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Corpus Christi TIRZ board approves money for downtown upgrades

Mesquite Street Pizza Breana Gonzalez has been serving delicious pizzas for 10 years, but she feels that the homeless problem downtown has remained unresolved.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The TIRZ board approved more than $1 million for several projects aimed at enhancing the appearance, ambiance, and functionality of the area.

However, some business owners are have expressed concerns about the ongoing homeless problem and would like top see more efforts made to prevent those residents from deterring customers.

Breana Gonzalez is the owner of Mesquite Street Pizza. Her restaurant has been serving delicious pizzas for 10 years, but she feels that the homeless problem downtown remains unresolved.

"I've seen a lot that does discourage a lot of people from coming down here," she said.

Tracey Guajardo is a part-owner of Thirsty's restaurant and event center, which is scheduled to open next fall. She plans to conduct a complete renovation of the building and believes this is her way of contributing to the transformation of downtown. 

"We are trying to bring families downtown. We are opening up more of a brunch style, all day brunch. Highly photo friendly foods and fine dining," she said.

Downtown Management District Director Alyssa Barrera Mason said she was able to secure over $1 million for the city TIRZ board. These improvements include parking lots, fencing, and dog-friendly spaces. Another major project in progress aims to bring a grocery store to downtown.

"Downtown Projects under development right now. Does include some pantry style micro grocery and locally resources options. So, that project is currently under development on the intersection of Chaparral and peoples Street," she said.

Gonzalez is appreciative of the upcoming downtown improvements but hopes that someone will address the homeless situation and spruce up Mesquite Street.

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