City lays groundwork for Yacht Club developers

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

In a meeting held last Friday, Feb. 16, the City of Port Isabel began to lay the groundwork to offer tax abatements to the developers of the Yacht Club, which it recently agreed to sell to a local family.

The City originally purchased the eight lot property for just over $752,000 in 2014. Afterwards, it secured a $2.5 million loan from the Texas Leverage Fund to serve as interim financing for the purchase. Later, the City was awarded a $1.2 million grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to help fund the facility.

But, as initial plans to partner with area learning institutions to create a culinary arts school fell through, and efforts to secure tenants similarly stagnated, the property and its associated debts became an increasing burden on the City’s budget.

By October 2015, the City terminated the EDA grant, returning the funds to the government rather than allow the deadline for the grant’s terms of use to lapse. Not long after, the City put the property up for sale.

Only a small handful of prospective buyers entered into serious consideration for the sale, including the Martinez family, led by patriarch, Ernesto Martinez. On Monday, Feb. 12, the City Commission unanimously voted to approve the sale of the Yacht Club to the Martinez family for $430,000.

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