Schlitterbahn in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Giving Partners Time

Schlitterbahn Riverpark and Resort Padre Island is in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Judge Craig Gargotta in the Western District of Texas ruled Tuesday morning in San Antonio to place the troubled park into reorganization and is set to appoint a trustee to oversee a reorganization plan which must be in place by December 4. If not, according to Gargotta’s ruling Axys Capital Credit which holds a lean against 270 acres surrounding the park will be allowed to foreclose on the property and sell it at auction on December 5. Axys had requested that the land be separated from an Involuntary Bankruptcy filing by companies owned by the Henry family, owners of Schlitterbahn waterparks so it could be sold immediately, that request was denied, but his decision to appoint a trustee was a move to push the partners, who have been at loggerheads for over a year, toward a resolution that will put the park on stable financial footing going forward.

Testimony at the four-day trial in San Antonio was that if Axys was allowed to foreclose on the land then the primary lender in the project IBC Bank could call a separate note for $28 million on the waterpark likely forcing it to close while new owners were sought. To avoid that outcome Gargotta gave the partners until the December 4 date to come up with a reorganization plan.

 At one point in the hearing in San Antonio, Gargotta asked Deborah Williamson, a lawyer for Gary Henry, if selling property would be the solution.

“At the end of the day, the only way this is going to work is if something is sold,” she answered. “And the park may be the one that is easier to sell. It may be easier to attract capital because it is an operating entity.”

The problems began when the builders of the park, Henry Brothers Construction, added on to the size of the building at the park from an original plan calling for less than thirty separate “treehouse” rooms to the current 92-room facility which increased the cost of the development from the original $28 million to over $58 million forcing the owners, Upper Padre Partners to raise an additional capital leading to the borrowing of $18 million from Axys using the land as collateral.

According to court filings from Axys attorneys, “Cash flow from the Debter (UPP) operations is insufficient to repay obligations on any reasonable, confirmable basis. The Henrys control the management of the Debtor’s general partner and, as a result, the Debtor. For all practical purposes, the Debtor has a dysfunctional management and is incapable of effective operations.”

Garotta’s solution was to appoint a trustee to work with the partners and find a long-term solution.

The trustee, yet to be named, along with the Henry family who own two-thirds of the park, and developer Paul Schexnailder whose company owns one-third, must now decide whether to sell some or all of the interest in the park and surrounding land or find an investor or lender to provide about an estimated $10 million to bring the park up to the original design specifications.

Schexnailder said after the hearing that while the park is an integral part of a 500 acre, 552 acre development it is not the main focus of the project.

“This is a project much bigger than just a waterpark,” he said. “The park is part of something much bigger and that project is continuing.”

He was referring to a planned 3600 foot Beach Walk development with retail and commercial elements which would connect the current canal system to Lake Padre and the Gulf of Mexico through the planned Water Exchange Bridge under SPID. The canals to each side of the bridge site are dug and bulkheads in place on the Lake Padre side. However, work to excavate the canal to connect with the existing canal near Cruiser Street near Whitecap was halted Wednesday by order of the City of Corpus Christi over permitting issues.

The Chapter 11 ruling is not expected to have an impact on park operations as plans call for the waterpark to close during the winter season, as it has in previous years, and re-open in the spring.

“The judge understood that this park is important to the future of The Island,” Schexnailder said, “and this ruling allows us to keep it operating as we look for a long term solution.”

Article from Dale Rankin – IslandMoon

Padre Island Planned Marina Development

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.

Barefoot Mardi Gras 2017

We are proud to be a significant sponsor of Barefoot Mardi Gras for the 5th Year in a row!!

Barefoot Mardi Gras
February 24 – 26, 2017
Padre Island, Texas

Add a little cayenne to your weekend & leave the shoes at home!

The Barefoot Mardi Gras returns on February 25, 2017 for a 8th year in a row on Padre Island raising money for Big Brothers Big Sisters and now the Island Foundation Schools.

