“We have about 15 other projects in the downtown development and we are working hard to get started on about 30 more,” said Alyssa Barrera-Mason.
Corpus Christi, Texas – Several more new businesses are setting up shop in the downtown Corpus Christi area.
A large portion of that momentum can also be accumulated with the help of TIRZ dollars.
If you’ve been downtown recently, you may have seen signs that signal the arrival of new businesses.
For Jimmy Canella, owner of VNP Galleries, locating his new store in the downtown area was no big deal.
“We weighed all the options, wanted to stay true to downtown, just so that we’re on Peoples Street now,” he said.
Canela’s shop specializes in the sale of secondhand clothing. She has pieces that range from the 70s to the early 2000s. Right now his Water St. But there is a shop but he was looking for something bigger.
Of all things, Canela said she’s excited about the opportunities that come with having a downtown business.
“There are so many incentives that you can take advantage of, there are opportunities. It’s just a matter of going out and looking for them,” he said.
Carlos Cooper, owner of Hybrid Records, didn’t miss a beat when choosing downtown to open his store last April.
“I always thought downtown was cool in a way that had a lot of potential after doing business in another part of town for six years,” he said. “Here comes an opportunity to go down. Always wanted to.”
Cooper said his storefront would not have been possible without the guidance of the Downtown Management District and Reinvestment Zone funds, or TIRZ.
“There’s a certain idea of downtown and it’s out of date at the moment and I think people are realizing there’s a lot of opportunity here,” he said.
Alyssa Barrera-Mason, executive director of Downtown Management, said TYRZ takes some of the dollars from the downtown property tax and reinvests the money for business owners who want to be part of the revitalization effort.
Some of the new businesses recently added to downtown include Hypebike, Cafe Calypso, Hybrid Records, Produce Bar, and Produce Goods.
More businesses are expected to open soon, including Retro Arcade, which is taking over the old site of the old Aria nightclub on Chaparral St. There will be a new bakery called Central Kitchen which will be located next to the Executive Surf Club.
“We have about 15 other projects in development downtown and we are working hard to get about 30 more to that starting line,” she said.
Barrera-Mason said her team wants to continue to bring new businesses and new life to what it means to live and work in Downtown Corpus Christi.
“It really is night and day downtown compared to seven years ago. We’ve seen $72 million in private sector investment in this downtown Marina Arts District.”
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