Community gets first look at new Yacht Club development, BOA denies Martinez family’s variance request
By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Plans to develop a multimillion-dollar high-end apartment complex at the site of the old Yacht Club Hotel will proceed, despite a Board of Adjustments decision to deny a variance request to decrease the number of parking spaces from two per unit to 1.5.
“Martinez Hospitality had the required 2 parking spaces per living units prior to (the) Board of Adjustment meeting. We were hoping for approval of 1.5 for beautification purposes,” developer Ernesto Martinez said via a statement sent to the PRESS Wednesday afternoon.
“Unfortunately, it was not approved, We are moving forward,” Martinez said.
It was a packed house at City Hall last Friday, Dec. 28, as dozens of residents crowded into the City Commission chambers to hear what Martinez and his family planned to do with the property.
Also in attendance were Martinez’s wife, Irma; son, Dr. Armando Martinez; and daughter, Laura Martinez. Together, the family make up Martinez Hospitality.
Friday’s meeting was the public’s first opportunity to see what the family has planned for the property, which it purchased from the City of Port Isabel in February 2018 for $430,000. Since then, the family has remained mum about what they would do.
Questions swirled on social media, where some speculated the property would be developed into another hotel, or a low-income housing development, or a 10-story development which could include space for patients undergoing rehabilitation.
In mid-December, heavy equipment arrived at the property and demolished the nearly 100-year-old former hotel and restaurant, further fueling speculation online.
As residents trickled into City Hall as early as half an hour before the meeting, they were greeted with a colorful artistic rendering of a six-story structure which had been placed in the corner of the room. The drawing illustrated echoes of the former Yacht Club, including a vibrant white stucco exterior aglow in morning sunshine, red Spanish roof tiles, and a central tower reminiscent of the highest tower of the Yacht Club.
Paperwork submitted by Martinez Hospitality in relation to the variance request showed that the development would have one and two-bedroom units in a six-story building comprised of two main wings stretched northward in an acute V shape.
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