sister, and all the people in New Braunfels who are trying to get me to comply with the rules and regulations of society, which I prefer not to.”
“He’s a wild and crazy guy, but he gets the job done,” Schlitterbahn Senior Designer John Schooley said. “He’s creative, and he really makes things happen.”
“These are treehouses that we’ve added,” Henry said. “Here, we’re doing something very unique.”
Henry was talking about the company’s unique upscale lodging for guests who want to extend their stay. The treehouses, as they’re called, are being constructed using wood left behind from the devastating fire in Bastrop, Texas, back in 2011. Ultimately, there will be a couple of hundred tree houses on the site.
Like the Schlitterbahn parks on South Padre Island and Galveston, the one in North Padre Island can stay open year round, but “this one is going to blow those other two away,” Henry said.
As of right now, construction workers — about 150 of them on any given day — are finishing up the in-ground infrastructure, working on foundations for the various slides and rivers, and adding a second floor to what will be a completely refurbished clubhouse.
As for the actual water slides and attractions, many are being built right now in the company’s fabrication plant in New Braunfels. Colorful butterflies and mushrooms, an elaborate locomotive, and a cool pirate ship — the C.C. Christi — all of it will be headed to Padre Island soon.
Also on the way are devices called Archimedes Screws. They work on a 2000-year old principle named after the Greek inventor who first used them. They will help propel the massive amount of water in the park’s moving rivers.
In New Braunfels, experts from around the country are collaborating online. They can actually stay in constant communication with project managers on the ground in Corpus Christi.
John Schooley, the company’s senior designer, is particularly proud of the park’s signature attraction. They call it “Shoot the Chute,” a unique adaptation of a classic waterpark ride that takes riders up a steep incline and then drops them into a large pool.
Local businessman Stan Hulse is the park’s general manager. He said he can’t wait until people can start splashing around in it. That’s still set to happen in June of next year.
Eventually, as 3News has reported, the $41 million water park will be the central component of a $550 million resort community on the Island. It will have more restaurants, shops and hotels. Plans also call for a riverwalk and new residential areas.
According to our sources, a major announcement about that is coming soon, and 3News promises to keep you posted. via KIITV.com
High unemployment, crunched budgets and lower tax revenues have put financial stress on many locales. Those pressures can make a new waterpark very appealing.
Forget the fancy slides. While a new waterpark will need to wow visitors with all the latest technology once it opens, that day may never come unless local officials believe that the proposed park will bring jobs. “Three, four years ago, I don’t believe we had to emphasize the jobs piece so much,” says Craig Wilkinson, principal owner of Wisconsin Resort Consulting in Madison, Wis. “Ultimately, everybody wants jobs right now.”
With the national unemployment rate still higher than most economists would like at 7.7 percent in February 2013, many localities are hungry for new jobs. State budget crunches and depressed property tax revenues also have put financial stress on many cities and counties.
Those pressures can make a new waterpark an appealing prospect. “When you come in with an $18 million to $20 million payroll, 1,200 jobs and a tax base that solves their tax problems, most welcome you with open arms,” says Todd Nelson, owner and president of Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., which has begun planning a new $350 million waterpark resort in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains.
Such enthusiasm is critical for waterpark developers, who say public support is a crucial part of financing a new project.
“The most important thing to us is how we’re going to be received by the community and whether it will be an uphill battle,” says Jeff Henry, CEO of Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts in New Braunfels, Texas. “We go to places where we are needed and wanted.”
However, even with a promising location and excited community, the development and financing of a large scale waterpark can still be a herculean undertaking.
A waterpark proposal offers the promise of serious tax dollars as well as a mix of temporary, seasonal and permanent jobs.
“It’s a large economic package,” says Wilkinson. “There are property taxes, hotel taxes, park taxes and retail taxes.”
The numbers illustrate why. In Wisconsin Dells, which has the highest concentration of waterparks in the country, the industry has helped build what is now a tax base of $1.1 billion for a city of only 2,700 residents.
That sounds mighty appealing to a place like Garden Grove, Calif., where local officials currently serve 175,000 residents on a tax base of just $42 million and can’t wait until Great Wolf opens its long planned 600-room waterpark hotel in the city. The Southern California city, located in the shadow of Anaheim’s Disneyland, spent years pursuing an attraction of its own and finally landed a Great Wolf Lodge in 2010.
“It’s a means to a better, more attractive and more financially solid community,” Garden Grove City Manager Matthew Fertal said of the waterpark when the project was announced. “It’s the shot in the arm every city wishes it had, especially in these economic times.”
Three years later, Fertal remains just as committed to the project, which promises to bring 600 jobs and $8.5 million in annual tax revenue to Garden Grove.
“It will be a huge economic engine for the city,” he says. “Right now, 12 hotels generate $12 million in hotel tax for us. This one [Great Wolf] hotel will generate $8.5 million.”
As the project’s size and scope increases, so does its potential economic impact. In the Poconos, the $350 million Kalahari project is estimated to create 1,200 construction jobs, 700 full- and part-time jobs at the resort and bring more than $18 million in tourism dollars to the surrounding area.
Depending on the project and locality, public officials have a number of tools to encourage a waterpark firm to develop a facility in their area.
“Waterpark developments have received a variety of economic incentives, including tax abatements, room tax rebates for waterpark resorts, infrastructure funds, income tax rebates, and assistance in acquiring land,” says David Sangree, president of consulting firm Hotel & Leisure Advisors in Cleveland, who does feasibility and economic impact studies for the waterpark industry. “It’s all about the metrics of the deal,” explains Henry. “If a project has great metrics, existing infrastructure, and is in a well developed area, then a city doesn’t need to offer as much.”
Garden Grove, for example, offered Great Wolf a $62 million package to locate its lodge there, agreeing to provide the company with $15 million worth of land, $5 million in cash, and $42 million in redevelopment bonds.
“Outside of hotel attendance and visitation, it’s been a flat economy for us,” Fertal says. “Thank goodness the hotels are performing well, otherwise we’d really be in bad shape. That’s why we’re willing to do this.”
Not everyone can.
“Several municipalities would like to do these [waterpark deals], but financially, they are so burdened, they can’t make it happen,” says Wilkinson, who evaluates deals for clients.
In the Poconos, Kalahari is hoping to tap into tax increment financing (TIF) for the project, which would help pay for infrastructure improvements such as utility lines and road improvements. While the details of tax increment financing can vary from locality to locality and state to state, Kalahari has used these tools before.
In Sandusky, Ohio, Kalahari relied on a TIF to pay for more than $7 million in infrastructure improvements for its resort there, according to the company. And in Corpus Christi, Texas, Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts recently broke ground for a new $41 million waterpark that will be just one part of a larger $552 million mixed-use development that will take 18 years to build and produce $259 million in revenue.
Those are some big numbers, and the city’s contribution is no different; in exchange for the massive project, Corpus Christi agreed to provide $117 million in incentives, much of it in funds to promote tourism, for Schlitterbahn and its partners.
“As we looked at the economic impact, this was a good return,” says Foster Edwards, president of the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce. “Our economy is excellent, and we are not desperate by any means, but why turn down a good opportunity? It’s that simple.”
Officials at Garden Grove felt similarly about Great Wolf, whose project is expected to generate enough tax revenue to cover the cost of the $62 million economic development package within the city’s desired time frame of seven to 10 years.
“As long as the payback fits within that threshold, we feel that’s a reasonable return,” Fertal says.
Doing the deal
Why do public incentives matter so much in the private waterpark industry, which is a tourism sector that everyone says is growing? The answer is financing.
“The lending situation has never been easy,” Schlitterbahn’s Henry says. “I’ve always found it to be hard because waterparks are not considered mainstream financeable products, so you have to go to alternative label financing, which asks you to promise not only your firstborn, but also your second, third, and fourth child as well.”
But industry consultants say the lending situation has become especially challenging of late, with even major hospitality brands such as Marriott turning to alternative sources of construction financing for new projects.
Banks, so eager to lend during the economic boom, today seem leery of anything but the safest deals, and waterparks often combine the risks of real estate, hotel, and amusement park projects. As a result, a single lender may not be able or willing to provide all the debt that a waterpark company may need for a project.
“With the new rules in banking, projects can only go so large without getting many banks involved,” says Wilkinson. “Tax breaks that a project can take and monetize in some way are the best for a project. From my experience, most lenders are not going above 60 percent lending on projects. This means a project owner has to have 40 percent of the project in the deal. If this can be reduced by taking land off the costs or [using] state bonds, then that makes a project much more fundable.”
Public dollars can also make a waterpark more profitable, which also appeals to investors and lenders.
“We’re severely at risk on these projects, so everything we get makes it easier for us to get it built,” Henry says.
Of course, economic incentive packages have their own challenges. If a site or location is a bad bet for a waterpark due to demographics or other factors, public money probably won’t be enough to persuade a firm to take the risk.
“For us, the most important thing is that the project has got to make sense and be viable without incentives. No matter what incentives are offered, the plan and the project are the most important factors,” says Tim Black, COO of Great Wolf, which currently operates 10 waterpark resorts in the United States and one in Canada. Depending on how the incentives are structured, public money can also be slow, arriving only after a project has met certain targets or started generating tax revenue.
“You’re already so far into the deal [by the time the public dollars show up] that if the public financing falls through, you better be able to finish it,” Henry says.
It can also disappear, jeopardizing the project. That’s what happened in Garden Grove last fall, when Gov. Jerry Brown eliminated the state’s redevelopment agencies and put the city’s economic package to Great Wolf on uncertain ground.
