Whatever your interests, the booming Coastal Bend area has you covered.
By: Connie Laughlin
The Eagle Ford Shale is only part of our economic upswing; there’s a multitude of industrial, petrochemical, aeronautical and retail businesses locating in our hidden jewel on the water. We’re international news, and our status won’t change any time in the foreseeable future.
“CCRED leaders have been strategically grooming the national and international corporate scene to locate facilities in our area, and it’s paying off,” says Garry Bradford, immediate past chair of Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation (CCRED), and president and CEO UniqueHR. “If the oil boom loses its luster in 18 years, we’ve got committed high-paying technical and industrial jobs, as we’re more diversified for the long haul.”
Show Me the Money
“We’re looking for loans!” says Harold Shockley Jr., president and CEO of the International Bank of Commerce in Corpus Christi. “The business climate is excellent, interest rates are low and the market for quality loans is competitive.” As a lifelong resident of Corpus Christi, Shockley adds, “there’s never been more going on in our area. From ongoing Eagle Ford Shale activities to recent announcements of approximately $20 billion in upcoming Port projects to Schlitterbahn’s completion, on the island, this is not the norm.”
Existing tourist destinations are under expansion, and new ones opening up; everyone is preparing for the influx of new residents and tourists. Schlitterbahn, due to open this summer, has builders selling out condos and retail locations before completion. Everywhere you look, there’s new construction of auto dealers, residential subdivisions, apartment buildings, chain restaurants and retailers.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
We’ve got jobs to be filled right now for every occupation. “There are many services that exist in the local market which will benefit by the coming growth,” says Ralph Coker, a retired refinery manager, business columnist for the Caller-Times and volunteer with the local chapter of SCORE. “They will be able to significantly grow their businesses, but will not be able to service the demand. New retail stores, restaurants, bars, homebuilders, fitness clubs, entertainment venues, etc., that all seek to capture disposable income will find reward in the improved economic position of current residents and the thousands of new residents which will soon enter the Coastal Bend market. Demographic projections speak to a growth of the Coastal Bend perhaps not ever seen before – certainly not since the 1940-50s period of rapid population expansion.”
Location, Location, Location
Not only are we located on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico – it’s good business to be here. Many corporations are leaving other states and coming to South Texas due to low tax, interest, utility and construction rates. Corpus Christi ranks at No. 17 – up from No. 44 last year – on the 2013 Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index, which ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth.
“To build a healthy community with sustainable neighborhoods, money must be invested wisely to create a diversified economy that is not prone to booms and busts, says Corpus Christi City Council member Chad Magill. “I have the responsibility to steward public funds and ensure you get a well-deserved return on your invested tax dollar. I will continue to stand up for investing in our needs before our wants. Whether insuring quality of life, health and safety or providing support for business, industry and healthy neighborhoods, roads, storm and wastewater drainage, police and fire resources, basic infrastructure must be updated and maintained.”
Coker agrees: “Our elected officials need to shift priorities from trying to create growth to providing public infrastructure for the growth that’s coming.”
You’ll easily slide into a laidback friendly vibe in the Coastal Bend. With extraordinary recreational activities, weekends are non-stop vacations. You’ll find record-setting South Texas hunting and fishing, great surfing at local beaches and several hometown teams who play in the area’s multiple sports complexes.
Corpus Christi, known as the birdiest city in the United States, has more than 600 species of our feathered friends to watch. New schools are under construction, and the Christian community is on fire, offering a variety of churches from the mega-size to traditional Catholic parishes. Spiritual retreat centers have been built, and others are breaking ground. We’ve got your bases covered.