A Family Parade takes place along the beach off Park Road 22 between Whitecap Blvd and Bob Hall Pier. Parade starts at 11am. The Parade Judges Float will open the parade followed a few minutes later by color guard and Mardi Gras themed floats in different divisions like Float, Jeep and Golf Cart. Many colorful characters enter the parade making it a unique activity for friends and family.

New this year is the Barefoot Mardi Gras Festival, a fun filled family event with Cajun music, food, drink, displays, exhibits, artists, children’s area, children’s stage and more! Admission is $5 with Kids 8 years old and younger FREE!

An adult-themed Party, The King & Queens Ball, will let the good times roll on the evening of the 25th from 7pm – 11pm at the Veranda Restaurant & Bar at Schlitterbahn. Miss Neesie and the Earfood Orchestra will perform and a special menu of Cajun style food will be served. Signature Barefoot Mardi Gras drinks will also be available. Guests are encouraged to wear costumes. Dancing and a live video stream from Bourbon Street in New Orleans will be part of the merriment. Attendees must be 21 years old and above. Tickets are $30 and available at various locations.

Events:

Barefoot Mardi Gras Parade

February 25, 2017
Begins at 11:00 am

Floats and fun for the whole family! The parade starts at Whitecap Beach and runs along Padre Island to the Briscoe King Pavilion near Bob Hall Pier.

2017 Barefoot Parade Registration & Rules

View the parade route map

Barefoot Mardi Gras Festival

February 25, 2017
11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Cajun Music, food & fun for all ages! The festival is located at the Briscoe King Pavillion in Bali Park on Padre Island and features live music, artists, car displays, exhibitors, a children’s area, food, drink and more!
Admission is $5.00 paid at the door. Cash Only.

King & Queens Ball

February 25, 2017
7:00 pm – 12:00 am

Patrons must be 21 years of age or older to attend. The ball is located at the Veranda Restaurant & Bar inside the Schlitterbahn Waterpark on Padre Island. Includes a cajun style dinner and dancing to the live New Orleans style music from Miss Nessie & the Ear Food Orchestra. Costumes encouraged!
Tickets are $25 pre-sale and $35 at the door. Tickets are available at Padres Island Properties Owners Association and Schlitterbahn at the Veranda Restaurant.

Kick Off Party
February 7, 2017
Begins at 5:30 pm

The 2017 Barefoot Mardi Gras Kick Off Party will be at Doc’s Seafood & Steak Restaurant at 13309 S Padre Island Dr, Corpus Christi, TX 78418.
Includes food, music and a silent auction to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Island Foundation Schools. Admission: $8.

Fat Friday Party
February 17, 2017
Begins at 6:00 pm

The 2017 Fat Friday Party will be at the Boathouse Bar & Grill at 15241 Leeward Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78418.
Includes food, band and a live auction to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Island Foundation Schools. Admission $5.00. Reserve a table in advance for up to (4) four people for $30.00.

Our Cause:

The event was founded as a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters by Denise and Duane Ebert and has grown into a signature event for Padre Island. The Eberts asked the Padre Island Business Association to take on the management of the event and the two groups worked together in 2015.

Added into the mix by 2016 was an Island charity that will also serve as a beneficiary, The Island Foundation (Seashore Charter Schools).  EM Marketing Company located on Padre Island, along with the Barefoot Mardi Gras Board of Directors, Committee Chairs, numerous Committee Members and volunteers will all work together on producing the events.

Buy T-Shirts:

Exclusive 2017 Barefoot Mardi Gras T-shirts will be available starting on Tuesday, February 7 at the Kick Off Party at Doc’s. They will also be available on Friday, February 17 at the Fat Friday Party at the Boathouse. Available at participating Island businesses up to February 25 and then during the parade and festival.

Further Information:

Barefoot Mardi Gras Information:
barefootmardigras@yahoo.com

Padre Island Business Association:
info@padrebusiness.org

Exerpted from BarefootMardiGras.com

 

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

Construction Resumes on Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi

sclitterlove

Exciting News going on over at Schlitterville.  Progress continues after partnership negotiations have concluded.