“The waterpark hotel is one of the surviving projects that will keep our city financially afloat,” Fertal said at the time. “I can’t be more serious when I say that without it, our revenues may find themselves in rough waters.”
After a lengthy review process, the state in February agreed with Garden Grove that it was legally obligated to honor the agreement with Great Wolf. That put the project back on track and allowed Great Wolf to start pursuing its own financing.
Such deals also can be controversial, angering residents who think hiring teachers or firefighters is a better use of that money than helping a private waterpark, even if the funds are only available for economic redevelopment.
Clearly, tax breaks come with strings of their own, and smart waterpark executives acknowledge that.
“It’s not free money,” says Henry. “We know they’re giving us help to build a facility, and we owe that back to the people who we are serving.”
We are extremely blessed to have the opportunity for Schlitterbahn Waterpark coming to our island, in the past few months we have seen great progress and look forward to the opening in Spring 2014. ~Cheri Sperling
The effects of the government shutdown are rippling through the real estate industry, and practitioners are feeling the pain all over the country. Most of the complaints we’re fielding are about USDA loans, which have been entirely frozen. Real estate pros are seeing deals fall apart, as the Department of Agriculture has shuttered its mortgage division during the shutdown.
But agents and brokers whose clients hold every type of loan are getting slammed. Though the FHA is still operational, it has drastically reduced its staff, causing widespread delays in the processing of FHA loans. And while the IRS is down, it can’t verify tax documents tied to conventional, FHA, or any other loans. That translates to many real estate deals being put on hold — or just disintegrating.
It’s becoming a madhouse out there for many practitioners fighting to keep deals alive as the shutdown puts a stranglehold on the market. We’ve gotten a few of their stories.
David Harman Jr., ABR, CRS, GRI
Associate broker, Century 21 Harman
Everything that was once in the former townhouse of Harman’s clients is now in Harman’s garage: furniture, memorabilia, even a refrigerator full of food. His clients were about to get approval for a USDA loan at the end of September, and they had long picked out the home of their dreams. Then the shutdown happened, the loan was stopped dead in its tracks, and Harman’s clients — a married couple with two kids of their own and three foster children — had nowhere to go. They had already told their landlord that they would be gone at the start of October, and another tenant was already moving in.
“They’re first-time home buyers. The only way they could afford a home was through the USDA program,” Harman says. “It’s just so sad because these guys were so close to getting their first home, and they were so excited.”
The Friday before the shutdown went into effect, Harman received word that the USDA needed just one final question answered before approving the loan. The next Monday, it all fell apart.
Harman offered his garage as a place to store his clients’ belongings while they were forced to move in with a relative. Even then, their family was split up.
“I guess the foster kids are back with the state,” Harman says, adding that there’s no way they would have been allowed to stay with them in their current living situation.
To make matters worse, the sellers of the home Harman’s clients were going to purchase is now threatening to sink the deal. At first, they were only allowing a one-week closing extension when they found out the buyers’ loan was backed up because of the shutdown, Harman says. Now, the sellers say they’re not even sure they want to sell anymore. Harman says he continues to try to negotiate an extension, but “we don’t know how long an extension to ask for. Is it a day? Is it a month? We don’t know.
“I try to call every day and talk to [my clients],” Harman says. “That’s all I can do is talk to them and reassure them that I’m doing everything I can. … I don’t even know if they’re going to want to buy a house anymore. It’s been such a nightmare.”
Salesperson, Coldwell Banker College Real Estate
“My clients were at the tail end of a USDA loan,” Byrum says. “They still have hope that the government will resume and they will close on their USDA loan.”
But drastic times call for drastic measures, so Byrum’s clients are starting all over again, applying for another loan as a backup plan. The clients, she says, are applying for a conventional loan this time, in hopes that it will be easier — and faster — to get while the government shutdown continues with no resolution in sight. But it’ll come with a big price.
“The conventional financing will end up costing them more each month, and now they have to use their savings for a down payment,” Byrum says. They were originally planning to use their savings to buy furniture, she adds.
“Not only that, but if they were going to go regular financing rather than USDA, there were other homes in other areas that could have been an option,” Byrum continues. “But they wanted to take advantage of the wonderful government-offered USDA financing.”
All of this has left a bad taste in Byrum’s mouth: “The government is like a common crook that pulls an unsuspecting person in with no remorse of not following through on its promise.”
Lori Young, SFR
Broker-president, Young Realty Group, Inc.
Young’s frazzled. She represents sellers in several deals that are saddled on the sidelines because the IRS is unable to verify buyers’ tax return documents to approve their loans. Many of the deals are for short sales. One is for a property that has a tax lien filed against it. Young was in the process of trying to get the IRS to issue a document of release to the seller with the tax lien. But all of that is in limbo now.
“Overall, I approached the shutdown as an issue out of the real estate professional’s control and that I will monitor daily,” Young says. “Once reopen, we will continue to push our files.
“I’m not sure what is going on, but I’m lucky that my sellers and the buyers are all being patient,” she adds.
Who knows how long that patience will last, though.
Young has 16 short-sale deals on the table, and they’re all on hold “with some type of excuse blaming the shutdown,” she says. “Some are stating Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are holding up approvals, and others are stating ‘the investor’ has not approved the deal. I’m a bit concerned about my short sales, which are homestead properties that need to close by year’s end to avoid any additional tax implications.”
Young says she communicates every day with her clients and updates them on any new information she learns related to their deals. That’s what helps keep them calm. But with all these balls in the air, it seems like Young could use some calming herself.
How does she do it?
“I go to yoga class,” she says.
Marketing manager, Keller Williams Realty
By the end of October, Laura, who asked to withhold her last name, and her 8-year-old son will be couch-surfing. The single mom was in line to close on her USDA loan and move into her new home with her little boy by Oct. 20. But now that USDA loan processing has come to a halt, they’ll be making very different plans.
“Even if the government reopened tomorrow, they wouldn’t be able to process my loan until December,” Laura says. “I haven’t come up with a plan for what we’re going to do for the next couple of months.”
She had already committed to moving out of her current place by the end of October, and she doesn’t have the option of extending her stay, she says. Luckily, a few of her co-workers at her 150-person Keller Williams Realty office have offered to open up their homes to her and her son — but that comes with its own set of problems.
“Staying in someone else’s house who you’ve only known for a year, especially with an 8-year-old — it just seems like such an inconvenience to them,” Laura says. And then there’s her son, an even bigger and more important concern. “I want him to have a stable environment,” she says, “but we may have to house-hop for a while.”
Laura says that she has no family in the area. She’s even offered to pay extra to her home’s builder to move in before the loan closes, but the builder wouldn’t except the deal, she says. So until this mess can get straightened out, she’s taking it one day at a time.
“I’m very humble and resourceful — we’ll figure something out,” Laura says.
Pam Aguirre, CRS
Broker-associate, RE/MAX Legends Group
Aguirre says one of her latest listings is a “show stopper.” It’s a completely renovated three-bedroom, four-bathroom single-family home with newly redone hardwood floors, a remodeled master suite with walk-in closet, new porch, self-closing cabinets, and new finishes. It came on the market just days after the government shutdown went into effect — and Aguirre hasn’t had a single showing yet.
“I feel our marketplace has gotten very quiet” since the shutdown, Aguirre says. “I’m not surprised by the slowdown. I think consumers in general are still very uneasy about the economy, their buying power, and the possibility that a government shutdown may bring a return of what happened to the housing market in 2008.”
The slow response to Aguirre’s listing, located in the car-racing enclave of Speedway, Ind., is all the more troubling because it’s close to the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a major draw for the area.
“I was tweeting about a new listing coming to Speedway last week, hoping to draw some race teams or fans in. Nothing,” Aguirre says.
She admits that because renovation work on the home is wrapping up, she hasn’t had as many listing photos to show, and that could have an effect on buyer traffic to the property. But still, most of her listings that are in good condition, as this one is, have sold within a couple weeks of coming on the market, she says.
Even for properties in poorer condition, “the phone has been ringing and there have been showings,” Aguirre says. But right now, “the phone has been very quiet.”
via Graham Wood Realtor.com
CORPUS CHRISTI — Work is continuing around the clock to finish the Schlitterbahn water park out on the island. Recent rain delays are causing a bit of a slowdown, but nothing substantial.
“They’re moving fast as you can see,” said General Manager Stan Hulse as he showed us around the park in progress.
Crews are working rain or shine. “Most of that dirt work is sand, so the water kind of seeps through it, so it may slow us down a little bit while it’s actually raining, but the crews can get right back out there,” Hulse said.
They’re also continuing construction around the clock. “We’ve even got a couple night crews that come in and do some work inside the clubhouse and so forth, so we’re taking advantage of all the time that we can,” explained Hulse.
The goal is to wrap up in time for Summer 2014. Behind the scenes, things are starting to take shape.
Hulse showed us a centerpiece area that will feature a river, a beach and a unique ride called ‘Shoot the Chute.’
“It goes down real fast and splashes water everywhere,” he described, adding it was similar to the type ride you might see at Disney.
While Hulse is excited about the progress, dozens of local workers are happy for the jobs. There are about 80 guys working construction there right now, about half of those are from the Coastal Bend. The plan is to hire even more before the job is complete. “We’ve got 80 now, I think you’ll see about a hundred later on and then as things move forward, they’ll be bringing in different crews for different aspects of the park,” said Hulse.
It’s a park that they hope will eventually bring big business to the Coastal Bend. As far as bringing business for local workers before that, though, there’s not an exact timeline just yet.
