Water Culverts Lead to Padre Island Bridge Concept

Do you want to know how it all got started?  Here on North Padre Island there is a lot of dirt moving around and lots of new folks would like to know the story behind the story.  Well, what started out as a water quality upgrade for our canal systems has turned into the largest development project we have ever seen.  This is bigger that Schlitterbahn folks, take a look at the article below for a nice summary from the words of the developer.

Exerpt:

When the Army Corps of Engineers deemed a new water exchange between Padre Island, Texas, and an old canal system was necessary, the city of Corpus Christi and private developers could have simply gone with culverts. That would have satisfied the need for a water exchange to improve water quality issues.

But as talks opened about the requirement for the water exchange, the potential and its impacts became increasingly obvious. Now, instead of a simple culvert, there will be an open canal, two bridges and a pedestrian walk, the impact of which should benefit the area in numerous ways.
“The developer suggested the bridge and relocating so it could be elevated and boat traffic could come through,” said Chip Urban, a principal with Urban Engineering, consultant to the city of Corpus Christi for the project. “The Coast Guard liked it because they would have faster response time to the back of the canal. It is going to be an economic driver that helps development. It will also help people come to the island and get out of their cars and stay out and spend time on the island. It will allow traffic on both sides. In the past, there was traffic on only one side. Elevating the bridge and allowing pedestrians underneath is just much more resort friendly.”  READ MORE

North Padre Island Canal Construction Underway

KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

KIIITv has recently reported on all the dirt moving around on the east side of Park Road 22. If you live in the area you have no doubt noticed all the heavy equipment moving sand on the Gulf side of Park Road 22. It is all connected to the Riverwalk-style development that is soon to be going up there and the planned bridge over Park Road 22.  Lots of excitement Developing here on North Padre Island, as the “Upper Padre” Development project is well underway.

Oil prices drop, Corpus Christi’s rent prices don’t

corpus-christi-rentalsCORPUS CHRISTI – Plunging oil prices may be a relief for Coastal Bend residents at the pumps, but they’re having little influence on rents or mortgage payments.

Experts predict the falling price of crude will force housing costs in energy-dependent Corpus Christi to drop at some point.

That day won’t come in 2015, they say.

The housing market in Corpus Christi is perhaps the tightest it has ever been for both potential renters and those looking to buy a home. Things won’t change for the rest of the year, despite a rush on home and apartment construction, said Jim Lee, the chief economist at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

Oil field workers who lived in apartments in Corpus Christi are moving to Alice, Cotulla and other small towns within the energy play to be closer to work, said Melissa Gomez, a broker for AAA Apartment Locating in Corpus Christi. Others have been moving out of higher-end luxury apartments and into older, more-affordable complexes to cut costs.

The exodus has created hundreds of apartment vacancies since November, but rent prices remain unchanged. Instead of lowering rents, property managers have eased move-in criteria to insure occupancy. Applicants with credit and rental-history blemishes and those whose income is less than three times the cost of rent are no longer being disqualified for apartments.

“We’ll see a decline in occupancy rates here and there … but they (complexes) won’t empty out,” Gomez said.

The average price of homes in Corpus Christi hit a record high of $207,700 in December, according to the latest data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. That same month, the asking rent for a typical apartment in the city was 25 percent higher than it was just four years ago.

Five recently completed apartment complexes have been cleared since March to take in tenants. Another dozen are in various stages of construction and are due to open in coming months.

The Corpus Christi area’s apartment occupancy rate was 92.5 percent in December, according to ALN Apartment Data, a Carrollton-based firm that tracks rental property trends. That’s down from 94.3 percent in November and the record months of December and April, when occupancy hit 95.2 percent.

Average rent in Corpus Christi in December was between $842 and $880, an ALN report said, though it’s not uncommon for newer complexes to ask for more than $1,100 for a one-bedroom home.

Corpus Christi’s low unemployment has been a magnet for thousands of job seekers in the past three years, most of them eyeing work in the Eagle Ford Shale energy play. The trend has slowed recently as energy companies have scaled back shale production, even shaved jobs, trying to remain profitable.

Falling oil prices and cutbacks in shale oil production by energy companies will put “downward pressure” on the local housing market, Lee said. However, the majority of newly constructed apartments are likely to be absorbed by students at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and personnel from the nearby Naval air station.

“The overall housing market in Corpus Christi, including single-family rental houses, will likely soften up after reaching its current peak, but the market for apartments might continue to be tight at least the rest of the year,” Lee said.

Apartment occupancy in Corpus Christi in January 2010 was 89 percent, and average rent was about $700.

Warren Andrich, CEO of the Corpus Christi Association of Realtors, was optimistic about the home sales market, while conceding more rental property was needed in the city.

