Saturday, November 21, 2009

San Antonio Express-News Weighs In

THESE COMMENTS FROM SAN ANTONIO ARE PRETTY HARSH. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of KSpace Contemporary (nor of myself!!).

A recent article in the San Antonio Express-News includes interesting comments from outsiders about Corpus and its issues.

Comments archived here:

laam119910:13 PM

Poor Corpus Christi. Last time I was there this summer it seemed so run down and old, especially downtown. No pedestrians, no new businesses, it's really got nothing going for it. Corpus has fallen so behind to other major Texas cities like San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Houston and even the Rio Grande Valley. I think when Whataburger moved its Corporate Headquarters to San Antonio, it was the kiss of death for the CC economy. San Antonio welcomes visitors, new residents, and new business activity (Whataburger, MedTronic, Boeing, Nationwide, Health care & the U.S. Military, etc.) with arms wide open. San Antonio is also investing heavily in our city with new public parks & green spaces, museums, Airport expansion, public transportation, public transit, new educational opportunities, and the most public/private venture of River North/Pearl that will that transform the face downtown forever! That is why we are on our way to becoming the next great American city.

Ridley5:50 PM

The pro brass comments here sound very much like Brass/cibrian/councilman-icerayz owner chesney's astro turf group, Grow Corpus Christi, standard falsehoods. The author needs to do a little more then listen to Diane Metz who is a tool of these folks. Brass was trying to grab control of 29 acres without taking any responsibility for the coliseum which would be under a seperate contract with the city. read the full story at Brass was like a grifter who just spotted a desperate mark. Cibrian tried to rip off her own home town. Guess she was desperate after being run out of SA. Let's see if Brass is still a "player" in a year. There actions speak of someone who is desperate for cash.

EJ1235:05 PM

brian in a failed venture. They (Brass) should not have let her anywhere near Corpus if they wanted to get a vote.

robertaa_20003:26 PM

Gulf coast land development investments are a iffy prospect at best when you factor in the potential threat from hurricanes.

reg3732:15 PM

The economy will bounce back. Government spending created many jobs in the Great Depression, Hoover Dam for example. Some paint that as socialism, others as a wise public investment -- saw a cool site; Balkingpoints ; incredible satellite view of earth

norm1:45 PM

i own a home on padre island and they are continually reaising property taxes to the max to help make up for the lowly end of the town; so we have to subsidize the have/nots so it seems; this is their mentality for bringing in revenue for the city; just bleed the turnip; this 'city' is a joke

ccrider10:41 AM

Wait until the city has money to do something, former mayor Henry Garrett? Here we go again, politicians who are happy to spend our tax money. That was private money that was going to come here and help the downtown get going. We the taxpayers are paying right now because nothing is happening. And you want to tear it down for more parks Why? so it can look just as crummy as Cole Park, just a block away? Why is a prior mayor who didn't get anything done with the building even talking about this issue? you were voted out for a reason. take a hint.

ccrider10:25 AM

Corpus Christi is dying on the vine. The one thing that can save it is by having a developer come in and invest in the downtown. Yes that is done on public land all the time in other cities. It is not a land grab, get your head out of the 1800s. The city leases the land to the developer and can take it back at any time. This is done in dying cities all the time, the west end of Dallas, in Philadelphia, downtown Atlanta, etc etc. Corpus Christi is dying and the private land around the coliseum and the downtown has been sitting vacant for years. No one has come by yet because the private land is overpriced and the owners are happy to just sit and wait to get a return on their investment, whenever that time comes. Corpus Christi is dying, the population is getting smaller, and if you want to live in a backwards fishing village our doors are open to you. Hopefully something good can come out of this mess. Like the writer says, the people are mad. We are tired of the "not in my backyard" backwards thinkers running this town.

Dansktex10:05 AM

The comments are right here. Corpus Christi has been a loser as a city for the past half century. Most development there has been through government funded construction--the university, military bases, court houses, museums, etc. The downtown was abandoned not only by retail, but also by offices (which moved to The Bluff) and by the government (which moved to The Bluff and down to the ship channel) leaving a 3-block wide strip running for blocks with little potential for development since no one works, shops, or plays there. In terms of private development, the city constantly gets excited about new or expanded refineries that require 3000 construction workers for 3 years but then employ only 350 permanent workers afterwards. A protest group against property taxes being used for anything caused the city to stop doing anything that beautified the city (such as planting flowers in street medians). In 1970, Corpus Christi had only about 50,000 fewer citizens than Austin; today it is less than 1/2 the size of Austin. However, most of the development plans, including the Brass deal, have been wrong-headed and would not have helped. They have tended to continue to propagate the problems that have been occurring by moving into the water or into the public spaces along Shoreline Drive rather than developing the area behind Shoreline. The entertainment and marketplace developments proposed on land masses in the water would have likely failed due to the fact that the numbers of tourists and local people would have been too small to support them; they likely would have left the city with even more eyesores over time. The city made a mistake building the Coliseum in the public median between the two parts of Shoreline Drive. The Brass deal, or any other deal built around the Coliseum, would compound this original mistake, taking away public land and public views. The other side of the southbound lanes of Shoreline Drive is abandoned and available for development.

eternal219:38 AM

With Diane Cibrian as a "project partner" @ Brass, I don't blame CC's city council from turning down that proposal. A colloquialism about lying down with dogs and waking up with fleas comes to mind.