“There’s a lot of moving parts with this, mother nature plays a big part, there’s all sorts of different hurtles and obstacles as we move forward, a project this size, so right now, until we get a little bit closer, our official word is Summer of 2014 is when we’ll open,” Hulse said.
For more information and updates on the park and its progress, log onto the Schlitterbahn website.
A group of downtown business owners are pushing to change a city ordinance that would give code enforcement officers more power to clean up vacant buildings in an area that has become a virtual ghost town.
The Downtown Management District, a group of local business owners, voted at its board meeting Thursday morning to send a recommendation to the city to amend part of a longstanding ordinance that dictates how the city must handle vacant and dilapidated buildings.
The current ordinance prevents the city from inspecting the inside of the building unless there are two code violations visible from the exterior. But since many of the code violations are often on the interior, it is difficult for the city to do anything.
Local business owners have asked the city to amend that part of the ordinance so that only one code violation is required, effectively giving the city more power to crack down on owners who have left their buildings in disrepair.
“Hopefully, this is just one solution to help us get one step closer to fixing up downtown and keeping it the way it should be,” said Casey Lain, owner of the House of Rock and chairman of the management district board.
While the ordinance still does not allow for the city to demolish a vacant building, Lain said it will give the city more teeth in getting owners to comply with the rules. “It’s just a good vibe down here, so it [downtown] needs to be a place that’s good to invest your business in.”
The city is now working on drafting the amendment and is expected to present it to city council sometime this fall.
Just behind what will be the main entrance on Padre Island, construction crews are working on a pool. They’re building small huts, while at the clubhouse just across from it, construction is planned soon.
“There’s a crew that will be working at this building, they’re going to start refurbishing this building,” said General Manger Stan Hulse.
170 miles away though, in New Braunfels, screw pumps able to push 36,000 gallons of water are already built and ready to ship. So is a large butterfly for the children’s park and dozens and dozens of segments that will be put together for all those Schlitterbahn-famous slides!
The next step is shipping them here.
“Its such a huge endeavor that it’s already been the subject of a couple of episodes of Shipping Wars,” said Huse.
Yes, we could see those parts on national TV, although, that is still in the works.
Once the parts are shipped to Corpus Christi the park will come together rather quickly.
“It will almost look like its going up overnight,” Hulse said.
There’s no date set for putting together those components yet, but we’re told right now, the park is on schedule and we should see Schlitterbahn open its doors by Summer 2014.
via KRIS TV
The first drawings of the design for residential development around the Schlitterbahn Beach County Resort on the west side of SPID have been released. Here is the first look at preliminary design;what the portion of the planned residential development south of the waterpark would look like if it were built today. These plans are the first step in the process of reaching a comprehensive and approved development plan. The plan represents the first section of resort residential development affiliated with the Schlitterbahn Beach Country Resort which is scheduled to open in the spring of 2014 at the current location of Padre Isles Country Club.
INTERVIEW WITH JEFF HENRY, SCHLITTERBAHN OWNER
The design calls for a mix of residential and other overnight lodging accommodations. Included are single-family units, multi-family units, waterfront and greenbelt products in addition the IslandWalk Village will contain retail, restaurants, and entertainment venues that will be supported by hotel sites and marinas for those who choose to arrive by boat.
LARGE SCALE MOCK UP BELOW
DETAIL LOOK AT THE WATERPARK FEATURES – RELEASED MAY 30th, 2013
The resort’s initial phase will provide waterpark elements, golf, tennis, marina facilities, and other recreational amenities. Once completed the residential areas of the plan can be assessed from Nemo Court on the east, or Whitecap on the south. This plan is the initial portion of the 500 acre Schlitterbahn Beach Country Resort. IslandWalk Village is being designed by nationally known architect Hart Howerton who did the initial design work for the Villages of Upper Padre Island in 2004 and provided assistance with the Island Area Development Plan during that same time frame. The plan is consistent with each of those original concepts. Opportunities for local business people to participate in the retail, restaurant, and entertainment portions of The Village will be offered in the near future. The Island Moon will publish the details of how to access that process in the near future. ~ Dale Rankin, Island Moon Newspaper
Plans for the BeachWalk Village Development located along Whitecap Blvd. between SPID and the Gulf beach are now complete. Gulf Shores Joint Venture has released its plans for BeachWalk Village Development fronting the Gulf of Mexico adjacent to Whitecap Boulevard. The plans include single-family beachfront homes, multi-family lodging, and an Island village which wraps around the existing Island House and fronts on the seawall.
The 40-acre site will be Coastal Vernacular architectural style reminiscent of the low country architecture found along the coasts of Georgia, and the Carolinas. The BeachWalk Village Development is constant with the Island Master Plan and the developments on the west side of SPID. It is intended to compliment the Schlitterbahn Beach County Development making product available for those looking for beachfront settings.
BeachWalk Village will serve the portion of the market interested in a beach setting and compliment Schlitterbahn Beach Country and IslandWalk now under construction on the west side of Padre Sound (Lake Padre) and on the west side of SPID. Gulf Shores will shortly make the preliminary drawings for the marina on Padre Sound available in the near future. “BeachWalk Village ties together the plans for the marina, the Schlitterbahn Beach Country and the BeachWalk,” said Developer Paul Schexnailder. “When completed The Island will have a comprehensive development that is second to none on the Texas Coast.” ~Island Moon Newspaper
Design plans for the proposed Park Road 22/SPID Water Exchange Bridge will move forward before final decision is made on permitting by the Texas Department of Transportation, which means work on the bridge could begin much earlier than expected.
Until last week City Engineers did not plan to begin final design work on the $8.1 million bridge until the TxDot ruling on permitting which is not expected until at least the fall of 2013; this meant that final design of the bridge could not possibly be done until well into 2014, delaying the bridge’s construction and causing potential delays in the digging of the proposed IslandWalk Canal to connect the Schlitterbahn waterpark to amenities including a marina, on the east side of the highway.
That logjam was resolved last Friday when City Manager Ron Olson directed the city engineering staff to proceed with the detail
design of the bridge while awaiting the ruling from TxDot on permitting, which is expected within the next month and will likely be
followed by a public hearing. Olson’s move clears the way for work on the canals to begin much earlier. Under his existing permits developer Paul Schexnailder must build water exchange culverts under the roadway connecting the new canal on the west side of the
road to Lake Padre on the east. However, last year the Corpus Christi City Council approved the use of $8.1 million in bond money to instead replace the culverts with the bridge which would allow for boats to pass underneath as well as pedestrian and golf cart paths.
The current design would allow for water passage through a six-foot deep channel and would include walking and cart paths on each
side along with about a 14-foot clearance from water level to the bridge for boat passage. It would take about one year to complete and
during most of that time traffic on SPID would be reduced to one lane each way As the city moves forward with the final design of the bridge all required permit work is proceeding on the IslandWalk Canal.
by Dale Rankin Island Moon Newspaper
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT PADRE ISLAND AS OF MARCH 1, 2013
Waterfront Homes / Lots
There are currently 1,917 waterfront homes built on Padre Island.
There are only 189 waterfront lots left to be built on, on Padre Island.
Water Access Homes / Lots
There are currently 1,336 water access homes built on Padre Island.
There are only 1,017 water access lots left to build on, on Padre Island.
If you are even thinking about owning or building on Padre Island in the next 6-12 months we feel there is some urgency as to atleast get fully informed about the current market. As all the new commercial developments continue here, the cost of Real Estate could go up dramatically within 24 months. We are here to answer your questions and help you to secure your spot in Paradise, Give us a Call Today at (361) 949 – 0101.
Data provided by Corpus Christi Association of Realtors.
Want to SEARCH all Property available in the MLS in Real TIME? GET our BRAND NEW SMARTPHONE APP for FREE >> Click HERE
The creative force behind the Schlitterbahn water park success story, Henry knows the value of water and has no problem explaining to a drought-parched city like Corpus Christi how a water park like his will not be a drain.
It’s a skill cultivated through more than four decades of developing, designing and opening water parks in a variety of conditions, including in times of drought.
His family’s first park — Schlitterbahn New Braunfels — grew during a drought that had the park’s wellspring, the Comal River, on the ropes.
“In ’84, we became very cognizant of water usage because we were worried the river would run dry,” Henry said.
So they learned to build closed-loop systems, fill them once, and channel them into a variety of purposes, filtering the water as they go.
Now, Schlitterbahn is building a $41 million water park in Corpus Christi, set to open in summer 2014. What few counted on is a drought that weather experts say is going to tighten its grip on the city’s fast-sinking reservoirs.
In an average year, Nueces County gets between 30 inches and 34 inches of rainfall, according to weather records. In 2011, rainfall dipped to fewer than 13 inches. It inched back up in 2012, to 18 inches.
As of Friday, the city had received 1.92 inches of rain since Jan. 1.
Inflows to the reservoirs total more than 724 million gallons through the first three months of the year. That is enough water for about 4.5 months, based on the city’s annual consumption.
The combined level of the city’s reservoirs stood at 35.4 percent of capacity as of last week. The level could dip below 30 percent sometime in June or July, according to city water planners, which would put the city into Drought Stage 3.
Should the city enter stage 3, the Schlitterbahn park would be subject to the city’s conservation plans. Another wrinkle resides in a city ordinance that allows the city manager to curtail all new water connections during a stage 3 drought.
Master plans call for a resort hotel to go with the park, but the park will be built first.
If business owners near Schlitterbahn’s master plan were in the beginning concerned that the park will use more than its fair share of water, the concerns have been addressed, said Stan Hulse, executive director of the Padre Island Business Association.
