Developers look to revamp vacant buildings downtown

The Bayfront Hotel and the old Pope Building on Chaparral will both undergo millions of dollars of renovations with the help of those city dollars.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The downtown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, or TIRZ, board is made up mostly of council members and the mayor. They voted to give two projects a little over $5 million in incentives.

$3 million of those city incentives are going to Austin-based developer of the 416 Flats project, David Fournier. It’s a $15 million renovation of the historic Pope Building which was built back in 1929 at 416 North Chaparral.

Most recently, it was a low income housing complex called Sea Gulf Villa.

”The market, the apartment market is pretty strong and for housing downtown is strong.” Fournier said.

The 10-story building will be renovated to include a penthouse, townhomes, apartments and street level shopping.

The other developer, Bal Gosal from Nevada, is getting over $2 million in city incentives for a $24 million renovation of the historic Bayfront Hotel.

This renovation will include a number of upgrades and enhancements to the 200-room hotel that will be named ‘Hotel Arya.’

3NEWS asked the developer if he thought opening the hotel back up was a financial risk.

”We have a whole city block there,” Gosal said. “The big reason we kept up with the project is also we saw what the city was doing and how it’s committed to downtown. So again, you’re always taking a chance especially with all the hotels coming but that location just makes a lot of sense. My company, that’s all we do is hotels.”

Alyssa Barrera Mason is the Downtown Management Executive Director. She believes the city’s financial incentives over the past few years have definitely helped to transform this part of town.

”Our downtown development program has been super effective we have over a $120 million in investment downtown another 50 in the pipeline and 40 were approved today so it’s definitely making a strong return on our investment.” Barrera Mason said.

The Hotel Arya should be open by May 2025 and the 416 Flats complex is set to be fully renovated by the summer 2027.