KIII News Video
KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Dale Rankin – “Work at the moribund Schlitterbahn Upper Padre waterpark is kicking back into high gear after a refinancing of the 75-acre waterpark and resort went into slowdown in the middle of 2015 due to a redesign of the project which doubled its size.
“We are fully funded and getting back to work,” Project Manager and part-owner Jeff Henry said from his crowded and cluttered office on the site on Tuesday. “ Our self-imposed goal is to have the waterpark finished in 70 days.”
As part of the new deal local businessman Willard Hammonds sold his one-third interest in the project to the Henry family, who own the Schlitterbahn chain and will now own a 67% interest in the local park, with the remainder continuing under the ownership of a group formed by Developer Paul Schexnailder. Estimated cost of the park at the beginning of construction was set at around $50 million, while park officials would not give a final figure for the cost of the park, sources place the number between $75 million and $100,000 million, depending on further changes in the design.
“We will concentrate first on getting park finished,” Henry said, “Our goal is to have the entire park ready to open by Memorial Day.”
But Henry said that while his goal is to have the entire park ready to open this summer, it will be actually be operated under a “brown out” system, in which portions will be opened to the public while others may remain closed.
“When we increased the size of the park,” Henry said, “it now will take 8000 people to fill it up and there is not enough time to do the advertising and planning for that many people this summer, and there is not enough time to hire the staff.”
Checks began going out this week to contractors who were owed back fees, and hiring for the project has now begun.
“We have about 1000 yards of concrete left to pour,” Henry said. “In spite of how it may look we don’t really have that much left to do.”
He said the first priorities will be the Downhill River, an 8000-linear foot waterway that will convey park visitors from one ride to the next, along with the Flow Rider feature which produces a standing wave. He said work on the 90-room hotel at the site will have to wait, however the exterior of the building is expected to be finished by the end of September to meet the deadlines set for $117 million in tax incentives from the City of Corpus Christi.
“We can’t there this summer on the hotel,” he said. “We will have the first floor and possibly the second floor open this summer.”
The fourth floor of the building has been redesigned to include a music venue large enough for about one thousand people.
As a side note, the machinations of building the park and the re-financing have all been captured on camera by the Travel Channel which has scheduled a special on Henry and the project for July 1.
“We still have some surprises in store,” Henry said. “But we are back on track and back to work. When we are finished this is going to be a great park.”

Corpus Christi City Council Votes Unanimously for 7 Month Extension to Schlitterbahn Upper Padre

approved

KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Jeff Henry, Schlitterbahn Owner

City Council unanimously agreed Tuesday to grant a six-month extension to Schlitterbahn, allowing them to continue to qualify for millions of dollars in tax rebates.  The extension to Sept. 30 means some $117 million in rebates will go back to developers as long as the park is finished by that time. At last word, developers hope to open the park by summer, after a year of delays due to an unplanned expansion of the facility on their 550-acre plot of land on Padre Island plus Partnership challenges they are set to move forward!

Coastline Properties knows that great things come to those that are patient, things don’t always go as planned and masterpieces take time.  We can’t wait to see you all poolside this summer.  Have a beautiful Week!

~ The Team at Coastline Properties!

Latest on Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi

tubing
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!

Schlitterbahn Upper Padre News 2015

banner_2015_iStock_000044358994Large

Happy New Year Padre Islanders!!  We are excited about 2015 at Coastline Properties and what’s in store for our little piece of paradise.   We read an article you will see printed “below” from Kris TV yesterday and felt it necessary to get you up to speed on what has been happening with the Schlitterbahn project.  What I can and will tell you is that the headline is incredibly misleading and we do find it troubling that this is the 2nd media outlet in the past 60 days that has tried to negatively spin this project, and the funny thing is they are making themselves look like ridiculous in the process.  Yes it is true things have not gone smoothly on this project but if you know anything about land development and real estate with 100 million dollar+ projects with multiple partners involved, there are always going to be bumps in the road.  As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”  This project is not a race, its more like a marathon.  When Schlitterbahn fully opens there doors people will have long forgotten about this lull in time.   I find it often troubling how media outlets intentionally create headlines to prey on the human emotion of fear, just to generate an audience so they can continue to sell their advertisers on inflated viewership data by creating fear based content to draw in unsuspecting people.