Hulse said with one deluge, water consumption could become a moot point.
“Although we are in a drought situation, there’s no way of predicting it will be the case when they fill the park,” Hulse said.
But Henry isn’t waiting on it to rain.
He does not need to.
It is a lot easier to get into than out of the water flowing around the Pirate’s Cove at Schlitterbahn South Padre Island.
The cove, a new indoor-outdoor section of the park, is surrounded by a 3-foot deep river with a current meant to be enjoyed but strong enough to get what it wants.
The current is the product of unseen pumps and a sump that continuously fills and then releases the more than 750,000 gallons of water coursing through the system.
The river also is the wellspring of the rest of the cove. It feeds the two corkscrew slides and a children’s watergarden nearby, plus two wave pools, a heated lagoon and swim-up bar.
The river helps accomplish the goal of keeping the water inside the park and the guests inside the water.
The concept is called Transportainment, trademark, and it is the liquid backbone of an entire business model predicated on doing more with less.
And over it all is a retractable greenhouse canopy — purchased secondhand from the San Antonio-based Schulz Nursery — that shelters guests from colder weather and allows the park to operate when others are closed.
The canopy saves energy costs by trapping warm air inside the park, which in turn keeps water temperatures comfortable.
There is another benefit.
As warm air rising from the park meets the cold surface of the canopy, condensation can develop.
“It actually can rain in here,” said Jack Soto, director of operations for the South Padre Island park, during a recent tour.
Eric Hansen, an architect who has studied water consumption in water parks on behalf of the Hotel & Leisure Advisors, a national hospitality and consulting firm, said though it may be counter intuitive to think of a water park as a conserver, the data backs it up.
“Water is a bottom line consideration for a water park, as much or more than other leisure businesses,” Hansen said.
Henry said it takes about 2.5 million gallons — the equivalent of about 100 swimming pools — to fill the average Schlitterbahn park. The city’s largest commercial water user, a power plant group, consumes 70 million gallons a year.
“Some is lost to evaporation, but that’s it,” Henry said.
Water used to clean water filters — called backwash water — is captured and stored to irrigate the drought tolerant landscaping.
Both Schlitterbahn and Hurricane Alley — the only water park now in operation in Corpus Christi — played it close to the vest on actual water consumption.
Hurricane Alley did not provide information and the city could not provide it because of a privacy clause on water consumption between Durrill Properties, which owns the park, and the city, said Kim Womack, spokeswoman for the city of Corpus Christi.
Schlitterbahn would not provide specific data on average daily water consumption at its water parks and resorts.
According to Hansen’s study, a 100,000-square-foot water park resort might consume up to 160,000 gallons of water per day.
If the resort was located in Corpus Christi city limits, 160,000 gallons per day translates into a minimum utilities tab of $12,000 a month, based on the city’s commercial rate.
But when broken down by per capita use per day, a water park may actually consume less than a residential home, based on another study by Hansen.
Using two parks as examples, Hansen calculated that a water park guest will consume about 40 gallons per day. A single family residence, which could include several people, may use 70.
“In the overall water park water system, the maintenance and topping off operation accounts for 2 percent to 3 percent of total water use on a daily basis,” Hansen wrote in his report. “In other words, a water park is reusing approximately 97 percent to 98 percent of its water system.”
Hansen said a golf course, by comparison, averages between 300,000 and 500,000 gallons consumed a day, according to the study.
“The idea that a water park is a big water consumer is false,” Henry said. “The truth is, it is actually a water conservator.”
The water park also has no guarantee on water from the city, said Winter Prosapio, Schlitterbahn’s corporate communications and government relations director.
“We depend on water just like anybody else,” she said. “But for us, it’s a codependency. It’s in our DNA — we were built on a river.”
Because there are no guarantees, Prosapio said the company has a contingency plan of operations for drought restrictions.
The parks feature drought-resistant landscaping, river-ride basins and tube walls extending far above the water line. In New Braunfels, the park has a permit from the state to drawn water from and return it to the Comal River.
On windy days water lines to landscaping and water fountains are shut down to reduce waste.
And every employee is drenched in water-conservation principles, said Soto of the South Padre Island park.
“Everyone, even life guards, are taught the importance of water conservation,” he said.
No specific design plans have been released, but every park follows a basic pattern and the Corpus Christi location will be hewed from its predecessor on South Padre Island, Prosapio said.
There will be a “Master Blaster,” a “Boogie Bahn” and a tidal river, which all are signatures of the Schlitterbahn plan, she said.
But from there, it is anyone’s guess.
“(Jeff Henry) is so creative,” she said. “He can change on a dime.”
An inventor and world-renowned park designer, Henry’s park design company, NSBG International, has introduced the Transportainment model at the Wild Wadi Water Park in Dubai, where it rains less than a half inch a year.
He has patented a variety of water park technologies for everything from a polymer coating on rides to water propulsion devices.
Such dedication to reusing and recycling trickles down through the entire organization, said Michael Bigelow, director of marketing and sales at Schlitterbahn South Padre Island.
“Jeff is always looking for ways to protect the environment,” Bigelow said.
A FLUID VISION
So Henry is impatient with the idea that a water park will not carry its weight in water for the community in which it is located.
“All water is borrowed water,” he said, invoking a mantra his employees have come to appreciate.
The system of pumps and filters — including two the size of compact cars — that serve an area of the New Braunfels park similar to what may be seen in Corpus Christi, recirculate more than 100,000 gallons an hour, during peak times, said Ace Horan, maintenance director at Schlitterbahn New Braunfels.
Leaks and drips are addressed by the small army of maintenance workers who swarm the park, Horan said.
“We are pretty hysterical about it,” he said “It is in our best interest to conserve as much of it as we can.”
Henry said Schlitterbahn has a strong bond with its communities.
“This Schlitterbahn will be built and belong to the people of the city,” he said. “We are caretakers of the land and the water, and our job is to be good stewards and manage it.
“I work for the people that buy tickets — those are my shareholders — not the guys that put a few million in,” he said. “They’re just facilitators applying their wealth back into the community.”
Henry, who blends Warren Buffett’s focus with Jimmy Buffett’s style, said he is not in it to conquer the world or waste its resources.
“We don’t believe in building things for ourselves to amass wealth,” he said. “We build it for everybody and that money should be plowed back into the community to create more.”
The bottom line, Henry said, is the satisfaction in seeing families set aside their tablet computers, cellphones and daily stresses and just have a little fun.
“Everybody needs a swimming hole, even in a drought.”
via Caller Times
We are excited to report that FORBES magazine earlier this month listed Corpus Christi as the 9th City that is leading the Nations Housing Recovery!
“This February is by far the best we have seen in the past 5-6 years, if this keeps up we will shatter last year’s numbers for sure” Realtor Cheri Sperling said.
The survey in Forbes was conducted on all metropolitan cities that exceeded the rest of the country statistically. Corpus Christi ranked ninth among 146 cities nationwide, with its low unemployment and median housing prices. The highlight of the article was that our real estate appreciation in the area grew 3.18 percent in 2012.
“We had a pretty good year in 2012,” Corpus Christi Association of Realtors President and CEO Gary Doran said. “We’re recovering well.”
The area housing market had excellent success in 2012 since slumping back in 2007, according to the Corpus Christi Association of Realtors.
This Data, certainly tells the story.
Median sales price of a home sold in the Coastal Bend was $142,500 in 2012, an increase of 5.6 percent from 2011 prices.
As 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 3.88 percent, Corpus Christi experienced an increase of 16.8 percent in units sold in 2012.
When the housing bubble busted in 2007 with a massive credit expansion and subprime loans were given to buyers who were at much higher risk of defaulting. CCAR had lost almost half of its 1,500 members by 2011 after the market had an incredibly slow year.
“Numbers in inventory were extremely low in the MLS, and I remember speaking to many realtors who couldn’t not make a living and had a very difficult time paying their bills,” Cheri Sperling, said.
Today the market has shifted to benefit sellers, with some buyers having houses swept away from them after making an offer.
Cheri Sperling attributes the increase in our housing market to news of Schlitterbahn Water park, increase in inner Texas cities beginning to see Corpus Christi as a great 2nd home destination and of course the expansion of Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas exploration.
The influx of people has brought the rental management side of my business to be at near capacity to almost full, with leased property staying on the market for very short periods of time, Sperling said.
“As our rental prices and demand goes up, it makes it a better market to buy, particularly in many of our dry and waterfront lots” she said.
Residential Home Sales in the Coastal Bend
Category 2011 2012
Homes sold 3,640 4,249
Average sales price $156,751 $170,191
Average days on market 109 120
Median sales price $135,000.00 $142,500.00
30-year fixed rate mortgages 4.25 3.88
Source: Corpus Christi Association of Realtors
It’s official. The planned $41 million Schlitterbahn Waterpark is one step closer to becoming a reality. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Friday on Padre Island.
Kiii News Reporter Bill Churchwell went Live from the Padre Isles Country Club with the details.
There was plenty of excitement from the crowd as they watched the mayor and the owners of Schlitterbahn break ground with golden shovels and construction equipment.
For the first time, we were able to see what the waterpark will look like, as an artist rendering of the 65-acre project, including rivers, rides, slides, surf and lodging, was put on display. It will be the fifth waterpark built by the family-owned and operated Schlitterbahn.
“This park is going to be our newest, most modern, prettiest, best park we’ve ever built,” said Jeff Henry of Schlitterbahn Waterparks.
