Downtown Corpus Christi businesses are getting a new neighbor. Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi purchased a building on Chaparral Street with plans to convert it into a multipurpose facility. A signing ceremony was held there today.
Dr. Kelly Miller Quintanilla, TAMU-CC President, says the institution has grown 41 percent in the last ten years making space a priority. The university purchased the 5 story building on 223 Chaparral Street from Janet and Ernest 'Buz' Maxwell for $2.3 million.
The 77,000 square foot facility will house an art gallery with lecturing opportunities. It will be used for public facing projects and for work and lectures in Port studies, emergency management, environment and economic studies. And special events will be hosted on the rooftop terrace.
Dr. Quintanilla says the expansion will not only boost recruitment for the university but it will also help with downtown revitalization.
"For us we want to see downtown be very vibrant. We see lots of exciting changes happening so we not only will have our folks in the building but students coming back and forth, but also inviting people and having events and just really adding to everything that's happening already in the downtown," said Quintanilla, "The more vibrant it is downtown, the easier it is for us to attract students, faculty and staff but also for many other businesses to attract them as well."
The previous owners shared their joy of turning over the keys to the Island University.
"This building means so much to us. It has meant so much to us and a lot of memories. I shopped in this building with my mother when I was a girl," said previous owner Janet Maxwell, "I was so excited when Buzz and I were able to purchase the building and has served us well, and now it's time to let it go. I'm thrilled that the new owner, actually the perfect owner, is Texas A&M Corpus Christi."