The Real Estate Center reported that 375 homes were sold in Corpus Christi in December, typically a slow sales month.

The Coastal Bend’s economy, though heavily influenced by the energy industry, is diverse enough to support an increase in housing, Andrich said.

Although homes values are increasing and are being sold at or near their asking prices, Corpus Christi’s inventory of affordable homes — those priced between $125,000-$165,000 — is less than 300 units.

“These are all indicators that we were in need of the additional rentals coming on the market,” Andrich said.

Twitter: @Caller_ChrisRam

Corpus Christi Apartment Market (December 2014)

Occupancy Rate: 92.5 percent

Asking Rent: $880

Effective Rent: $873

Average Apt. Size: 850 square feet

Average Market Rent Breakdown By Floor Plan

Efficiency, $671

1 Bedroom, $753

2 Bedroom, $944

3 Bedroom, $1,084

4 Bedrooms +, $2,181

Source: ALN Apartment Data

Housing Activity (Annual figures)

Year No. of sales Average price Median Price Months of inventory

2004 4,745 $132,100 $113,800 4.6

2005 4,894 $147,300 $125,200 5.0

2006 5,192 $153,300 $130,400 6.2

2007 4,510 $162,000 $136,500 7.4

2008 3,773 $162,200 $138,900 9.0

2009 3,444 $155,500 $134,800 10.2

2010 3,445 $152,300 $136,500 10.3

2011 3,396 $157,500 $135,700 9.5

2012 4,058 $169,900 $142,300 7.1

2013 4,589 $180,700 $152,200 5.3

2014 4,721 $197,100 $168,600 4.5

Source: Real Estate Center, Texas A&M University.

via @callertimes

Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi to Fully Open Spring Break 2015!

schlitterblaster

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.

via KrisTV.com

The Dawn of Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi

2014-01-16 05.46.14

From sunrise to sunset, the new water park gracing the Upper Padre Island skyline is creating big waves with the Torrent Wave River and Boogie Bahn surfing on the horizon, two signature attractions that are in the works to be completed in the next couple of weeks.

But most importantly, what tempting enchantments await you NOW? Lil’ Skipper’s Cove Kiddie Pool and Bob’s Cabana Bay Swim-Up Bar along with concessions were ready for swimmers and drinkers alike on the soft opening June 21, 2014. Since then, Schlitterbahn has welcomed approximately 300 new members, and just last week the park opened up to the public for $10/person. Now members and the public alike can bask in Schlitterbahn glory from 10 am – 8 pm daily.

But this is nothin’ compared to what is to take shape over the coming months. What do we have to look forward to?

Colette Rye, Marketing Director, has briefed me on what’s to come over the coming weeks. The front part of the park will open next, which will include:

  • A tasty new restaurant, The Veranda Restaurant and Bar, which will be a full service Seafood and Mexican restaurant in the clubhouse
  • A retail space for souvenirs, also in the clubhouse
  • A river system
  • Kids play area
  • Two volleyball courts
  • Another swim-up bar
  • A wavepool
  • Amphitheater (no concerts yet planned)

Slightly further in the future, Schlitterbahn will see:

  • Master Blaster Rollercoaster
  • A fine dining private restaurant (yet to be named) tentatively located on the 4th floor of the clubhouse (open to members only)
  • A barge called the “Jubilee,” which is a casino boat brought from Louisiana (not to operate here as casino boat), will be equipped with hotel rooms (likely won’t open until next season)

Think you want to be a part of this booming park? Caitlin Grant, Operations Dispatch, says you’re in luck…they’re hiring! Tuesday, July 22 and Wednesday July 23 from 1 pm – 6 pm, the park is hosting a job fair to hire staff for The Veranda Restaurant and Bar. Come to the front of the main building, bring 2 forms of ID, and apply online to save you time. Be prepared for on-site interviews and even on the spot hiring!! Don’t have a food handler’s permit? Don’t worry about it! They will have an onsite course for that.

For additional job opportunities, visit: http://schlitterbahn.com/corpus-christi/jobs

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available. And don’t miss out on the suntan and family fun to be had while the summer (and your inner child) is still young!

 

Schlitterbahn Upper Padre Opens for a Preview

Club members Get a Preview Of Schlitterbahn Park

CORPUS CHRISTI – The soft opening of Schlitterbahn Upper Padre officially took place on Saturday at 10am. The park is not open to the public just yet, but it was a great time for the families that enjoyed the fun.

This opening was a private affair, mainly for members of the nearby Padre Isles Country Club and their families, as well as local distributors and suppliers.

Everyone was given a guided tour around the Schlitterbaun Beach Country Resort, to see for themselves the attractions that are complete, as well as some that are still in the works.

Stay Tuned as the Grand Opening to the Public will be announced Soon!

