CORPUS CHRISTI - When people come to Corpus Christi, many of
them expect to find a community that has been devastated by the downturn caused
by the oversupply of cheap oil and gas.
However, Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend have been
experiencing a major transformation of their economy, which is now much more
The Port of Corpus Christi has always been a driving force
and major contributor to the economy of Corpus Christi, according to Matt Cravey, Cravey Real Estate in his market overview.
The Port of Corpus Christi is the fifth largest port in the
United States in total tonnage.
However, because of the depth of the port channel and the
height of the harbor bridge, which crosses over the port, the newer, larger ships
could not enter the port.
Port leadership decided to take a 1,100-acre tract located close to the town of Gregory, which is at the end of the La Quinta
Channel, to be used for the larger ships and possible container storage.
In 2009, the La Quinta Trade Gateway Terminal Project was
born. Permits were received to deepen the channel and development had begun on
the project when the first major manufacturer, Tianjin Pipe Co. (TPCO) of China
made a commitment to build a $1 billion steel mill to make seamless steel pipe
for the energy industry.
The 1.6 million-sf plant is the largest single investment in
a U.S. manufacturing facility by a Chinese company.
Because Corpus Christi and surrounding communities have
among the cleanest air of any industrial community in the nation, and now
because of cheap natural gas, more companies have announced plans to enter or
expand in the market. The total investment by these companies currently tops
estimated that at the height of construction, these new projects will employ over
15,000 construction workers.
While this activity has generated a need for housing,
multi-family projects that have already been built and those that are planned
should meet the current demand.
Numerous national and regional restaurants are expanding,
including Chick-fil-A and Chuy’s. One site near Rodd Field Rd. and Saratoga
Blvd. and another site at FM 1889 and Northwest Blvd. have new grocery stores
The largest recent announcement is for a new 600,000-sf
power center at the corner of Rodd Field Rd. and SH 358.
The Corpus Christi office market has been helped by the
banks, which have been growing and looking for new space.
The Harbor Bridge, built in 1959, is being
replaced with a taller structure which should provide 65 extra feet of
clearance for bigger ships. The bridge should be completed by 2020 and will
cost close to $1 billion.
report was compiled by Matt Cravey with Cravey Real Estate.