A vacant office building in Central City may become the latest in Corpus Christi to be renovated into apartments.
If the rezoning request is approved, the project could join a growing list of building reuses — other high-profile projects include the proposed conversion of the 600 block downtown, as well as an abandoned former hotel on the city’s north side, into apartments.
This approach is called adaptive reuse, and it modifies existing buildings to fulfill a new purpose other than the one for which they were initially built.
Infill housing — a development technique that aims to develop unused properties in existing neighborhoods — is also becoming more common in the city.
Both adaptive reuse and in-filled housing are becoming trends, said Nina Nixon Mendez, assistant director of development services.
“Office buildings — often the way they were originally designed — (are) an opportunity to be repurposed for residential purposes,” she said. “We’re seeing this to some degree in the core of cities across the country, and I think we’re just following that trend here.”
The rezoning request — which will be given a final vote by the City Council on Tuesday — will go forward with the possibility of doing the same at 6 Points Plaza, a four-story office building that a nearby resident described to the council as “a place for the homeless to live and be dumped.” Rubbish on them.
The developer seeking the rezoning — Ilya Trofimov of Inkuee 6P LLC — declined to be interviewed by the Caller-Times this week, noting that the project is still in the conceptual stage and has not yet been granted the required rezoning or permitting.
As described in city documents, the proposal would transform the office building — located at 1800 and 1801 S. Staples St. – To 31 units.
The building is located about 100 feet from bus service, and is described in reports as “an area with a modest concentration of rental demand drivers such as students and young professionals with Christus Spohn Hospital, Del Mar College, Aveda Institute nearby, low-income families, and access to Compounds are low.
Proximity to transportation and major employers are indicators that make some development sites attractive, Nixon-Mendez said.
“With the right construction and opportunity…this kind of thing can continue in Corpus Christi,” she said.
The building has two sections — the north and south sides — and was constructed in 1963, according to appraisal district records, and was sold to Inkuee 6P LLC about a year ago.
City Councilwoman Sylvia Campos, who represents the district where 6 Points Plaza is located, said seeing infilled housing and adaptive reuse is “a breath of fresh air.”
The infrastructure is already in place at such sites, which means the city doesn’t need to contribute to paying for new infrastructure, she said.
“I hope they continue to look for other areas where they can fill those voids…I think it will be fun,” Campos said. “We’re really in a good time now where Corpus is being looked at not just for what it can be but for what it is.”
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