 

CHECK OUT ALL THE FUN

New Plans being Laid for Lake Padre Area

What do Bricktown, Oklahoma City and North Padre Island, Corpus Christi have in common? A water taxi system! Or at least, soon to be.

With Schlitterbahn, Harbor Marina, and Island Walk Village coming in phases to Padre Island, this picturesque canal system linking the island’s main attractions will bring new tourism and new life into the Island. Paul Schexnailder, a partner in the project, highlighted some of the main and most exciting aspects today at the State of the Islands talk, held at the Comfort Suites by San Jacinto Title Services.

CLICK ON PICTURE BELOW TO BLOW UP AND DOWNLOAD OR PRINT A COPY

Schlitterbahn, still set for a soft opening at the end of May, is part of Phase I. Although rain and labor has hurt the construction schedule, Jeff Henry, co-owner, has said this is the best park he has ever built. And we’re OK with that…good things come to those who wait! Here’s why!

The main clubhouse boosts four stories of fun.

  • 1st Floor: “Fajitas” restaurant and retail space
  • 2nd Floor: The floor for the locals – will have TVs, a lounge, a game room, and food and drinks
  • 3rd Floor: A 4500 square foot event center, equipped with 6 meeting rooms
  • 4th Floor: Fine dining open to the public, as well as  a private dining room for golf course and park members only
  • There will also be roughly 80 hotel rooms in the building 

To top it off? The clubhouse overlooks an Amphitheater that can hold approximately 2000 people. This was not in the original plans, but it sounds like the perfect place for some great island venues. You got fins to the left, fins to the right… 

Harbor Marina, set to be operating this time next year, will be instrumental in the “Water Taxi” System. Referring to the maps provided, Cruiser canal is being expanded to continue straight and curve to go toward the marina. See the arrows on the maps? That is where a new bridge is going to go (between Commodores and Whitecap). It will orchestrate boat and pedestrian traffic by 3 separate arches. The center arch will be for the boats, and the two arches on either side will be for pedestrians and golf carts. The canal archway will have a 13 foot clearance, whereas the two pedestrian archways will have a 10 foot clearance. The canals will be finished late 2015, early 2016, and the bridge has an end-of-the-year completion date. 

Island Walk Village is an Ingredient in Phase II. And yes, I am talking restaurants. It will be the site of at least 6 restaurants all up and down the newly dug canal system (will there be gondola rides in our future?). The structures will house the eateries on the main levels by the water, and then living spaces above that. Worried about parking? Don’t. The village has been drawn to have about 1400 parking spots.

..And even though gossip of a grocery store is spinning, those in “the know” are being understandably coy about the details. The good news is, there WILL be one!

This hardly touches the exciting developments the island will see over the next 5-10 years. The good news is that we have a built-in market here on our coast, and something tells me it won’t be “off the grid” much longer.

MAYOR NELDA MARTINEZ: STATE OF THE CITY

“Bold and Balanced Growth” is how Mayor Martinez described our Emerald City by the Bay, Corpus Christi – and she isn’t kidding. On the afternoon of February 6, 2014, at the American Bank Center, she touched on two major statistics that will hopefully make a big impact in the Real Estate realm this coming year.

Corpus Christi is one of the fastest growing metro economies in the United States coming in at No. 10 with a 3.8% increase in 2013 and a projected 3.1% increase for 2014. This is also due to a 4.3% rise in jobs. More people coming to Corpus = more buyers in the real estate market! Finally, the scale is tipping.

Mayor Martinez also pointed out that since 2010, there has been a housing rise of 19%. There has been a sizeable increase in new construction in Corpus, creating roughly 3,800 new jobs in 2013. Why would there be this kind of boom in new construction you ask? Because we want to be prepared for the economic growth that is expected. From 2012 to 2013, there was a 32% increase in new residential permits alone.

With that though, there has been a shortage of affordable housing. The city is attempting to change this by building some low-income housing, such as The Palms at Leopard, to accommodate 120 apartments, which broke ground Nov. 14, 2013, on Leopard Street. The goal is to offer a healthy mix of housing options throughout Corpus Christi, and to continue with neighborhood cleanups.

As for the Island, Schlitterbahn is projected to bring mass amounts of people to the park, increasing the growth and relevance of the island. Property values are expected to increase due to this exposure, and there will certainly be many more people looking to buy and rent around the island.

Onward and upward, Corpus Christi!

Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi – 7 months from Opening!

KiiiTV3.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend
Seven months. If all goes as planned, that’s how long it will be until the new Schlitterbahn Beach County Water Park and Resort on Padre Island is up and running.

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

Business Owners Push to Change Ordinance


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.

via KrisTV

NEW Plans for Gulfside Development Along Whitecap Blvd.

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