In Contrast I have also taken the liberty to post a second article from of our Most Informed Padre Island Journalist “Dale Rankin, Owner of the Island Moon”  This article was printed just a few weeks ago that has a much more detailed and accurate depiction of the speed bumps in schlitterville project.  The first thing you will notice is a headline that is neutral, and his article clearly spells out many details to help people understand what’s happening.  The reason that Dale Rankin is so well liked on our Island is because he always does his best to keep us all informed with a non biased point of view, and if he does insert his personal point of view he does let us know the difference between it and the actual facts of the content.  Thanks Dale for your tireless work in bringing us the Island News every week! ~Coastline Properties

Before You Read the Articles Below WATCH THIS VIDEO to see the Progress so far!

KRIS TV ARTICLE – Jan 6, 2015

“Schlitterbahn in Financial Trouble”

CORPUS CHRISTI – KRIS 6 News has learned that Schlitterbahn is in financial trouble.

The official opening of the park on Padre Island has already been delayed, and now, the company owes over half a million dollars to multiple vendors who’ve worked on the upcoming water park.

At least six different vendors have filed liens against the company for more than $137,000, and one contractor, Texas Descon, has filed a lawsuit against the company and its owners, saying that it’s owed nearly $700,000.

We spoke to partial owner Jeff Henry on the phone today. He told us this problem started when the scope of the project doubled in size.

When that happened, the money ran out, and when the money ran out, he and the other owners debated for months over how to proceed with additional funding.

The delay led to vendors not getting paid, but now, Henry says they’ve solved the funding issue, and says all of the vendors should get paid within ten days.

“We’re trying very hard to get a positive spin back on this project, to get it moving and get it finished, so we can open it and kids can start having fun, and the older kids can start having jobs. We’re just sorry that we had these problems and we’ll try not to ever have them again,” Henry says.

Henry says the increase in project size does mean there’ll be two to three times more jobs available once construction is complete.

The company plans to officially open the park this summer

Island Moon Article – Dale Rankin

What’s Going on at Schlitterbahn – Dec. 24th, 2014

As I have made the rounds of Island holiday parties this Christmas season the most common question I have heard is what you see printed above:

“What’s going on at Schlitterbahn? I have refrained from writing about it because I have been awaiting the resolution of events going on behind the scenes that I know will sooner or later gel straightened out and my intent was to wait until that happens to say anything. But as time has gone by the stories have gotten wilder and wilder. “I hear they have gone broke and are going to declare bankruptcy.” Or, “I hear the financing fell through.” Or the best one “I heard the city has condemned the building and it is going to have to be tom down.” It was that last one that made me decide that waiting any longer was not a good idea. So let me begin by addressing those three questions/assertions; No, No, and No.

Here ’s what’s happening

Here is what I have learned by talking to the people involved in the deal. I will leave them nameless here because they have not consented to be quoted. but the information is first hand. Here’s what I know. The project has not gone broke and financing did not “fall through.” What has happened is that the project has grown by almost twice since construction began and that requires more money. How to handle that has caused stress among the partners and they are in the process of reorganizing themselves. Some of the partners may opt to be bought out by other partners, or they may not. It is unknown at this point which partners will stay in and which may opt out.

