Details of Planned Island Development
Restaurants, live music venue, retail, residential, marina under design
By Dale Rankin, Island Moon Newspaper
Island developer Paul Schexnailder spoke to the Island Strategic Action Committee on Tuesday and filled in details of his plans for Island development on the 104 acre site around Lake Padre including a Hilton Hotel, multi-family and single-family residential, a marine, and a restaurant and live music venue developed by Lulu properties which is owned by the Lucy Buffett, the sister of musician Jimmy Buffett.
The largest part of the current phase of development is on the 104 acres on the Lake Padre side of SPID where in recent months Schexnailder has moved, “almost one million acres of sand and created 10,000 feet of new bulkheads.” Those plans include:
· A 220 room Hilton Hotel including retail space and meeting facilities just north of the canal leading to the planned Park Road 22/SPID Water Exchange Bridge.
“That facility is currently under design,” Schexnailder said. “When the design is done we will permit the road to it and the utilities.
· Lulu’s campus, which will include a seafood restaurant, live music year round operated by Lulu’s properties, which is owned by Lucy Buffett, the sister of musician Jimmy Buffett. The company currently has similar facilities in Gulf Shores, Alabama; Destin, Florida; and a new development in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina set to open in the spring of 2018.
“This facility will be able to handle the biggest fishing tournaments on the Gulf Coast,” Schexnailder said. “The company is currently designing its new facility for Myrtle Beach that will open early next year and that plan will look like the one we will build here.”
It will also include a family oriented ropes course, a sand playground, children’s play area, and various other entertainment features, and a cluster of retail shops, Schexnailder said.
· A boat fueling station and boat supply shop located off an entrance from State Highway 361.
A Multi-family housing development just south of the canal leading to the Water Exchange Bridge which include townhouses.
· A marina located on the north end of Lake Padre with entrance from State Highway 361 will include a ship’s store and restaurant, separate from the Lulu’s operation.
· Residential development on the north end of Lake Padre near the entrance to Packery Channel.
“These will be high-end, residences with a view right down Packery Channel,” Schexnailder said. There will be 80-90 lots and a private marina.”
· Barefoot Dunes residential development along the beach south of Whitecap Boulevard.
“This will be a residential development much like Cinnamon Shore in Port Aransas,” he said.
On the west side of SPID, around the Schlitterbahn waterpark, the plans include:
· Island Walk Village and townhomes connected to the Lake Padre development by a canal leading under the Water Exchange Bridge. It will also include retail space.
· Completion of the 1600-foot long Beach Walk canal which will tie both sides of the development together through the Water Exchange Bridge.
Schexnailder also addressed the long-term prospects for development on The Island. He said that recently several potential hotel developers have been turned down by lenders who believe that the local hotel market is overbuilt.
“Our problem is not an overbuilt market,” he said. “Our problem is that there is not enough for people to do when they get here.”
He said that the Florida panhandle which includes 85 miles of continual development is served by 26 million people in six surrounding states.
“We have that many people in Texas alone,” he said. “We are in an undersupplied situation, not an oversupplied one.”
He said there are currently about 11,000 hotel rooms in Corpus Christi and to serve ten percent of the market requires an additional 1100 rooms on The Island.
“With Island development we can increase the number of people coming to this area by at least ten percent so we will not be drawing from the current visitor base but adding to it.” He also addressed questions about whether he will complete the canal and bulkhead work on the west side of SPID.
“Whether or not there is a Water Exchange Bridge I will build canals to both sides of the site,” Schexnailder said. “If I don’t the Army Corps of Engineers will take away the permit for the whole site.”
Currently the canals on both side of the proposed bridge site are in place but about 300 feet of the canal on the west side of the roadway still needs to be excavated in order to connect the new canal to the existing Island canal system. An agreement to facilitate that final stage of the work is currently under negotiations between the city and developers.