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

Rebuilding the Iconic Harbor Bridge

If you’re a native South Texan, no doubt you are familiar with Corpus Christi’s big, beautiful, bridge.  The one that is sure to mesmerize and to some may even seem a little scary to cross.  You guessed it—the Harbor Bridge–the iconic roadway that is a distinct feature of the sparking city by the sea’s landscape is about to get a major upgrade.

The Harbor Bridge as we currently know it was built back in 1959 for a total cost of approximately $11 million dollars. It was considered the most important design work of Texas Highway Department Bridge Engineer Vigo Miller and was featured in Time magazine in 1964 for its exceptional beauty. No doubt our current bridge has served our community well, but increased safety concerns rooted in an aging infrastructure meant it was time to research a rebuild.

City and regional leaders have been working more than 15 years to pave the way for the construction of a replacement Harbor Bridge.  After an extensive Environmental Impact Study, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) was granted approval from the Federal Highway Safety Administration to rebuild the current structure.  Now, here we are at the launch of one of the largest and most significant transportation projects in the region.

This summer, construction will commence on a new Harbor Bridge.  This new structure promises to be just as magnificent and beautiful as the beloved, current Harbor Bridge.  Making the most of the majestic views of the bay, the new bridge will be the longest, cable-stayed, concrete-segmental, bridge in North America.

The nearly $900 million project will include the development, design and construction of just over six miles of combined bridge and roadway.  It will include the new six-lane Harbor Bridge, as well as, the reconstruction of approximately 1.6 miles of IH-37 and approximately one mile of the Crosstown Expressway.  Once the new bridge is open to the traveling public, the project will conclude with the demolition of the existing Harbor Bridge.  The design/build firm, Flatiron/Dragados, LLC, who were chosen by TxDOT to complete construction, anticipate the project will take five years to complete.

The new bridge design incorporates a number of aesthetic features including shared-use paths, a community plaza, nighttime LED lighting and xeriscape landscaping. Designers are aiming for the new Harbor Bridge to be just as iconic as the original.  In order to get there, it’s anticipated that between 500 and 650 skilled workers will be needed to complete the job.  For more information on employment opportunities and general updates about the Harbor Bridge Project, please visit www.harborbridgeproject.com.

Schlitterbahn Upper Padre News 2015

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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>>

8 Benefits of Buying a House at Year’s End

endofyearrealtorSummer may be real estate’s busy season, but winter offers great opportunities for buying a house, especially for renters looking to become homeowners, growing families trading up to larger houses and baby boomers seeking homes to fit their evolving lifestyles.

Generally speaking, your housing choices during the late fall are still healthy. October and November are great months to go house hunting. December is usually sparse, market-wise, but if that fits your timeline, you could luck out.

The benefits to buying a house at the end of the year include the following:

1. Tax savings

If you close by December 31, you can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, points on your loan and interest costs. These deductions are significant, especially in the early years of your loan when you’re paying off a lot of interest.

2. Motivated sellers

Many sellers want to enjoy tax savings on the next home they purchase. They may accept lower bids in order to meet Uncle Sam’s deadlines. However, if you’re in a strong seller’s market, you’ll want to be conservative and heed advice from your real estate professional.

3. Builder incentives

If you’re buying a house that is brand new, there’s a good chance builders may push to close the books on their year—and meet quotas. They may offer upgrades or little extras to sell houses before the calendar turns.

4. Available movers

Many moving companies are booked six weeks or more in advance during the busy summer months. In the fall and winter, it’s normally easier to secure the services of a moving company or rental equipment on shorter notice.

5. Paying toward something you own

If you’re renting, your monthly check goes toward something that will last you a month: You’ll never see any return on that money. When you buy a house, your monthly mortgage payment goes toward an investment—and ultimately a roof that’s yours.

6. Consistent payments

Landlords can increase your rent. Once you secure a mortgage, you can rely on consistent payments if you have a fixed-rate loan.

7. Freedom to renovate

Modernize your kitchen, paint your home’s exterior neon orange, change your fixtures orreplace your carpeting; whatever inspires you, no one can tell you, “No!”

8. Gaining equity

In the beginning, most of your payment goes toward interest. But gradually more will go toward paying off your principal, meaning you build up equity—or savings—in your home. Another factor in equity is appreciation: As home values rise, so does your rate of equity.

via Realtor.com

New Restaurant “Island Time Sushi” gets rave reviews!

 

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Who loves sushi? Have you tried the new sushi restaurant on the Island yet? If not, get over there!

Island Time Sushi has a great atmosphere, friendly staff and amazing food! The sushi is fresh and FUN…plus they offer many cooked options as well! Try the Chargrilled Steak or Grilled Salmon then add a side of Jalapeno Bacon Mac&Cheese.

My favorite rolls were the Shaggy Dog and the Rattlesnake Roll shown in the photo. The Spicy Poke and Creamy Seaweed Salad were the perfect starters!

Support our Island! Eat Local!

You can find their info here: http://www.facebook.com/IslandTimeSushi

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

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

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 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.

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