“We’ve had our eye on Corpus for a long, long time,” said Robert Henry, also of Schlitterbahn Waterparks. “We had to develop our techniques to a finer point. Takes a lot of time and money. We’ve waited for Corpus to grow up to it, and I believe you’re there.”
Early during the development, there was some concern that the country club and golf course would be removed, but that will not be the case. It will remain in place, and it will be improved.
Schlitterbahn plans to open by March of 2014.
PHOTOS FROM THE GROUND BREAKING CEREMONY!
is breaking ground Friday at 2 pm for its new water park resort on North Padre Island.
Water park resort officials are expected Tuesday to finalize the land purchase and project financing, said Jeff Henry, co-owner of Schlitterbahn.
A couple weeks ago, the city granted a grading permit for the project, which allows the project to break ground. However, full construction permissions have not yet been granted, according to Mark Van Vleck, director of city’s development services.
Schlitterbahn had until the end of February to break ground in order to meet their $117 million economic development incentive with the city.
The $41 million resort planned west of Park Road 22 tentatively is set to open in March 2014. Early designs showed the project would include a 65-acre water park with lodging, golf and restaurants. It will be built on the existing golf course and tied into a master plan for the area that includes a marina in Lake Padre, an extension of the residential canal system, hotels, condos and single-family homes on about 500 acres of mostly undeveloped land.
Come join the fun Islanders, we will be there with cameara’s documenting this momentous occasion. As North Padre Island makes its biggest leap in the 21st century, we still can’t believe it’s here. Thank You to all of you that kept your vision…the day is almost here!! ~Cheri
According to Schlitterbahn coowner Jeff Henry, the half-billion dollar Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Corpus Christi’s Padre Island is set to have a groundbreaking any day now.
The company has to begin construction by Feb. 22 as part of the deal Schlitterbahn has made with the City of Corpus Christi. The City has agreed to give the company $117 million in incentives to build the park on Padre Island on the site of the only golf course there.
The City said everything is now in place to get construction going.
Henry said by phone that he is just waiting on a few legal issues to be wrapped up before breaking ground.
“Everything that they have done with the City is in line with accomplishing that goal,” Henry said. “They do have grading permits and are working to get everything going, so I anticipate something going soon.”
The park is set to open by March of 2014.
We are very excited here on the island to see this come to fruition, you can bet once they break ground we will be there capturing the moment and raising a glass to celebrate the biggest project ever to hit North Padre Island, Tx.
LATEST NEWS: The park developer and part-owner Jeff Henry says all is on schedule. “Our concepts for the park haven’t changed much. We are close to groundbreaking, and it always takes the lawyers and bankers twice as long to do their work as it takes for us to build it. All the money is in place, financing for the project is completed and is ready to go. The plans are done but will change right up to the time we start building. Once ground is broken, we will be working straight through to completion.”
Jeff Henry also said his crews have begun to build the equipment at their construction yard at their New Braunfels headquarters; those include some of the castles and other custom equipment that his crews have also built for their other parks. He also said his crews usually take two weeks off in December and equipment should begin arriving at the Island site around the end of December or early January.
The $41 million resort will be located on a 65-acre tract that is currently the site of Padre Isles Country Club on Padre Island. While no new drawings of the park have been released in almost a year, the concepts haven’t changed much. You can see the plans on the website: FREE SCHLITTERBAHN MAP
With the $177 million Incentive Agreement with the city of Corpus Christi, Phase I of the park must be finished by summer 2013. The water park is part of a proposed $552 million master plan for Padre Island, which investors Willard Hammonds, Paul Schexnailder and the Henry family (owners of Schlitterbahn) are developing.
They are shooting for an opening by Spring Break 2014 but it will probably be May 2014 before it actually opens – but no later than the summer of 2014. They won’t move any dirt until everything is ready, all the way around, and then they will hit the ground running.
Phase I of the build out will include the water park and about 20 or so overnight stay rooms. “After that we will build out as the market allows,” Jeff Henry says. “We will get the park open and then expand as the market stabilizes. Once that happens we will go to Phase II immediately.”
He expects Phase I of the park to require the hiring of about 20 local contractors who will be selected from a group of about 1,000 already compiled. “We are the general contractor and we are responsible for seeing to it that everything is right and on time.”
He said Schlitterbahn will not be hiring off a low bid. They will hire who they think can get the jobs done right and on time. Their company is vertically integrated from design to finished construction and their crews know how to do every job required to keep the project on time and done right. They will try to use as many local contractors and workers as they can.
Jeff Henry said there have been a couple of surprises as the process of planning and construction for the park has moved forward. He said there are still some unresolved permitting issues with the Island Walk portion of the project which will be a 3500-foot canal connecting the water park on the west side of SPID to Lake Padre, where a marina is planned, via a 40-foot wide water exchange bridge under SPID. The Island Walk will also connect the current canal system to Lake Padre and through it to the open Gulf of Mexico through Packery Channel.
There are plenty of places to begin building while any permitting issues for the Island Walk are worked out. Henry says they are excited about the project and ready to hit the ground running around the first of the year.
We’ll keep you posted as to progress along with photos once things begin. Happy Holidays to all of YOU!!
Cheri Sperling, Owner Coastline Properties
Materials are being prefabricated in New Braunfels — where the company opened its first water park in 1979 — said Gabriele Hilpold, chairwoman of the committee that advises the city on island development.
Members of the Island Strategic Action Committee said they’re baffled when they hear from people who still don’t believe the park and resort will become a reality.
But they may not hear as much of that by the end of October, when construction equipment is expected to arrive near the Padre Isles Golf Course, said developer Paul Schexnailder, of Asset Development. He briefed the committee Tuesday night.
Drawings and surveys are being completed, he said. Schexnailder wouldn’t say whether they’ve found a way to keep nine holes of the golf course open during construction — as hoped by some island residents — but said project details are being worked out.
The $41 million resort planned west of Park Road 22 tentatively is set to open in March 2014. Early designs showed the park would include a 65-acre water park with lodging, golf and restaurants. It will be built on the existing golf course and tied into a master plan for the area that includes a marina in Lake Padre, an extension of the residential canal system, hotels, condos and single-family homes on about 500 acres of mostly undeveloped land.
Under a $117 million incentive agreement with the city, Schlitterbahn must begin construction within five months and be finished with the first phase by summer 2013.
Schlitterbahn is part of a proposed $552 million master plan for the island, which investors Willard Hammonds, Schexnailder and the Henry family, owners of Schlitterbahn, are developing.
CORPUS CHRISTI — Trailers and heavy equipment will be one of the first indications that dirt is expected to turn soon near the Padre Island Golf Course — the site of a proposed Schlitterbahn water park and resort.
Those could appear as soon as the end of October, said developer Paul Schexnailder, of Asset Development. He briefed the city’s Island Strategic Action Committee Tuesday evening.
“There’s a lot going on that people just don’t see,” he said.
Financial paperwork is being finalized with the bank and the park’s design is being worked through by The Henry family, owners of the water park company. The final design is expected to be complete in the next few weeks. They’re trying to find a way to keep nine holes of the golf course open during construction, Schexnailder said.
The $41 million resort planned west of Park Road 22 is tentatively set to open March 1, 2014, ahead of spring break. Early designs showed the park would include a 65-acre water park with lodging, golf and restaurants. It will be built on the existing golf course and tied into a master plan for the area that includes a marina in Lake Padre, an extension of the residential canal system, hotels, condos and single-family homes on about 500 acres of mostly undeveloped land.
Under a $117 million incentive agreement with the city, Schlitterbahn must begin construction within the next six months and be finished with the first phase by summer 2013. The water park is required to be built two years after the project breaks ground, according to terms of the agreement.
Schlitterbahn is part of a proposed $552 million master plan for the island, which investors Willard Hammonds, Schexnailder and the Henry family are developing.
The entire project is expected to take at least 18 years to build under the incentive agreement with the city, which is for 25 years. Developers are responsible for infrastructure maintenance, such as dredging canals and repairing bulk heads.
The development is expected to generate about $259 million in revenue, after incentives, for the city’s taxing districts, including Del Mar College and Flour Bluff ISD.
A bulk of the tax incentives being offered — $78 million — are from hotel occupancy tax revenue within the area of the planned development. That means most of the incentives being offered rely on the performance of the proposed project, city staff said.
The city also plans to build a $6.8 million bridge along Park Road 22, which would connect Lake Padre to the residential canal system. The City Council has pledged to pay for that project with leftover 2008 bond money. Schexnailder has said it is a critical part of the project’s design because it would create a pedestrian waterfront connection along the canal system.
We are so excited to hear this from the Developers, This news is very big and our islanders are ready for it. Will keep you posted as more news develops ~Cheri
The water park is expected to open March 1, 2014, Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeff Henry said. The opening date previously was set for Memorial Day weekend in 2013 but had to be pushed back after delays related to an expansion of the company’s South Padre Island park, he said.
“We didn’t want to push forward with the project to try and meet an unrealistic schedule,” Henry said.
The estimated $41 million resort planned west of Park Road 22 is expected to include a 65-acre water park with lodging, golf and restaurants. It will be built on the existing Padre Isles Golf Course.
Delays to begin construction won’t affect an agreement with the city, which requires the project to break ground nine months after the agreement was signed in May.
Schlitterbahn must begin construction within the next six months and be finished with the first phase by summer 2013. The water park is required to be built two years after the project breaks ground, according to terms of the agreement.
The project is close to breaking ground, Henry said, although he didn’t have an exact date. Last month it was on track with tentative plans to break ground as early as September, developer Paul Schexnailder said.
Many pieces of the project — including financing, design and permits — need to fall into place before construction begins, he said during a previous meeting.
