Corpus Christi (KIII News) — As the funds and plans are set in place, the former Nueces County Courthouse is one step closer to becoming a 160-room, boutique hotel.
"We're very excited to see what comes next," said Jim McCue.
McCue with Coon Restoration is the Project Manager for the rebuild. He's assisted several renovations which involved historical buildings. A few of his project include former courthouses, memorials and even where a major sports organization was born.
"Being in Canton, this is where the business owners met for brunch that formed the NFL, the NFL was conceived in this hotel," he said.
So how does an Ohio company end up in Corpus Christi?
A text message.
Over two years ago, McCue's daughter who moved to Texas to work for the city, drove by the old courthouse.
"Hey would y'all be interested in doing a project on a building like this?" former County Commissioner Mike Pusley explained.
After seeing pictures and the hearing the history, Coon Restoration was on board.
"That is literally how this started," Pusley added.
McCue and Pusley agreed, it's been a long time coming. During a City Council meeting on Tuesday, the members expressed their gratitude for the county committee putting plans into place.
"To be able to see what's there and what can be, I think it's a great investment from this community, and we appreciate when folks outside our community come in and see some things that maybe we couldn't even identify. So hats off to all the players that made this happen," Debbie Lindsey-Opel, Council Member At Large said.
McCue and Coon Restoration have turned old, failing buildings into luxury hotels and condominiums.
McCue claimed it sparked change and growth in Canton, Ohio; he hopes the same will happen in Corpus Christi.
"This is a catalyst this is a spur that's gonna bring about other growth," he said.
The project will cost approximately $52 million. Coon Restoration has committed to paying $1.5 million upfront in back taxes on the courthouse. The city said they would distribute the money to various entities in the town such as the Port of Corpus Christi and CCISD.
Additionally, the city is set to pay $3 million to the developers in tax incentives and abatements.
"This has been a long process, and I know everyone has pitched in and done everything they possibly can to make this work," Pusley said.
McCue said architects and surveyors would go through the courthouse towards the end of May. They hope to start work by the end of 2018.
"This isn't our pipe dream, let's hope that we can do it," McCue said.