But what is known is that the partners, if they so choose, can write a check to finish the project. lt’s pretty hard to “go bankrupt” under those conditions. It will get worked out in due course. So far about $49 million has been spent on the project and from what I’m told it is believed it will cost around $69 million to finish. The language in the tax incentives from the city – primarily Sales Tax and Hotel Occupancy Tax which are in the neighborhood of $122 million and which are a crucial part of the park’s business model – requires that the exterior of the building and the park be “done” by next March. In that vein you may have noticed work has resumed on the rides at the south end of the park and also on the exterior of the building. More workers have been added of late and more, l’m told, will be added after the first of the year. So far the City of Corpus Christi has declined to release about $3 million money from the Type A Board requiring that the building’s exterior be finished first even though that was originally part of Phase ll of the project, to avoid a political backlash for releasing public money for a project with an unfinished building. It’s a glitch not a deal killer and it too will be resolved in due course.

I am in communication with the people involved in the project and they assure me they will inform me when the current questions are resolved. I would point out that this is a privately- funded project – with no public money in it yet – and the developers are not required to release anything to the public even when it is. That has been part of my reluctance to write about the mid-course adjustments going on now. But as we all know the Coconut Telegraph on The Island is quick to report and is almost always wrong. So in the absence of good information bad information has filled the vacuum. Rest assured that if the project ever looks like it is in trouble I will be the first to say so; it is not. I know that the folks who read the legal filings have found a lawsuit from a contractor who claims he is owed about $660,000. There is a dispute there but it has nothing to do with the park’s developers not being able to pay. It too will be resolved in course. Which leads to the final rumor making the rounds — that the building has been condemned and must be tom down. I have to admit that one is pretty creative. Stupid yes. but creative. I have been inside the building many times and can tell you that when people see it they will be impressed. It is finished throughout with wood taken from the trees that burned in the fire in Bastrop a few years ago and it is a beautiful building. If they start tearing it down l‘ll let you know.

Everybody take a deep breath

So just let me say this. Everybody just take a deep breath. Don’t believe any crazy rumors. I can’t tell you exactly when the last bit of work will be finished there; projects this big take a while to get completely done and are complex by nature, some bumps in the road are to be expected. ‘There is still a lot of concrete to he poured but there is time and money to do it and it will get done. Expect the park to be open by Spring Break 2015 and for some work to continue on through the summer season while the park is open. The people behind this project know what they are doing and it will get done.

One ugly fence

Now, as for that fence along the Aquarius Extension: I have to agree with you that is one ugly fence. But I would just point out that the same people who are calling to complain about the ugly fence are the same ones who called to complain about the “junkyard” they saw before the fence went up. You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. This too will be fixed in due course. If having to look at an ugly fence is the worst thing that happens to you today you should thank your lucky stars. Once the park opens all of this will he forgotten.

ISLAND MOON ON FACEBOOK>>

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

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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.

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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!

It’s a new year, but what’s in? New vs. Existing Homes

North Padre Island (Upper Padre Island)

….started developing in the 70’s, and with Schlitterbahn on the horizon, the island is becoming more and more desirable to purchase. It seems like building your dream home has been on the upward trend. But what are the advantages of an existing home? A buyer has one of two options: Embrace the new or embrace the existing. Here are some variables that outline the pros of each!

Character and Uniqueness

New: Build the character that you want! Do you like the bay windows of a Victorian, the half-timbering of a Tudor, and a central chimney of a Colonial home? You have the liberty to mix and match!

Existing: You get true history, vintage hardware, and maybe a hidden crawl space! Personality shines through, as this house is less likely to look like your neighbors.

Bang for your buck

New: If you’re building, you can choose which materials to splurge on, and where to cut costs. Go for brick on the exterior, but laminate floors on the interior. If a huge crystal chandelier in your entry reigns supreme, consider offsetting your must-haves with less expensive detailing in other areas.

Existing: You can often get a larger, older home for less per square foot than you might pay in a new home. Looking to gain a little profit? Flip it!

Quality Craftsmanship

New: Builders have fine-tuned their skills and in a timely manner! The average 3-bedroom house can go up in about 3 months. Here, you can get efficiency, and have it done quickly.