Schlitterbahn is part of a proposed $552 million master plan for the island, which includes a marina in Lake Padre, an extension of the residential canal system, hotels, condos and single-family homes.
Investors Willard Hammonds, Schexnailder and the Henry family that owns the Schlitterbahn Texas water park chain are developing the master plan.
The entire project is expected to take at least 18 years to build under the incentive agreement with the city, which is for 25 years. Developers are responsible for infrastructure maintenance, such as dredging canals and repairing bulk heads.
The development is expected to generate about $259 million in revenue, after incentives, for the city’s taxing districts, including Del Mar College and Flour Bluff ISD.
A bulk of the tax incentives being offered — $78 million — are from hotel occupancy tax revenue within the area of the planned development. That means most of the incentives being offered rely on the performance of the proposed project, city staff said.
The city also plans to build a $6.8 million bridge along Park Road 22, which would connect Lake Padre to the residential canal system. The City Council has pledged that project will be paid for with leftover 2008 bond money. Developers have said it is a critical part of the project’s design because it would create a pedestrian waterfront connection along the canal system. ~ Caller.com
Commentary – “We greatly appreciate the updates to the project thus far. This is the largest project North Padre Island has ever seen so it’s important that the proper planning is done prior to breaking ground. The Henry family has always wanted to produce a high quality product and I trust this is the right decision given the unforeseen circumstances delaying there other resort project down south. We eagerly await the day the shovel hits the sand, Islanders are ready for the changes and we are excited as ever” ~ Cheri Sperling
Gains in existing home sales and median prices during the past three months have lifted the Coastal Bend’s housing market to its highest levels since the local housing slump began in 2007.
Sales closed between April and June numbered 1,172 units, or about a 19 percent increase compared to the same time in 2011, according to figures from the Corpus Christi Association of Realtors.
The median sales price also has risen by more than 8 percent compared with 2011 to $145,367, figures show.
Housing inventory — measured as the amount of time it would take to sell all available existing homes — has dropped almost by half to 5.6 months in June compared with 10 months in June 2011.
There was a monthly average of about 2,200 homes for resale on the area’s housing market during the period, figures show.
The increased buying activity spans all price ranges, said Char Atnip, a residential Realtor and chairman of the realtors association board.
“There’s a lot more people who are looking simply because interest rates are so low and prices have not skyrocketed, and it’s a great time to buy a home,” Atnip said.
New home construction activity has also increased compared to 2011.
In Corpus Christi, data from the city’s Development Services department shows there have been 449 permits issued this year for new residential construction through June, up 61 percent from the first six months of 2011.
The permits have an associated project cost of more than $82 million, figures show.
All but one of those permits is for single-family homes, with one being issued for an eight-unit building.
In all of 2011, the city logged 660 new construction permits for projects totaling more than $118 million
The local figures are similar to momentum building in many areas of the country, with builders beginning to respond to growing buyer interest.
U.S. builders broke ground on the most homes in nearly four years in June, The Associated Press reported this week.
The housing inventory of less than six months is approaching the five-month mark, which is what the area experienced during the housing boom between 2004 and 2006, said Jim Lee, economics professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
A normal inventory for the Corpus Christi market is about seven months.
Low inventories typically trigger increased prices as supply dips and demand increases.
Home building can also increase, which is good for local economies, because it generates activity that isn’t exported to other areas, Lee said.
During the area’s most recent housing boom period, construction outpaced the area’s growth rate, which contributed to the slump, Lee said.
Source: Corpus Christi Association of Realtors via Caller Times. Read the original at housing market or housing or home sales, – Google News.
Improvements are being made to equipment at a waste water lift station. Existing equipment was installed in 1974 and is approaching its useful service life, resulting in multiple repairs in the past year. The improvements will restore the structural integrity of the line, which should last approximately 50 years.
Phase 1 – Monday, July 23 for approximately 1 week
Eastbound Whitecap traffic will be reduced to one lane as the left lane between
Gypsy and Cruiser will be closed for pipe welding and site preparation.
Phase 2 – Monday, July 30 for approximately 1 week
Eastbound traffic on Whitecap will be shifted onto the westbound lanes between
Cruiser and Barataria. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction.
You may have read the various articles regarding proposed legislation from the Texas Department of Insurance to divide the fourteen coastal counties based on proximity to the Gulf. A surcharge to all insurance rates (Windstorm, homeowner policies, automobile policies, boats and RV policies) would cost Island property owners the most, and increase in lesser increments the farther inland you go.
Right now the 14 coastal counties are treated differently than the other 240 counties in Texas. In the other counties, wind and hail are included in their homeowner’s policy. It is only in the 14 coastal counties that we have separate windstorm and hail insurance in addition to a homeowner policy which specifically excludes wind and hail.
The other counties have their share of wild fires as well as wind and hail damage. Hurricanes are not the only potential disaster for Texas. We are all Texans and should all be treated equally. The Texas Department of Insurance should develop an equitable and reasonable statewide funding formula that does not target and discriminate against the fourteen coastal counties.
A task force has been created and our local Legislators, Representatives Todd Hunter and Senator Hinojosa are on top of this. It is time to fix the windstorm insurance problem in Texas.
If you would like to write letters to State officials to ask for this fair and equitable funding formula, please contact our office for addresses or a sample letter.
NO BOARD MEETING FOR JULY – NEXT ONE WILL BE AUGUST 28
LITTER CRITTER WILL BE IN THE POA PARKING LOT ON SATURDAY – JULY 28
Dredging of Packery Channel from the SH 361 Bridge through the jetties was cut short due to the beginning of the turtle season and stopped about 500 feet short of the mouth leaving a 24,000 cubic foot sand plug which has left the opening with a depth of about 6 (6-10 ft depending on where you are across channel) feet. The natural sand movement around the channel’s opening has changed since Hurricane Ike passed through in 2008 and the result is less scour (deeper region) at the mouth and the formation of a bypass bar just offshore of the mouth of the channel which may be either beneficial, by transferring sand around the channel mouth seasonally from side to side, or a problem depending on what happens this summer season.
Deidre Williams at the Conrad Blucher Institute at A&M Corpus Christi who monitors the channel for the city told the Island Strategic Action Committee Tuesday night the remaining shoal near the mouth (the shoal is inside the Entrance Channel NOT outside the channel) could be of benefit by blocking the entry of sand into the channel mouth directly from the Gulf. The opportunity for sand to enter the mouth of the channel would be new for Packery. In the past the channel mouth was very shallow due to shoaling and the region around the mouth in the Gulf was very deep- the uphill climb clearly limiting sand entry from the Gulf. Should the plug of sand be removed, the channel mouth and nearshore would be nearly the same depth, possibly allowing for sand to enter directly from the Gulf. However, she said if the sand begins to be impounded along the west side of the Entrance Channel shoal it could lead to the growth of the shoal and would need to be removed in the future. A survey will be conducted during July to determine if the Entrance Shoal is expanding enough to require removal or if it serves the channel better to leave the shoal for now as a protective measure. Current plans call for a wait and see approach through the summer season.
She told the ISAC that since the premature opening of the channel by Hurricane Emily in 2005 the width of the channel at (-5 ft depth) inside the SH 361 Bridge has doubled in some sections due to water flow. Between 2006 and 2008 the channel widened at a rate of up to 34 ft/yr and since 2008 the width has increased by about 1.5 ft/yr. Most of the expansion has been on the east side of the channel in the tidal flats but some rest on the west side, where residences are located, have lost as much as 1-10 ft (Note for your information-20ft was only in the water- the navigable channel bank- —).
Williams said the beach on each side of the channel jetties has pushed seaward since the channel pened increasing the width of the beach to about 500 feet nearest the jetties. The beach is afforded protection by the jetties an alongshore distance of 2,000 ft to the north, just past Turtle Cove development and 4,000 ft to the south, up to about the Holiday Inn. The sand from the recent dredging of the channel was placed from just south of the Holiday Inn to the south end of the seawall, the first major dredging since its opening in 2006. The beach has increased in width by 80-100 feet at the south end. She said the prevailing southeasterly wind is already moving some of that sand north where it will serve to increases the width of the beach from there to the South Packery Jetty.
Inside the channel a small portion of the Basin Shoal was left after dredging and is located near the entrance to Lake Padre which Williams said does not impede boat passage through the channel but if it persists may need to be marked with a buoy. “The channel is healthy and hasn’t required a lot of maintenance,” Williams said. “That is not by happenstance but by design.” During planning, dredging was predicted at 1 to 3 year intervals but was not needed until 6 years after the channel opened, indicating a successfully designed inlet.
Park Road 22 Bridge
Permitting for the Park Road 22 Water Exchange Bridge is ongoing. Currently the city engineering department is waiting on a decision form the Army Corp of Engineers about what the exact nature of the impact from the bridge will be. That determination will impact the bridge’s design which has been done but is contingent on the Corp’s decision. Once that decision has been made the city will push forward with the permitting process. A tentative start date for the bridge has been set for the end of 2012.
Gypsy Bridge repairs
Repairs to the underside of the bridge on Gypsy are complete and work is set to begin soon on the road surface which still has a metal plate to cover a pothole. The guardrail which was recently destroyed by a car has been replaced. Street lights on the new Aquarius Extension The city engineering department has put in a request with AEP to install the lights. The normal turnaround time for such projects is 4-12 months. Improvements to Whitecap Water Treatment Plant We recently reported that the Whitewater Treatment Plant has exceeded state limits on bacteria in its outflow more than twenty times since 2009, in some cases as much as 27,000% over the allowable limits. The cure for the problem is a Ultraviolet Light treatment process that is expected to cost between $3-$5 million and will not be installed until at least 2014. In the meantime the city is looking for other ways to stop the problem in the interim which may be cheaper than the UV system to install but will be more expensive to operate.
