Business growth in Downtown Corpus Christi

“We have about 15 more projects in the downtown development, and we’re working hard to get about 30 more on that starting line,” Alyssa Barrera-Mason said.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Several new businesses are setting up shop in the Downtown Corpus Christi area.

A large part of the energy can also be obtained with the help of TIRZ dollars.

If you have been in the countryside recently, then you must have seen signs that indicate the arrival of new businesses.

It was a no-brainer for VNP Gallery owner Jimmy Canela to locate his new store in a suburban area.

“We looked at all the options, wanted to be true to downtown, so we’re here on Peoples Street right now,” he said.

Canela Store specializes in vintage clothing. He has pieces from the 70’s all the way to the early 2000’s. He now has a store on Water St. but he wants more.

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All in all, Canela said he is excited about the opportunities that come with being a local business.

“There are many incentives you can use, the opportunities are there. It’s just a matter of going and looking for them,” he said.

Hybrid Records owner Carlos Cooper didn’t skip a beat when choosing downtown to open his store last April.

“I always thought downtown was great, because there was a lot of potential when I was in business for six years in another part of town,” he said. “Opportunity came to move here. Always looking.”

Cooper said his store wouldn’t have been possible without the guidance of the Downtown Management District and the regional reinvestment or TIRZ.

“There’s a certain perception of downtown that these days it’s kind of old and I think people are realizing that there’s a lot of opportunity down here,” he said.

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Downtown Executive Director Alyssa Barrera-Mason said TIRZ takes some dollars from the city’s real estate tax and reinvests the money for business owners who want to relocate and be part of the turnaround effort.

Some of the new businesses recently added to the downtown area include Hypebyke, Cafe Calypso, Hybrid Records, Produce Bar and Produce Goods.

More businesses are expected to open soon, including Retro Arcade, which is taking over the former Aria restaurant space on Chaparral St. There will be a new bakery called the Central Kitchen which will be located next to the Executive Surf Club.

“We have about 15 more projects in the downtown development and we’re working hard to get about 30 more on that starting line,” he said.

Barrera-Mason said her team wants to continue to bring in new businesses and give new life to what it means to live and work in Downtown Corpus Christi.

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“It’s really night and day downtown compared to what it was even seven years ago right. We’ve seen a $72-million private construction project just in this downtown Marina Arts District.”

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