Existing: In years past, craftsmanship was an art and materials are more likely to be the real deal: Brick, hardwood floors, custom molding.

Desirable Location

New: You have options! There are lots to buy, or houses to renovate or demolish. With the right vision and plan, you can have the location of your dreams.

Existing: More times than not, the fabulous locations were snatched up a long time ago. Location, location, location. You’ve heard it a thousand times. But that’s because it’s important! Here on Padre, the first homes built probably have the best views and biggest lots.

Test of Time

New: You don’t have to wonder how previous owners treated the property. If you maintain your home and property, it is probably going to last you a very long time. The ball is in your courtyard!

Existing: If the home is still standing, something was done right! This goes hand in hand with the craftsmanship. If properly built, that house will last to see many generations play capture the flag and to host decades of turkey dinners.

Landscaping

New: You have a blank canvas! Plant the trees, bushes, and flowers that you want to see grow over the years. Prefer the maintenance free kind of yard? Rock out with a rock garden.

Existing: Mature landscaping can be a huge advantage to buyers and sellers. It takes many years for trees to grow big! The older the home, the bigger the trees.They provide privacy, shade, curb appeal, and heck, they can even increase the value of the home!

Grandfather Clauses

New: Your home will be up-to-date with all the most recent requirements.

Existing: When a new zoning ordinance or code comes into effect, these older homes will likely be granted a grandfather clause, meaning they are not in violation of the law. For instance, you may be given a grandfathered rate of flood insurance in a place where the risk of flood has since increased. Always ask about grandfather clauses on an older property – you may be pleasantly surprised by what advantages you have over your neighbors!

There is so much to consider, and lots of options awaiting you on Padre Island. Best of luck in your adventures!

2013 was Good……2014 should be even Better!

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!

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

Waterparks, Power of Persuasion in the Numbers!!

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.

Economic engine

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.

Public decisions

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.”

via Aquatics

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

Schlitterbahn Park Progressing, Bringing Local Jobs


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.

via KRISTV.com

Corpus Christi Schlitterbahn Park Being Fabricated in New Braunfels

Schlitterbahn is still scheduled to open on the Padre Island next summer, but you wouldn’t know it by passing by the park site. That’s because a lot of construction is being done in New Braunfels.

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

Plans for Residential Development Around Schlitterbahn Beach Country Resort Revealed!

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

Schlitterbahn is a very GREEN Company!

Give him time, and Jeff Henry may one day find a patent on raindrops.

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.

TRANSPORTAINMENT

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.

Video: Schlitterbahn: Wasser, wasser everywhere

 

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.”

LIQUID DNA

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

FORBES: Corpus Christi a top City Leading Real Estate Recovery!

corpus christi homesWe 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

Schlitterbahn Beach Country Resort – Ground Breaking!

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.

SCHLITTERBAHN BEACH COUNTRY RESORT MAP (CLICK HERE)

PHOTOS FROM THE GROUND BREAKING CEREMONY!

Breaking News on Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi

BREAKING NEWS:

Schlitterbahn

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.

Via. Caller.com

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

FREE SCHLITTERBAHN MAP & PROJECT DETAILS

Schlitterbahn Update January 28th 2013


 
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.
~Cheri Sperling

 
KiiiTV3.com

SCHLITTERBAHN DEVELOPER “Everything is on schedule for Spring 2014 opening!!

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

Schlitterbahn NEWS! Construction equipment expected to arrive this month!

— Some construction on the proposed Schlitterbahn water park and resort has begun — just not on Padre Island.

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.

Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi Breaking Ground by October

— 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

Delayed Opening for Schlitterbahn – March 2014

CORPUS CHRISTI — A delayed opening date for a proposed Schlitterbahn water park resort on Padre Island won’t affect a $117 million incentive agreement signed earlier this year with the city.

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

Padre Island Project Updates

Packery Channel

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

Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi – Update 7/10/2012

Update 7/10/2012 – Island Advisory Meeting

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