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