Matt9:26 AM

I live in Corpus. The four city council members who voted against the Brass Deal, did so before the negotiations were complete. Our city along with our lame duck mayor is a joke. San Antonio should be laughing at Corpus!

Milhouse9:05 AM

That poor old goat of a city needs to be put down. Why an interstate roadway was built into a town that prides itself of delapidated buildings & roadways is beyond me. There are politicos from the city & county who are stuck in the 70's way of thinking - hoping that someone else will come in a do the dirty work for them. It's no wonder that CC gets lumped into the same comparison of how people leave the border towns of Brownsville & Laredo to come up north to live like in SA or Austin. Way to go CC - wallow in your brown salty muck.

Will8:00 AM

Poor old can't-get-a-grip Corpus. The sleeping lady by the bay desperately needs her B12 shot(like yesterday!). My mom lives in Corpus and every time I drive down I'm in awe of what fantastic potential is being overlooked in this unique and sadly neglected city. They've let their beautiful old Courthouse rot away. The government of Spain gave them exquisite reproductions of Columbus "Nina" and "Pinta" sailing vessels - one was completely ignored in the harbor and got dry rot, the other had a barge break loose and destroy it. (Spain wanted them back.) A company was going to offer tourists and thousands of winter Texans overnight sailing on gleaming ferrys from Corpus to Veracruz - but no, seems the ship they lined up was too tall to actually sail under the harbor bridge (!). The Landry deal to shine up the sadly lacking T-Heads on the bay with a Santa Monica/Chicago Navy Pier/Kemah amusement area containing new restaurants, bars and a spectacular ferris wheel, etc. got quelled - might attract the 'wrong' types to downtown. The near half century long discussion of what to do with the old Lichtensteins Dept. Store has left a battered art deco jewel festering in downtown. (And let's face it - ALL of downtown Corpus looks like some apocalytic, nuked, end-of-the-world movie set.) Why artists haven't discovered this Gulf Coast paradise of cheap rents, sunshine and hundreds of miles of scenic beach is mystifying. (Could it possibly be since most young, bohemian artists tend not to be right-wing, conservative Republicans they're not exactly welcomed in dear old reactionary Corpus? Just asking.) Any city needs new blood, new energy and the buzz of progress to keep it humming. Corpus unfortunately continues to drift in some other-world backwater of political cronyism, a 'change is bad' mentality and apparently a civic boosterism motto of 'if it ain't broke yet we'll just let it deteriorate till it's completely useless.'

The Trash Heap7:00 AM

The problems began when, to eliminate competition with the American Bank Center, the city government closed the Memorial Coliseum, then neglected to maintain its exterior and protect its interior from vandalism while it decided what to do with it. Meanwhile, the ABC priced out of existence the smaller events held previously at the MC, and, even though the ABC charged to park in public lots, it has never finished a year in the black. Wanting to see the MC returned to its previous condition and public venues, rather than have the whole bayfront parkway developed into multistory buildings that'd block the city's famous Shoreline Drive, someone asked the city council last summer to put the war memorial plaque back on the building and restore it to its former glory, but the mayor wouldn't put it to a public vote, so there's now a petition underway to force a referendum. BTW, the SAE-N could never get a copy of the supposed contract requiring the closure of the gulf beaches to vehicles in order to move forward with the Padre Island resort. The CC voters who in 2006 shot down the privatization attempt generously not only protected beach access for its own beachgoers, but for the whole state. This month the state's voters returned the favor by approving a constitutional amendment upholding that access.

nepdcc5:23 AM

I live in Corpus Christi and many people are opposed to privatizing our bayfront to Brass or any other group that hopes to make a land grab of our public bayfront. Brass has an unrealistic proposal to build private condos and shops in a limited size property on the bayfront, which would take from the public. Brass is also wanting the city to pay for a high rise garage that would cost millions. There simply is no room for the proposed development. The resistance from citizens has been based on the unwillingness to give our beaches away to real estate people, who would then make us pay for things that are already ours. It's kind of like building a highway then placing tolls on it. We're already paying highway taxes, and we don't like paying twice. The best proposal for the bayfront is to make it a festival park and make the coliseum an open air pavilion which would provide much needed shade downtown. Small, local concessions would also be made available. Remaining space would be used for parking, as it is already.