Restrooms along Packery Channel
The city has placed a portable restroom at the parking lot north of the Packery where street lights are soon to be installed. Plans to build a permanent restroom there are on hold until new FEMA maps are released later this year which may change the designation of the area’s vulnerability to flooding and ease restrictions on the design requirements for the structure and reduce the cost. The original estimated cost of the restrooms was placed at $1.4 million but ISAC members declined to approve payment at that amount from the Island Tax Increment Finance fund. A similar restroom facility on Corpus Christi Beach was put out to bids and the price came back at over $600,000 due to the Americans with Disabilities Act which requires a ramp to reach the facility which must be at least nine feet above ground level. If the area around Packery Channel is rezoned in the new FEMA maps that requirement may not be necessary.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort
Developer Paul Schexnailder told ISAC members in their Tuesday meeting that the park’s developers now have a term sheet in hand from lenders, meaning that negotiations on financing for the park are nearing completion. “We’re moving forward,” he said. “We will be doing work on the site in August but not turning dirt. There is still much work to be done on permitting before we start digging.” He said the previously stated schedule for the $524 million dollar park and development that calls for it to be open by next summer is still in place, “at this moment.”
Article by Dale Rankin – Padre Island Moon
New Home UPDATE as of 7/19/2012: As of this week there are a good number of new homes under construction going up here on North Padre Island! New Developments relating to Schlitterbahn and the Proposed New Park Rd 22 Bridge are creating such an exciting atmosphere to be in. It’s been nearly 5 years since we have seen new construction like this!!
New Construction count is as following:
WATERFRONT HOMES – 8
WATERACCESS HOMES – 55
MULTI-FAMILY PROPERTIES – 2
Dry lots are selling selling on the Island. 18 have closed since June 1, 2012: Selling between $18,500 – $28,900
Padre Island’s real estate market is recovering and now bringing a new wave of buyers.
Now’s the time. Don’t Wait to Buy, Buy and Wait!!
Let Coastline Properties show you the BEST the Island has to offer – put our expertise and experience to work for you!!
Check us out! Cheri Sperling, Coastline Properties
Investors Paul Schexnailder, Willard Hammonds and the Henry family that owns the Schlitterbahn Texas water park chain have been developing the master plan layed out last May. The waterpark resort on Padre Island is about 30 days away from finalizing the capital needed to begin moving forward with construction.
The estimated $41 million resort planned along the west side of Park Road 22 is expected to include a 65-acre water park with lodging, golf and restaurants. This project will be built along side the current Padre Isles Golf Course. We are excited to hear the project is on track with tentative plans to break ground as early as September according to developer Paul Schexnailder.
Schlitterbahn part-owner Jeff Henry previously said the water park would be open by Memorial Day weekend of next year.
There are many pieces of the project — including financing, structural design and proper permitting — that need to fall into place before construction begins, Mr. Schexnailder said.
The city also plans to build a $6.8 million bridge along Park Road 22, which would connect Lake Padre to the residential canal system. This money has been allocated with the leftover 2008 bond money. Even though Schlitterbaun is not dependent on it, Developers have said it is a critical part of the project’s design because it would create a pedestrian waterfront connection along the canal system.
The City continues to obtain environmental permits required to build the bridge, and will maintain continued public input as part of the process this year. The water connection between the canal and lake is expected to improve water quality in the canal system and throught Laguna Madre.
As more information comes out we will be glad to keep you posted, You can assure Coastline Properties will be there when the first shovel hits the sand!!!
UPDATE from 6/12/2012 Padre Island Moon, Dale Rankin
Developer Paul Schexnailder briefed the ISAC on the Schlitterbahn project during their June meeting. He said the park’s design group spent three days last week on the site looking at elevations in preparation for the anticipated beginning of construction in August.
An environmental assessment of the area where a new canal would be dug has been made and contains a maximum of three acres of wetlands which must be mitigated. A meeting is set with the Army Corps of Engineers to access what changes in the existing permits are needed for construction on the east side of Park Road 22 (SPID) in the area around Lake Padre.
He said that once the city is finished with the design for the Park Road 22 Water Exchange Bridge the permitting should be ready to begin digging the canals on the west side of SPID to connect it to the existing Island canal system. The area where the new canal would be dug is on the current site of Padre Isles Country Club and is considered uplands – not wetlands – which makes permitting there quicker.
He also told the ISAC that he expects term sheets from lenders on the project to be in hand within two weeks. Construction on the project has been broken into two projects. The first phase will make the park fully operational and should be complete by summer 2013. Phase II will then begin and will add more features to the park. In Phase I a 5000-foot long Lazy River will be built and in Phase II will be extended to 7000 feet.
Before the Lazy River feature can be built AEP must do site work to prepare for the installation of water pumps, including several 2000 gallon per minute pumps, two 35,000 gpm pumps, and several 20,000 gpm pumps.
He said items still to be determined are where exactly to locate a 70,000 square foot section of the park which will have a retractable roof and will remained open year round, where to locate parking lots, and when/if to shut down holes on the golf course during construction, and how the construction process will effect membership packages at the club.
He said the final design of the park could not be completed until the financial incentive package with the city was in place and that package was finalized only two weeks ago. The plan included no property tax incentive and was made up entirely of sales tax breaks primarily though the Hotel Occupancy Tax, which means plans for Phase I of the project will now include hotels, which would not have been the case if property tax incentives had been used. ~Dale Rankin, Padre Island Moon
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has agreed to move forward with several proposals to fund the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA), the provider of last resort for windstorm insurance on the Texas Coast.
TWIA has just recently adopted a 5% increase on all residential and commercial windstorm insurance policies issued by TWIA to policyholders in the 14 counties comprising the Texas Coast. This is the third rate increase in the last three years for coastal county residents.
The Commissioner of the Texas Department of Insurance has also proposed rules that will establish the funding and financing mechanism to place funds in the catastrophic reserve trust fund to provide coverage for windstorm events along the Texas Coast. This plan provides methodology for the Commissioner to have the Texas Public Finance Authority sell several classes of bonds to fund TWIA losses and expenses in excess of premium and other revenues. The Class 1 Bonds in the amount of $1billion are to be paid for solely by TWIA policyholders in the 14 counties along the Texas Coast. The Class 2 Bonds in the amount of $1 billion are to be paid for 70% by all insurance policyholders, excepting workman’s compensation and health lines, in 14 counties along the Texas Coast and 30% by insurance companies offering policies in the 14 counties along the Texas Coast. TWIA is also proposing a surcharge on all other property and casualty policies held by the owners of TWIA policies in 14 counties along the Texas Coast. The proposed surcharge on the auto insurance policies of residents in the 14 coastal counties could result in uninsured drivers on our streets. The consequences of all of these rate increases could result in an economic catastrophe for the hard working families that live in the Coastal Bend and on the entire Texas coast. The financial hardship will be far-reaching on consumers, lenders, builders, and small businesses and would bring severe economic penalties to the Texas Gulf Coast area.
I encourage all residents, and business owners to please write a letter to Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman, Texas Department of Insurance and stress your opposition to these rate increases. In your letter, please emphasize that the Texas Department of Insurance needs to develop an equitable and reasonable statewide funding formula that does not target and discriminate against the 14 coastal counties.
BREAKING NEWS: Today, the Texas Department of Insurance announced that both hearings would be postponed, thus ending public comment for now.
Join local organizations, businesses, leaders and citizens at a “Rally Against Rates,” Friday, July 13, 2012, 9:45AM on the steps of City Hall. We encourage our friends to bring friends, family, coworkers, and others to let your voice be heard!
I urge you to keep submit your letters prior to the public hearings that the Texas Department of Insurance will be holding in the future. These public hearings are open to the public and everyone is welcomed to attend. When we here the next date of the meeting it will be held at City Council Chambers, City Hall, 1201 Leopard St.
Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman
Texas Department of Insurance
P.O. Box 149104
Austin, Texas 78714-9104
We have had many people ask for this information over the past 90 days, so we thought it would be very helpful for all to see how Padre Island is growing by leaps and bounds. The Island is getting set for another major expansion, are you ready to take advantage of all of the great investment opportunities out there?
Padre Island Facts as of 6/28/2012:
197 vacant single family waterfront lots remaining – – 1,805 have homes on them
1065 vacant single family water access/dry lots remaining – – 1,399 have homes on them
99 vacant multifamily waterfront lots remaining – – 145 have been built on
151 vacant multifamily water access/dry lots remaining – – 75 have been built on
18 vacant duplex waterfront lots remaining – – 78 have been built on
39 vacant duplex water access/dry lots remaining – 65 have been built on
Give Us a Call Today, so we can talk with you about the incredible Real Estate Opportunities Available on Padre Island, TX.
Latest NEWS May 22, 2012 -
CITY Council Unanimously Votes in Favor of Incentive Package!!
The 2 Items remaining before the Project will begin is Contract Signings and Private Financing to begin breaking ground by June 2012.
Stay Tuned….As we will continue to Update you on the Status of the Island’s First MAJOR Project!!
117 Million Dollar Incentive Package Revealed at Latest City Council Meeting:
VOTE WILL BE FINALIZED at the Council Meeting on May 22nd, 2012.
