CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi’s name is spreading around the country.
Permit applications for developers — the people who build cities up with businesses and homes — increased 29 percent over the last three years. It is a signal that the Sparkling City by the Sea could be on the verge of a business boom, said local experts.
“Yeah, I think Corpus is in the midst of a micro boom,” said city of Corpus Christi Development Services Department Asst. Director Michael Dice.
To forecast the future, Dice looks at the past.
“Austin and Corpus were the same population in 1970, and look at Austin now," he said. "There’s a million people that live in Austin, and we’re still basically at the same 1%, 2% growth,” he said.
Dice rolls the dice in saying Corpus Christi may be the new Austin in 20 years.
Recent headlines announced big names are moving into town: James Avery, Amazon, and The Cheesecake Factory.
“There’s definitely a lot of attention that Corpus Christi is receiving on many fronts," said asst. city manager Andrea Gardner, who credits two things for that: new city leadership, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Because, as you know, the push was for people to get outdoors and the six feet of separation, and what better place to do that than at the beaches?" she said. "At the bayside?"
So, the rolling waves are a saving grace in a time of lockdown and quarantine.
"A lot of cities had setbacks," Dice said. "Corpus did not.”
His numbers show issued building permits are at a three-year high. The city granted more than 4,000 last year.
“Corpus, to me, means now an opportunity to build and get back to where I think it should be,” Dice said.
He calls his development services team the "fastest in the state". Dice said they take an average of 2.1 days to review residential plans, and five to six to go over commercial plans. That quick timing is another reason why city leaders believe more development is moving into Corpus Christi.
Applications for residential and commercial permits in the City of Corpus Christi can only be submitted online here. Office clerks are available to help guide applicants through the process in person at 2406 Leopard St. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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