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Red Roof Inn to become new Corpus Christi homeless shelter

The Red Roof Inn had heads in beds as late as November 2020 but now sits empty, ready for renovation. The Ed Rachal Foundation purchased the property at 3030 Buffalo St. in Corpus Christi with plans to turn it into a new home for the Good Samaritan Rescue Mission. Courtesy photo

Ed Rachal Foundation purchases closed hotel for Good Samaritan Rescue Mission

The Good Samaritan Rescue Mission plans to move into the Red Roof Inn at 3030 Buffalo St. in Corpus Christi. Recently purchased by the Ed Rachal Foundation for $4.3 million, the three-story building near U.S. 37 will be turned into a homeless shelter.

The Good Samaritan currently has a 130-bed shelter at 210 S. Alameda St. That building is nearly 100 years old and in disrepair. The nonprofit plans to turn the 85 rooms at the recently closed hotel into space for 207 beds. While COVID-19 protocols are still in place, the facility will only be able to house 160 homeless people.

The Ed Rachal Foundation, a nonprofit created to benefit “charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes in the state of Texas,” will lease the property to the Good Samaritan for 60 years. The group has bought several iconic properties in recent years, including Mount Carmel Assisted Living, Hacienda Records, and the Castle House on Ocean Drive, all slated for demolition, and the Frost Bank Plaza, which is being renovated for lease.

Zoning changes are necessary to make the move. The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission has already approved a zoning request, which should go before the Corpus Christi City Council in June, City Manger Peter Zanoni said.

A building permit will also be needed to construct an 8,000-square-foot cafeteria and kitchen next to the hotel.

The Red Roof Inn is the second location that the Ed Rachal Foundation purchased with hopes of turning into a new homeless shelter. A zoning request for the old Lamar Elementary School at 2212 Morris St. near the Crosstown Expressway and Agnes Street was turned down by the planning commission in 2019.

The current homeless shelter on Alameda Street is also owned by the Ed Rachal Foundation and will be demolished once the move has been made. The organization wants to develop the Alameda location, according to foundation CEO Paul Atheide.

The old Lamar Elementary School is being renovated into city office space at a cost of $4 million. The design phase is about halfway through, according to Zanoni. An agreement between the city and Ed Rachal will lease the space to the city for half the market rate.

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