NEW MAP Laying out DISTRICTS for the proposed Island Development (CLICK HERE)
REVISED PROPOSED TAX INCENTIVES: (CLICK HERE For the Legal Document Layout out the incentives)
SCHLITTERBAHN Corpus Christi – Performance Based Incentive Plan (PDF-CLICK HERE)
CITY COUNCIL answers all the citizens Questions and Concerns (FAQ’s CLICK HERE)
PROPOSED TAX INCENTIVES:
Economic development sales tax: $5 million
Property tax: $20.6 million
Waived development fees: $1.4 million
City sales taxes: $11.5 million
Hotel occupancy tax: $78 million
Local construction tax: $699,000
Total: $117 million
Source: City of Corpus Christi
BY THE NUMBERS:
2 years of Schlitterbahn construction on North Padre Island.
Number of Jobs Created Locally – 40 full-time and 300 part-time Employees Recruited.
400 -Feet in the buffer zone between Schlitterbahn and property line neighborhoods.
25 years – Terms of agreement
18 years – Expected resort project build-out
574 Total acreage for entire Resort Project
$117 million -Public investment
$552 million – Private investment
Source: City of Corpus Christi
The Aquarius Road extension will be dedicated and opened for traffic this Saturday, May 12Th @ 10AM.
The ribbon cutting and dedication will be at the New Intersection of Aquarius Road and Commodore. Come out to support our Island and City Leaders that got the job done for Padre Island. As many bicycle riders, street golf carts and walking residents are welcome from the surrounding neighborhoods is being requested rather than by automobile so we can avoid a traffic Jam. We are excited to see all the hard work moving forward for Padre Island! ~Island Political Action Committee
ATTN 5/9: NEW INFO ON SCHLITTERBAHN (CLICK HERE)
PROPOSED BRIDGE LAYOUTS BELOW PRESS RELEASE
AND PROPOSED BRIDGE AND CANAL
The City of Corpus Christi is conducting a public meeting on Tuesday, April 10, from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, at the Seashore Learning Center, 15801 S. Padre Island Drive, to receive input from the public regarding the construction of a proposed bridge and canal on Park Road 22. The impacted area is a little longer than one mile with limits between Whitecap Blvd and Commodores. The purpose of the project is to support the effort to provide boat and pedestrian access to the area. In addition, the project is expected to greatly improve the quality of the water in the existing canal system through water exchange with Lake Padre.
The proposed project will raise the existing roadway approximately 14 feet with the construction of a bridge so as to accommodate boats passing through the proposed channel. No other roadway improvements are proposed, no new right-of-way is proposed and no residential or commercial displacements will occur as a result of this project. “This is a win/win for local residents and visitors”, said Dan Biles, PE, Interim Engineering Director. “It will keep the water in the canals cleaner and will soon allow recreational boats to access the area. It’s a big step towards our goal of transforming the Mustang-Padre Island area into a world-renowned tourist, resort and residential community,” continued Biles.
The City encourages area residents to attend the meeting, to review the materials displayed and to comment about the project. If someone is not able to attend, he/she can still comment on the project by sending comments to Mary Kelly PE, c/o Raba Kistner Environmental, Inc., 12821 W. Golden Lane, San Antonio, Texas 78249. You may also submit comments by fax (210) 699-6426, or by e-mail [email protected]. All comments received through Friday, April 20, 2012, will be used in the public record.
PHOTOS OF PROPOSED PARK ROAD 22 BRIDGE on NORTH PADRE ISLAND:
Figure 1 of the Proposed Layout:
Figure 2 of the Propose Layout:
Photos Courtesy of:
Raba Kirstner Environmental Firm
12821 West Golden Lane
San Antonio, Texas 78249
P 210 :: 699 :: 9090
F 210 :: 699 :: 6426
North Padre Island, just off the coast of Corpus Christi is a barrier island off the coast of Texas. With mild winters and the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico as a playground, residents and visitors alike enjoy a laid-back beach lifestyle with a whole lot of Texas attitude.
North Padre Island’s proximity to the Gulf Coast is often cited as one of the reasons for moving. The affordable homes, mild temperatures, local school choices and active lifestyles are just a few of the reasons why more families are choosing “The Island” as their full-time home.
Dining choices on North Padre Island and the surrounding communities are just as pleasing, with something sure to please everyone. Here are a few of our favorites:
Dragonfly - Dragonfly would certainly be right at home on any street in the South of France. Locals and visitors to Upper Padre Island alike are delighted that Chef Dominique and his staff offer fresh, local cuisine with a decidedly International flair. Try the Tomato Basil Soup or any of the salads – they’re well-loved favorites and don’t skip the Creme Brulee for dessert. Hours vary depending on the season and specials change daily – but they’re always amazing.
Curacao Blues – Dragonfly’s little sister is all grown up. Serving tapas (small plates) of similarly prepared deliciousness, Curacao Blues also offers an eclectic beer and wine selection, and added “family-style” seating.
Snoopy’s – The local fresh-fish joint. Counter service and cash-only make this place an efficient haven for great fish and chips, oysters, shrimp and sides. It needs to be efficient – it’s very often the busiest place on the Island, with the best view of the sunset over the Laguna Madre. Everything is battered and cooked to order so be prepared for a short wait, but it’s definitely worth it. In the summer be sure to visit “Scoopy’s” next door for ice cream!
Doc’s – Next door to Snoopy’s is the fine dining choice, Doc’s. A full bar, weekend entertainment, hand-cut steaks and innovative seafood selections keep Doc’s patrons coming back week after week. Try the stuffed flounder – trust us, you’ll have enough for the next day’s lunch, and the freshly prepared and never frozen seafood stuffing is sublime.
Padre Pizzeria – Islanders know that they’ve got it pretty great when it comes to pizza. Locally owned Padre Pizzeria is gourmet pizza through and through. Hand tossed crust, fresh ingredients, perfect spices… and they deliver, too! Nothing beats an Amore Roma, with a caesar salad after the long 15 minute commute home from work.
Sushi Bar – We all wondered if Islanders would embrace a gorgeous, upscale sushi bar here on Upper Padre Island – after all, being a fishing village of sorts, most of us think of sushi as bait! We’re all delighted that Sushi Bar is now world-famous for the freshest, most flavorful rolls, as well as the perfect presentation and taste – and we’re proud that they’ve help put Upper Padre Island on the culinary map.
North Padre Island offers locals and visitors a wide variety of dining choices – these are just a few of our favorites. If you have a favorite tell us about it in the comments!
Writer: Chelle Honiker-Yarbrough
Local School Options for Padre Island Residents
If you’re considering relocating to North Padre Island, one of the biggest considerations is the quality of life and community. Nothing adds to that community like our schools and of course North Padre Island Real Estate is blessed with choices not found in other Coastal Areas.
Seashore Learning Center / Seashore Middle Academy
The jewel in the crown of North Padre Island’s education option are the Exemplary Charter Schools operated by the Island Foundation. Started by a group of parents in 1995 after a failed bond election, Seashore Learning Center was a “First Generation” Charter School, and remains the only school in the state to have maintained Recognized or Exemplary Ratings every year since it opened. Charter schools are public schools, tuition free and open enrollment. They adhere to the same standards as other public school, but have the added layer of accountability and requirements set forth by their charter – meaning the hopes, wishes and needs of the parents! Charter schools are free to innovate, and you’ll find no shortage of that around campus. Combined classrooms, family style lunches teaching manners and etiquette and unique teaching styles are all part of the “Seashore Way”.
With the great success of Seashore Learning Center, the Board of Directors of the Island Foundation in 2005 saw a way to expand and create a Middle Academy – college prep, with a strong math and science curriculum. Partnering with the community to secure land donations, and after privately raising the start up capital, the Academy opened to rave reviews and happy students.
In addition to K-8 Education, the Island Foundation also offers Pre-K school and childcare. Visit their website at www.islandfoundation.com.
Flour Bluff Schools
Just over the bridge from the Island is one of the largest and most respected School Districts in the Coastal Bend. The Mighty Hornets are the home to some of the finest athletes, scholars, musicians and actors and some have gone on to National success!
Six campuses and athletic facilities are located on a single 170 acre site which supports 5,600 students in prekindergarten through 12th grades. The district is extremely competitive in academic and athletic programs and has participated in the district, regional, or state competitions for many years. A list of the 2007-2008 district accomplishments is listed on the website. The University Preparatory High School Program was launched in 2006 as part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to establish a program for high school freshman to complete two years of college credit upon completion of their high school diploma.
The Board of Trustees was selected by the Texas Association of School Administrators as the Outstanding School Board of the Year 2000, and is the only school board in Region 2 who are continually commended by State Board of Education for completing Level II and III Complete Board-Superintendent Leadership Team training.
The district and the City of Corpus Christi have developed a partnership in 2000 with the opening of the Janet F. Harte Public Library located on school property which serves as both the high school library and the city public library.
Private School Options
Rounding out the school choices for Padre Islanders are the many fine Private and Parochial Schools that Corpus Christi has to offer. College-prep Annapolis Christian Academy offers Pre-K through 12th grade education, with a Classical Christian emphasis. 100% of graduating Seniors have been accepted to prestigious schools like Texas A&M, Baylor, Trinity University, MIT and others. (Read the Parent Reviews of Annapolis Christian Academy)
Incarnate Word Academy is a respected and renowned Catholic K-12th grade school with emphasis on academics and the newest High School, John Paul II, has already distinguished itself as an athletic powerhouse in South Texas.
Relocation to any new place can be unnerving, but Moms and Dads on Upper Padre Island can relax, knowing that their education choices are varied and exemplary. If you have any other questions, be sure and ask one of your Coastline Properties Associates.